Clean Your House By Doing This One Thing

Environmental Defence says this is the healthiest way to clean your home.

Cleaning is supposed to make our home healthier; that’s why we spend so much time stressing over it, right? But a study of 14 Canadian households by Environmental Defence revealed that when cleaning, regardless of the type of store-bought cleaners used, the VOCs rise in the house.

VOCs, also known as volatile organic compounds, are chemicals that contribute to indoor air pollution. The VOCs in many cleaning products are linked to respiratory illnesses and can impact both the developing fetus when pregnant mothers are exposed and children who are still growing.

So, while this information may be all you need to retire the spray bottle and broom for good, before you concede cleaning defeat, there’s a simple thing you can do that makes a big difference.

Open the windows.

​Yep. That’s it. The report suggests that the healthiest way to clean your home is by opening windows (or using ventilation fans) while cleaning and leaving them open for up to an hour afterward.

Now that you have the most important step to healthier cleaning handled, here are five more tips to green your cleaning routine:

Do some detective work

The Environmental Defence study revealed that the VOCs found in homes using green cleaners were significantly less than conventional cleaners. Use the EWG database to see how your products rate and decide if it’s worth swapping them out for something better.

Switch up your cleaning products

If you’re into homemade, making your cleaners couldn’t be easier. Castile soap, vinegar, baking soda are the staple ingredients to make a ton of green cleaning recipes that work, including this glass top stove recipe.

Pay attention to your floors

Children spend hours playing on the floor. Vacuum carpets regularly with a vacuum that has a HEPA filter, or wet mop bare floors to get rid of dust and toxicities that may be tracked in.

Wash your fruits and vegetables

Make a batch of this simple produce wash before eating to remove chemicals and dirt from growing. Pay close attention to fruits and vegetables that didn’t make the Clean Fifteen list.

Keep children out of the room while cleaning

I’m not advocating for children to have no chores, but try to choose ones that don’t involve using cleaning products. Kids are still developing, so it’s worthwhile to limit their exposure to VOCs. Rather, have them contribute to cleaning in an age-appropriate way by vacuuming, sorting laundry, putting away dishes, or even wiping things down with a damp rag.

The healthiest way to clean your home is always to open the windows. After that, choose to focus on one eco-friendly green cleaning tip at a time until they become part of your routine.

RELATED: You Won’t Believe What Your Family Is Breathing

Sara's a 30-something mother of two boys, an elementary teacher-turned-blogger and a social media manager and content creator for green beauty and education businesses. You can find her at Green Moms Collective.