With all this extra cleaning to do, it is a perfect time to reconsider your choice of cleaning products. Josh Dorfman, author and host of the Sundance channel's The Lazy Environmentalist, says using cleaning products made with nontoxic ingredients is common sense. "The [Environmental Protection Agency] has routinely said indoor air quality is usually two to five times worse than outdoor air quality," he says. "There is research just starting to come out that is just starting to show the dangers that may be involved [with chemical cleaners]. But my feeling is: Why mess around with that stuff? The logic says to me if you could clean with the stuff that's natural and without harsh chemicals, do it."
One option is to go retro—using cleaners made out of vinegar, baking soda and water. These products are inexpensive, and they drastically reduce wasteful packaging, but that's only if people spend the time needed to mix them. "I don't think most Americans will take the time to make their own products," Dorfman says.
Instead, he encourages people to fight grime with the newest lines of ecologically friendly products. "When you're talking about natural cleaners, compared to the overall cleaning market, it's still just a very small piece of it. Most people aren't using these cleaners yet," he says. "It's a big step. People are set in their ways, and if they have a cleaning product that they think works, it's a big step for people to say, 'Well, I'll try something else.'"
The inherent difficulty in getting people to change their consumption habits is why Dorfman says his favorite ecologically friendly cleaning products are those that you can find in just about any supermarket. "As the Lazy Environmentalist, my feeling is you really have to make green products affordable and available in places people already go to shop," he says. "Most people still are unwilling to go out of their way or be inconvenienced to make what I would call a greener choice."
Are you willing to make a change to get rid of sink and showerhead bacteria? Share you opinion in the comments section below.