Green Cleaning Products

The TotalProtect® Home Warranty team cautions that the way many of us clean our homes -- and the cleaning products we choose to use -- could be harming us more than the germs and bacteria we are eliminating!

As reported by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), some ingredients in common household cleaning products can irritate eyes, nose, throat, skin or respiratory systems. Certain cleaners in concentrated form may be considered hazardous, requiring careful handling, storage and disposal processes. Some chemicals and compounds, like volatile organic compound (VOC) content found in some paints and coatings, can lower the safety of the air we breathe.

Think You Know What's in That Bottle? Think Again.

A USA Today April 2012 article reported that roughly three out of every four Americans wrongly believe that the cleaning products they buy are required to disclose all ingredients the same way food labels do. (Based upon a Harris Interactive survey conducted in April 2011 for Whole Foods Market.)  However, this law does not apply to household products. So you may not know for sure what is in that bottle of kitchen or bathroom cleaner.

Avoid Cleaning Hazards. Clean Safely with Tips by TotalProtect Home Warranty:

  • Choose greener cleaners over traditional products. The EPA recommends you choose products that offer one or more of these attributes: they are chemical-free, non-toxic, bio-degradable, feature lower levels of VOC content, are made with natural ingredients or are sold with reusable, reduced or recyclable packaging, which also helps reduce packaging waste and transportation emissions.
  • Make your own greener cleaners. A little vinegar or baking soda mixed into warm water is a cheap, eco-friendly and effective cleaning solution used for generations.
  • Always ensure adequate ventilation when using any product with harsh chemicals, flammable materials or higher VOC content. TotalProtect Home Warranty experts recommend you wear a face mask that covers your mouth and nose. Keep nearby windows and doors open to ensure proper ventilation.  Never breathe in the fumes at close range!

Efficient Air Conditioning and Heating Systems Can Reduce Air Hazards Too.

During extreme winter or summer climates, windows and doors are usually tightly sealed against outside elements. It is especially important that your heating or air conditioning unit is filtering your indoor air properly, to avoid toxic buildup re-circulating repeatedly throughout your home.

By following the recommendations in this article, along with maintaining properly-functioning systems, you will go a long way towards ensuring that the air inside your home is safer for your loved ones to breathe!

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The information in this article is intended for the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are intended to indicate coverage by our home warranty or service plans. Please review your contract carefully to understand what your product coverage entails.

Cleaning hazard safety tips shared in this article are published by the Environmental Protection Agency (epa.gov) and USA Today (usatoday.com)

 

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