Spring is nearly upon us, and once again, people everywhere are beginning to get that itch to throw open their windows and let the fresh air in. While this is undoubtedly a time of great cleanliness, it also means myriad household chemicals floating through the air, commingling with one another and their cloying pine, lemon and bleach scents. Outside the home is no different. Numerous chemicals exist to clean not just your home’s siding, but the driveway, windows and doors, as well, and not all of them are particularly healthy — for you or the environment.
Green housecleaning products used outdoors help reduce your exposure to harmful chemicals and have the added bonus of avoiding killing the flowers under your windows. Unfortunately, these may not always be so easy to find, and may not be exactly what their labeling makes them appear to be. Before you buy, check out Green Seal.org to find lists of environmentally-friendly cleaning products that really are what they claim to be.
For our home, the exterior was the greatest challenge to undertake. In our area of the country, moss tends to grow on the siding, so it can start looking dingy pretty quickly. In addition, the high levels of pollen that waft through the air in early spring leave a fine coating of yellow dust on everything. Fortunately, both the pollen and the accumulated greenery don’t require detergents to clean off. A pressure washer with plain tap water was more than adequate to remove the built-up dirt and discoloration. While it wasn’t necessary to use chemicals for my light cleaning job, heavy jobs may require a bit more cleansing power. If necessary, step up to a phosphate-free detergent to really bring out the clean.
Finally, don’t forget to make sure that your gutters are nice and clean. Any leaves or other debris you find there makes great compost, particularly if its a little damp from melting snowfall. Once you’re done, it won’t matter what color your home is, inside or out, you’ll be certain to find yourself living in one of the “greenest” houses on the block!
Seventh Generation: eco-friendly cleaning products: www.seventhgeneration.com
Green Seal: About Green Seal: www.greenseal.org