When you have a new baby, keeping your home in pristine condition is of the utmost importance, but choosing the right products and cleaning methods if important is you wish to preserve their health. The EPA has warned that the air in many American homes is of worse quality than the air outside, and one big culprit is volatile organic compounds (VOCs)—chemicals that vaporize at room temperature. VOCs are present in cleaning supplies such as rug and upholstery cleaners, oven cleaners, furniture and floor polish, and more. The good news is that there are many effective, more natural ways to keep your baby’s surroundings clean while also maintaining the purity of your indoor air.
Cleaning Large Surfaces Such as Floors and Sofas
Consider investing in a good steam vacuum cleaner, which only requires water. These machines emit steam, which kills bacteria while effectively removing dirt from a myriad of areas—including curtains, floors, carpets, and fabric sofas. Many steam vacuums also come with smaller apparatuses for kitchen equipment like ovens, so you can rely less on chemical products and more on the power of hot water. One of the best things about powerful vacuums is that they can also eliminate fur from surfaces—which is great news if you have pets.
Gentle Toy Cleaning Products
Choosing the right way to keep baby toys spotless is vital, since little ones often stick both soft and hard toys into their mouths frequently. Avoid harsh products like bleach and polishes, as they are toxic and can cause health issues like allergies, eczema, eye damage, and many more serious problems. A natural alternative for bleach is water and distilled white vinegar (at a 1:1 ratio). Feel free to add a little tea tree oil, which is a natural antiseptic. You can also mix water with lemon juice to clean surfaces. Avoid the use of antibacterial soaps, especially if they contain plastic microbeads (since these harm the environment). Instead, pop soft toys into the washing machine, clean hard toys with vinegar and water, and bleach white items naturally by keeping them in the sun.
Choosing Natural Fragrances
Instead of buying spray air fresheners, fill your home with a beautiful, clean smell with the help of an essential oil diffuser and therapeutic-grade essential oils. Research the different effects of oils. Lavender and orange have a relaxing effect. Other oils that are safe for babies include chamomile, copaiba, lemon, tangerine, bergamot, and ylang-ylang. Keep your diffuser out of the reach of your baby, but let them enjoy the beautiful smells that this handy device emits.
Most new parents are extra vigilant about keeping their home clean when their baby arrives. There are many ways to do so without harming your indoor air quality. These include relying on green, baby-safe products on the market, making your own DIY cleaning solutions, and relying on the power of a quality steam vacuum. When it comes to fragrance, keep it natural, choosing oils that are safe for babies as well as pets if your home also has four-pawed creatures running about.