Worst green cleaning mistakes

Whether you are buying green cleaning products or making your own, remember to avoid these green cleaning mistakes.

1. Falling for greenwashing.

Research the green cleaners that you buy through a third party organization.  There are no regulations for companies that claim “green”, “natural”, “ecofriendly”, etc.  Don’t be tricked by the gimmicky marketing.

2. Too concentrated.

Many people fail to dilute lemon juice, vinegar, and other natural cleaners, which can cause damage to the surface you are cleaning.  You are also wasting money, so dilute it down to the concentration you need.

3. Assuming natural cleaners won’t hurt surfaces.

Natural cleaners may be safer than traditional cleaners, but it doesn’t mean that it can’t discolor, fade, scratch, react with, or etch surfaces you are trying to clean.  Natural stones are the most common surface to be damaged cleaners- natural or traditional.

4. Mixing vinegar and soap.

Castile soap is a base and vinegar is an acid.  When you mix them together, they cancel each other out.  The vinegar “unsaponifies” the soap and you are left with a mess that does nothing.

5. Mixing products.

Do not mix products when you don’t know how they will react to each other.  Follow the instructions for each product.  Don’t mix two products together because they clean so well.  You could be creating dangerous gases.

6. Using chlorine bleach.

It kills about anything it touches, including your skin, your lungs, your pets, your plants.  When it is mixed with other substances, it can be even more toxic.  Just don’t do it.

7. You don’t properly store your green cleaners.

Essential oils will break down plastic over time, so don’t store cleaners with essential oil in a plastic container.  Hydrogen Peroxide breaks down when exposed to heat and sunlight, so store it in a cool place in a dark container.  Every product have different needs.  Also remember to keep products away from children and pets, even if they are natural cleaners.

8. Rushing things.

Allow the product to sit for a few minutes before you wipe or scrub it off.  It takes time for the cleaners to loosen the dirt and disinfect the germs.

9. Thinking natural is safe.

Just because something is natural doesn’t mean that it is 100% safe.  Many poisons are naturally occurring.  Read the product label.  Natural cleaners are safer than traditional cleaners but it can still irritate or damage your eyes, skin, or lungs.  Wear gloves and keep adequate ventilation.

10. You think vinegar kills all germs and can clean anything.

Vinegar is only a mild disinfectant.  It will not kill all germs and viruses.  Also be careful when cleaning with vinegar.  It can damage stone surfaces and strip many floor finishes.

11. Getting the wrong recipes for natural cleaners.

Only use recipes from trusted sources.  You don’t want to ruin the surfaces you are cleaning or waste money and time on things that just don’t work.