Healthy Cleaning Supplies for the Art Room

Healthy cleaning supplies for your classroom.

The new school year is well under way, and I have already started gathering some supplies I know I will need for my classroom. In addition to some non-traditional ‘art’ supplies such as toilet paper rolls and egg cartons, the number one thing on my list is cleaning supplies.

Now, my children are home schooled but if they weren’t I’d be purchasing some green cleaning supplies for my kids’ teachers. Why? Because most of the supplies used to clean desks and wash the floors in schools are toxic according to the Environmental Working Group’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning.

The Environmental Working Group ( is a third-party health and advocacy group. They test products for harmful chemicals. What’s really cool is that they also have a database that you can enter a chemical name and get data regarding its use in the US and overseas. EWG uses their influence to pressure government agencies to push for tighter regulations to protect people’s health.

Classroom Cleaning

I am known for keeping a clean art room. I don’t think a year has gone by that I haven’t been complimented (most often by the maintenance and cleaning staff) on my room’s cleanliness. Now, I know that people are hired to clean my classroom; however, I think it is important to teach my students that cleaning up after themselves is nobody’s business but their own. Also, why make a custodian’s life more burdensome when by merely taking an extra minute or two to wipe something down could save them 15-20 minutes worth of accumulated dirt and grime?

I originally used products like Simple Green until I realized it’s like death in a bottle!

Simple Yet Effective

I now keep a box of baking soda and distilled white vinegar in a spray bottle for my room. These simple household items do a really fine job and are safe for my students to use with paper towels and no gloves. Okay, they may smell like they have been dying Easter eggs when they get done but isn’t that better than exposing them to toxic chemicals? Other around-the-house-options are available, too. In fact, a simple, online search for safe and effective homemade cleaning recipes will show.

When I need something a little stronger, I will use Bon Ami after the kids go home. It receives an “A” on EWG’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning. I also use Seventh Generation’s Disinfecting Multi-Surface Cleaner (Lemongrass Citrus). As of this 2016 post, EWG rated this product an “A” in their Guide to Healthy Cleaning. It’s available from Target for under $3.

Check out EWG’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning to make sure what you use at home isn’t secretly making you and your family sick!

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