There are many different types of flooring options available depending on a homeowner’s specific needs, but there’s a right and wrong way of cleaning it, especially when someone is chemically sensitive, has children or pets crawling or lying on and potentially licking the floor. The method chosen also affects the carbon footprint.
Decades of product marketing has convinced many people that the smell of chemicals like bleach or a lemony scent implies cleanliness. But a quick flip of the product bottle to read the fine print reveals common warning phrases such as, “Use in a well-ventilated area.” It’s time to retire hazardous chemicals and learn about the healthier alternatives that are available.
Carpets act like huge air filters in our homes and can hide dust, dirt and even miniature pests such as fleas, ticks and mites. The best way to clean carpets without hiring professionals every week is with a vacuum equipped with a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter to trap fine particles such as pollen and dust mite feces, which can be triggers for allergies and asthma. On occasion, sprinkle baking soda on the carpet for 30 minutes before vacuuming to deodorize it. When combined with vinegar, the baking soda can lift off stains, too.
Hard flooring including wood, laminate and tile will require different techniques for cleaning. Besides sweeping, a deeper clean can be achieved using a steamer, which can clean, sanitize and deodorize at the same time. For tougher stains or flooring, vinegar can be used as a natural all-purpose cleaner that won’t damage delicate lungs. A simple recipe is one part water and one part vinegar. The vinegar will evaporate and dissipate as the floor dries, so there’s no fear of lingering odor. For the tough jobs, a quarter-cup of natural Borax in a gallon of hot water can be used.
It can be fun to learn how many basic items around the home can be used for effective, non-toxic cleaning, and getting in the habit of utilizing them instead of store-bought chemicals can protect our loved ones, lower the indoor toxicity of our home, save us money and help maintain a sparkling clean home.
Sadie Wainwright is owner of The Pure Living Company, which specializes in non-toxic cleaning for people with chemical sensitivities. For more information, call her at 972-975-7873 or visit ThePureLivingCo.com.