Is Your Spring Cleaning Stuck in the 20th Century?

Annie B. Bond by Annie B. Bond | February 23rd, 2011 | 17 Comments
topic: Green Living, Healthy Home

sexy nature cleaner

Using toxic chemicals is so last century. If you’re still doing your spring cleaning the same way you always have, this is the year to change it up — and save money in the process. Make these five updates and clean the house top to bottom without taking a toll on your health or your wallet.

1. Sterilize using UV rays


Ultraviolet light kills 99.9 percent of viruses (including H1N1), bacteria (including MRSA), dust mites and bed bugs with a magical wave of a UV Sterilizing Wand. The one pictured here is cordless and works on virtually every surface in your home, from kitchen and bathroom surfaces to your kids’ toys.

2. Redecorate your mop closet in green

Seventh Generation All-Purpose Cleaner

Cleaning solutions running low after a long winter’s nap? Replace them with nontoxic, eco-friendly cleaners, such as those by Seventh Generation. One way to know how safe a household cleaner is? Look for “signal words” or “warning words” on the label. They’re placed there by order of the federal government, primarily for helping you protect your family’s health. Examples of signal words include:

POISON/DANGER: very toxic; just a few drops could kill you.
WARNING: moderately toxic; as little as a teaspoonful is lethal.
CAUTION: less toxic; two tablespoons to a cup could do you in.

3. Get a good doormat


The easiest way to clean your floors? Keep them from getting dirty in the first place! A doormat is the first line of defense to keep dirt out of your home, saving you time and money. You’ll be amazed at how much less dirt is tracked into the house. Plus, shoes are repositories for pesticides and heavy metals such as lead — so a good brushing of the soles at the door will help reduce exposure. And it’s easy to find eco-friendly varieties: the one pictured at right is made from recycled flip-flops, or try one made from re-purposed marine rope.

4. Try microfiber cleaning cloths

Microfiber MopMicrofiber cleaning cloths are eco-friendly because you can clean using just a small amount of water — no chemicals, no paper towels or other disposables. Microfiber cloths thoroughly remove dust, allergens and bacteria. Want to tackle your floors? Try microfiber floor mops.

5. Trade chemicals for steam

Steam CleanerSteam cleaning is a very effective way to clean to clean tile, grout, shower doors and appliances using zero chemicals — only water. These all-purpose appliances use steam at temperatures of 240° and are designed to kill germs, viruses, bed bugs and more.


  1. I hadn’t heard of using UV rays yet. Though it makes perfect sense now that I’ve read about it here. And steam cleaning too! Fabulous ideas. I’m always looking for new safe ways to clean without toxic household products. Thank you!

    Kate | March 18th, 2009 | Comment Permalink
  2. [...] Go all-out with nontoxic cleaning and weed out old stuff that’s broken or no longer serves [...]

  3. I have the uv ray thingy and its nice! We’ve been antichemical for years. I also have the shark and its all steam. LOVE IT! You can add a drop of essential oil to the water ( use one that’s good for steam) and help a cold, improve your mood or just enjoy some scent for the room.

    We’re a family of 5 and we’re rarely sick. I know its our healthy cleaning as well as healthy organic food we eat. Ditch the chemicals and get some 7th generation …or make your own with baking soda and vinegar.

    Honey Rowland | February 24th, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  4. Aren’t UV rays harmful to humans?

    Michelle | February 24th, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  5. Shoe bottoms are a major germ farm. Think about it; where have you walked today? In the dog park, the sidewalk, a public bathroom…? Then you walk into your home. If possible, make a small space, it doesn’t have to be a full blown mudroom, just a station, with a shoe rack and possibly a small narrow bench to sit on, where you can swap out your “outdoor” shoes for “indoor” shoes, if you like to wear shoes inside. That way, the germs and bacteria of the outdoor shoes stay at the door and your floors will stay so much cleaner. If you have the benefit of a covered front porch, this area could be just outside your front door as well. It doesn’t take as much time and effort as you might think and you will definitely feel the cleaner for it.

    Jen | February 24th, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  6. Michelle, UV is not good for your skin, but you will not be aiming the wand at your skin. UV is much safer than chlorine, because it does not persist in the environment. UV has been used for many years in water purification.

    Kelly | February 24th, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  7. I agree with Jen about creating a space to take off shoes. We have a shoe rack in the garage, just outside the door into the house – that way we rarely walk inside with shoes on. When I bring groceries home, I put them just inside the door for the kids to carry to the kitchen (for the added bonus of involving my children in household chores).

    kirsten | February 25th, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  8. I have been using my sterilizing wand on just about everything, particularly on beds, pillows, upholstered furniture & pet bedding. One thing that bothers me is, exactly how fast or slow should I use the wand for optimal effectiveness? I hold the wand about an inch or two above the surface which I read somewhere, but I’d like confirmation on this as well. As we all know, there is no way to check if it’s doing a great job!

    Suzanne Wagener | February 25th, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  9. Using microfiber cloths are the best way to clean without harsh chemicals and with just water and a little bleach will sanitize and disinfect your whole house.

    Matt | March 22nd, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  10. really interested in the uv wand Annie. Not come across them before but will definitely check them out. I have used steam for years, rarely do any cleaning without getting out the steamer

    John Turner | April 1st, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  11. Would this wand work in sanitizing the inside of stinky shoes, and would the oder really be eliminated permanently by using on a daily basis?

    Cathy | October 26th, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  12. Would it not be dangerous when there’s too much UV rays exposure to humans?

    Electrician Brisbane | December 8th, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  13. Just wanted to add a comment here to mention thanks for you very nice ideas. Blogs are troublesome to run and time consuming thus I appreciate when I see well written material. Your time isn’t going to waste with your posts. Thanks so much and stick with it No doubt you will definitely reach your goals! have a great time!

    Sugar Land electrician | July 30th, 2012 | Comment Permalink
  14. kirsten is right, a lot of ways that are in cleanliness habits that may involve other matters in useful ways like involving children with chores. I’ve been in Bond Cleaners Brisbane for 15 years and we do not only clean our clients place but we give them useful tips for better place to be in their new home. This article gives me additional ideas and your comments guys does helps too.

    Thanks a lot!

    karly BondCleaner | March 11th, 2013 | Comment Permalink
  15. Thank you for such an informative post. I particularly like point number five about steam cleaning. There is no doubt that steam cleaning is the way to go.It is ecofriendly and kills 99/9% of all germs on your surfaces. Use microfiber pads to blast away seated dirt and leave your floors sparkling without using chemicals.

    Tina | October 11th, 2014 | Comment Permalink
  16. Okay, I’m feeling so 20th century’s now! At least I use microfiber cloths :D

    Linda Miller | January 12th, 2015 | Comment Permalink
  17. I totally love cleaning with microfiber and I was just going to buy some microfiber cloths to replace the wash cloths I use to help me wash my face with oil.I will say that you should NOT wash your microfiber with your regular clothes. It will end up ruining them (and so will fabric softener)! I keep a bucket in my laundry room for my microfiber cloths and do a separate load every week or so. Thanks!

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