Green Cleaning before Disinfecting!


There is a step before disinfecting that many might skip.  You might think, “to save some time, why not just spray the counters down with a bleach solution and wipe away any dirt and grime at the same time?”  But to effectively disinfect a surface, it must be properly cleaned first. The CDC recommends using a household cleaner and EPA-registered disinfectant on high touch surfaces daily

“'Cleaning' refers to the removal of germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces. It does not kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.

'Disinfecting' refers to using chemicals, for example, EPA-registered disinfectants, to kill germs on surfaces. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection." - CDC

Many households choose to use commercially available household cleaners. Common cleaning products like Fabuloso, Pine-Sol, or 409 contain harsh chemicals that impact air quality and can pose a serious health risk to people with asthma.  

Instead, there are a variety of safe alternatives that are simple, effective, affordable, and healthy.  There are many recipes can be used to replace the most commonly used household cleaners, some can be found on the Healthy Homes' website here, here, and here. The most basic and versatile is just soapy vinegar water:

Multipurpose Household Green Cleaning Solution:

  • 1 part white vinegar
  • 2 parts water
  • Quarter-sized amount of unscented dish soap



Stubborn dirt?  Use a bit of baking soda and water as a scrubbing agent on tough spots before cleaning with soapy water.  Switching to green-cleaning (before disinfection!) will improve your home's air quality, remove harsh chemicals from your environment and help you stay safe at home.