Houston Home Service Experts

Green Cleaning Your Houston Home

Are you ready to celebrate Earth Day, Houston? Earth Day is an annual world-wide event created to generate support for environmental protection. Originally conceived at the 1969 UNESCO Conference in San Francisco, the celebration went international in 1990 and is now recognized in more than 193 countries. Observed every April 22, it is now part of an entire week of programs focused on environmental issues affecting the world.

Universal Home Experts is marking the occasion with some easy-to-follow tips on cleaning in a more eco-friendly way. Keeping your home free from commercial cleaners that contain harmful carcinogens and allergy instigators is just one way to help your household and the environment. This Earth Day, why not take some time to rid your pantry of destructive toxins – and create a more balanced and healthy cleaning regime.

Avoid the Usual Suspects:

  • Many popular kitchen and bathroom cleaners should simply be avoided altogether.
  • In the U.S., cleaning manufacturers are only required to divulge “chemicals of known concern,” bypassing a long list of chemicals that have yet to be tested for their toxicity.
  • Drain and oven cleaners (two of the worst offenders) contain ingredients that can irritate the eyes, sinuses and skin.
  • Dryer sheets and fabric softeners often contain lung and sinus irritants. These products are NOT essential in cleaning clothes and should also be avoided. In the spring and summer, consider air drying clothes.
  • Avoid any products that list these ingredients: ammonia, chlorine, phthalates, butoxyethanol, perchloroethylene (or “perc”), triclosan, quarternary ammonium compounds and sodium hydroxide.
  • Products including hand sanitizers and soaps that are sold as “antibacterial” have been linked to thyroid and heart damage. Try to avoid any antibacterial products as most contain the toxic ingredient triclosan. Instead try using nontoxic cleaners.

What’s Lurking in Your Cleaning Products?

Go Green:

  • Look for products that are sold by environmentally-friendly companies. However:
  • Not all of these “green” products are free from harmful chemicals – so be mindful of their ingredients. Choose “by product” and not necessarily by manufacturer.
  • There are “watch dog” sites that test green products for their toxicity. The Environmental Working Group tests a wide variety of eco-friendly products; check their site for helpful reviews.
  • Look for green products that are available in sustainable packaging. Look for “post-consumer” recycled packaging, which is better for the environment.
  • Many manufactured green cleaning products are stronger than they need to be. Consider adding water to dilute the stronger ones – and reduce waste.


Try DIY:

  • Celebrate Earth Day by making your own green cleaning products.
  • The best DIY cleaning products contain very few ingredients that are both easy to locate and inexpensive.
  • Most DIY cleaners contain common ingredients found in most kitchens.
  • Baking soda, lemon juice, vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, olive oil and (a staple of grandma’s) borax are all essential ingredients for natural DIY cleaners.
  • Undiluted white vinegar can help with the tough cleaning problems. It’s great for removing soap scum and hard water deposits.
  • Your local natural grocer/health food store should have the more common “exotic” ingredients including essential oils and castile soap.​

25 DIY Green Cleaning Recipes

  • Take the time this Earth Day to rid your home of the common toxic cleaners that can hurt your family and the environment. You’ll be promoting a healthier environment for your household – and saving money by using common, inexpensive ingredients. If you decide to go further in ridding your home of indoor contaminates, Universal Home Experts can help with a variety of IAQ solutions to keep your air clean and free from airborne toxins. Call us at (713) 364-0226 to schedule a professional assessment today!