Creating a safer home environment requires both safer products and safer practices.
- See the Safer Cleaning Factsheet for safe products, including simple recipes using only a few ingredients
- Reduce the number of cleaning products you use
- Separate products to clean windows, countertops, floors, bathrooms and kitchens are often unnecessary
- Reduce potential hazards associated with multiple products
- Can save you money
- Dilute cleaning products according to instructions
- Follow label directions and only use what is needed to effectively clean
- Be sure to ventilate the space you clean by opening doors and windows
- Chemical cleaning products can generate vapors as well as vacuuming and dusting can generate settled dust into your breathing zone
- Remove 98-99% of all dirt with just water
- No need for chemicals, effectively cleans without chemical cleaning products
- Can reuse microfiber cloth repeatedly
- Works safely on nearly any surface, specific cloths for specific surfaces
Use vacuums that have "high efficiency particulate air" HEPA filters
- Can trap large amount of very small particles that other vacuum cleaners re-circulate back in the air
- Trap at least 99.97 percent of particles of .3 microns
Use doormats at all entryways
- Having large enough doormats at all entryways reduces the amount of soil and dirt tract in from the outside
- Less soil results in less frequent cleaning is needed
Wear protective equipment
- Wear rubber gloves to protect your skin
- Dust mask
- Wash your hands regularly when handling chemicals
- Be aware of ingredients, warnings and first aid
- Never mix two cleaning products, especially those containing ammonia, chlorine, bleach or other acids
Avoid using antibacterial and anti-microbial cleaning products
- Do not demonstrate extra health benefits
- Can contribute to allergies and super germs
Properly store and dispose of products
- Certain cleaning products require specialized storage such as temperature range, away from any moisture and away from a heat source.
- All cleaning products should always be kept out of reach from children.
- Dispose of extra cleaning product at the Hazardous Waste Facility or set up a pick-up appointment.
Additional Information for Home Cleaning
San Francisco is habitat for 800,000 people – meeting needs for space to work, play, and learn; for food, water, and air; for community with local flora and fauna. SF Environment provides support for urban agriculture and forestry and green buildings, helping residents and businesses harness environmental opportunities.