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Healthy Housekeeping

Getting kids involved in housework not only alleviates the parent's work load, but it also instills a good work ethic and sense of responsibility in children. It is important, however, that we are careful about what cleaning products we have our children use. Many household cleaners present serious risks to children that go beyond poisoning by ingestion. The fumes of chemicals can cause serious respiratory problems and eye irritation. The contact of chemicals to the skin can also cause serious irritation.

For those of us living in rural areas with septic systems and well water, we also need to consider the harmful effects these chemicals have on these systems. Cleaning products interfere with the natural break-down process of septic sytems, requiring the tank to be emptied more often. Also, since septic systems release the fluids back into the sand mound, those chemicals are finding their way into the ground, and potentially into the well water.

There are many green products on the market that make for much wiser choices for the health conscious parent. They do come with a higher price tag, so let's discuss inexpensive home-made cleaners.

Baking soda and vinegar are both inexpensive and have powerful cleaning properties, and when used together, make an effective drain cleaner. Baking soda mixed with a small amount of water makes a great scouring agent to clean tubs, showers, and sinks. Vinegar mixed with water makes a great floor and window cleaner. You can also add lemon oil for a nice lemony smell, so the house isn't only clean, but smells clean.

If you have any healthy housekeeping tips, please share them in the comments section below. Happy cleaning!

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