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Healthy Holiday Homes

While the holiday season is a time for fun and cheer, it can wreak havoc on your housekeeping. Snow- and salt-covered shoes, kids playing inside, cooking and baking and holiday trimming all add up to more mess. Traditional cleaning products can harm the environment, people and pets, so try these tips from two local, eco-friendly cleaning services.

•    Before you do any cleaning, rid your home of products containing pollutants, such as candles, synthetic fragrance products and room fresheners, recommends Wells Ye, owner of Fresh Tech Maids, based in Evanston and Prospect Heights.
•    Avoid washing clothes with scented detergents and softeners, and avoid conventional dry cleaning, adds Ye.
•    Don’t use hazardous aerosol oven cleaners after holiday baking. Instead, says Rebecca Adams, owner of A Safe Home Cleaning Service, try aluminum oven liners, which make cleanup easy. They’re reusable, too. If you can’t find a liner, use a cookie baking sheet.
•    Both Ye and Adams recommend natural items for quick and effective cleaning. “Lemon is great for sinks and drains,” says Ye. “Vinegar removes mineral deposits in the bathroom.” Allow 15 to 30 minutes after spraying for these products to work.
•    To make glass and mirrors sparkle, Adams suggests using one bottle of club soda in an 8- or 16-ounce spray bottle, and wiping with two lint-free cloths (one for wetting and one for drying). “This solution doesn’t contain harmful ammonia, which is irritating to the eyes, nose and lungs,” she says.

If you’d rather be visiting with friends and family than tidying up, a green cleaning service can save you time and help you breathe easier, too.

Fresh Tech Maid Services, 847-459-1700, A Safe Home Cleaning Service, 773-465-2191,