Tag Archives: cleaning

Clean and Green

As a child, I hated cleaning day, but not for the reasons you might think. I disliked it because of the strong chemicals used to clean the house. The harshly strong scents of ammonia, starch, and chlorine bleach hurt my nose, gave me headaches, and caused skin rashes, but I didn’t connect my symptoms with cleaning products until I was an adult.

Most people don’t associate their home-sweet-homes with toxins but many homes are unknowingly filled with them. And many commonly used cleaning products are just as bad, if not worse.

For example:

  • Scented laundry detergent, fabric softener, and dryer sheets

  • Mold and mildew

  • Toxic gases from: carpeting and rugs, shower curtains, sheets and towels, and dry-cleaned clothing to name a few

  • Plug-in, spray, and other air fresheners

The library has many books to help you green your house for the environment and your health.

You can clean your house with borax, baking soda, lemon juice, and white vinegar. Even old-fashioned, been-around-forever Bon Ami cleanser is non-toxic or you can buy many of the green cleaning products available everywhere now in ready-made formulas including Seventh Generation, J.R. Watkins, and Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day to name a few.

For more ways to detox your home of harmful chemicals that cause allergies, headaches, and skin irritations, here are a few suggestions:


Toxic Free: How to Protect your Health and Home from the Chemicals that Are Making You Sick

by Debra Dadd-Redalia


Home Safe Home: Protecting Yourself and Your Family From Everyday Toxics and Harmful Household Products

by Debra Lynn Dadd


What’s in This Stuff? The Hidden Toxins in Everyday Products and What You Can Do About Them by Pat Thomas



Filed under Uncategorized

Spring cleaning on a grand scale.

 The cleaning of the building’s exterior brought a dramatic change, as one hundred years of soot and smoke from the steel industry gave way to the clean sandstone. No longer a daunting black edifice, the cleaned library now invites people inside, where they can enjoy the newly renovated first floor.

– The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Annual Report 1989

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I found these striking images of the Main Library while flipping idly through our slide collection, and of course had to share them. Please excuse the questionable image quality; these are cell phone photographs of magnified slides. It’s hard to find a slide projector these days!

If you have some cleaning of your own to do, we (of course) have all sorts of books to help you, whether you’re spiffing up your building, bus, house, fish (yes, I know that’s different), quilt, or even space suit. No, really.

– Amy, who didn’t know that we had manuals for cleaning buses, but who somehow isn’t surprised


Filed under Uncategorized