Friday, July 3, 2009

The Scent of a Clean House

Ahhh….the scent of a clean house! You know the one, that smell of bleach, ammonia and delicious smell of all-purpose cleaner? Sure, the house may smell clean (as we have become accustomed to), but why do our eyes burn and tear along with headaches afterward?

All those chemicals commonly found in cleaners can actually bring on these types of symptoms, and more. In fact, using household cleaning sprays once a week may increase the risk of

developing adult asthma, according to the American Thoracic Society. “The higher the concentration of cleaning products in indoor air,” writes the Sierra Club, “the greater the risk that a child will develop asthma.”

So what can we do about it? The Sierra Club has several suggestions on their website: A few suggestions are:

· Make your own! You can make your green cleaning supplies using basic ingredients such as baking soda, lemon juice, vinegar, and salt.

· Ventilate! Make sure to open windows and doors to allow air to circulate.

· Green your towels. Use cloth instead of paper towels. Pull out all those old t-shirts that are 3 sizes too big (or 3 sizes too small!) and cut them up. You can use old towels or sheets, as well.

· Avoid using air fresheners.

· Quit using those antibacterial products. They are not any more effective than just plain old soap and hot water.

The benefits of using green products while cleaning are multiple. Asthma and allergy sufferers will feel much healthier and green cleaning products reduce the harmful chemicals that affect our environment…and our Earth.

If you’d rather purchase green cleaning products th

an make your own, be sure to read the claims on the products. Look for “contains no phthalates” or “phosphate free.” As the consumer becomes more aware of the impact their product usage has on the environment, product companies are stepping up to the plate.

J.R. Watkins is a partner of Sierra Club Green Home. They offer great eco-friendly cleaning products that can be used safely and effectively in keeping your home not only clean, but green! Go to to view the many natural products that J.R. Watkins has to offer.

For more information on the Sierra Club’s recommendations as well as their partnerships with other companies committed to providing products for a green home, visit

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