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Keeping Clean and Green with Vacuums, Mops, and Brooms

There are many ways to be eco-friendly, even when cleaning up your house. Whenever you do something like cleaning your floor, whether you’re using a vacuum, a mop, or a broom, you’re having an effect on the environment. With the different variations of each, some types are more ecologically friendly than others. So which one do you want to use around your house to be green?

To be as green as you can be, your best bet among the three would be a good corn broom. Given the materials used to make it (a good wood handle and corn bristles) and the amount of energy expended to use it (nothing more than elbow grease), cleaning with a corn broom is your most ecologically friendly option. It certainly is not the easiest of the three to use, and it may require the most energy, but if you want to do everything you can to save the planet, buy and use a broom.

Of course, the majority of Americans have carpeting at least somewhere in their home, so exclusively using a broom to clean isn’t always practical. A vacuum is a necessity for cleaning a carpet thoroughly. And for those of us who have hardwood floors, a broom might not be enough to keep things neat. Sometimes a good wet mop will help get your hard floor a bit cleaner.

If you need one of each tool, there are several qualities you can look for that will make your vacuum, mop, or broom greener than others. Keep an eye out for these eco-friendly tools, and learn the best practices for using them that will help make you less wasteful as you tidy up.


Using a vacuum eats up a lot of energy. Being more ecologically friendly while using a vacuum is as simple as not vacuuming less-traveled areas of your house as often, and not vacuuming hardwood, linoleum, or tiled sections of flooring in your home.

As far as buying a new green vacuum, there are many that are now made of recycled plastics and operate noise-free. HEPA filters, which help trap allergens, are becoming a standard in vacuums. Bagless vacuums are also more environmentally friendly than those that require you throw a bag away. While many vacuums are made using PVC plastics, these plastics contain chemicals and are harmful to the environment. Try to find a vacuum that is made with PVC-free plastics.


Be cautious of using products that use throwaway sheets, either the dry or the wet kind. A standard dry mop that uses a wood handle is a great bet for mopping. While wet mopping uses a significant amount of water, string mops with cotton strings and wood or metal handles are very ecologically friendly.


Most brooms are pretty simple. To reiterate, a corn broom with a wood handle is almost completely made from renewable sources. At the very least, completely avoid plastic brooms with plastic straws. These brooms are made from non-green sources and you cannot recycle them once they have run their course.

Doing some research into each cleaning option will go a long way to keeping your whole home green. You can learn many ways you can use each while still being environmentally friendly, and find some of the best options for buying recyclable or renewable tools that will get the job done every time.

Danielle, who blogs on behalf of Sears and other prestigious brands, enjoys music festivals and clean, green living. Read her work at

Clay Miller
the authorClay Miller
I am the creator/writer of and I'm an advocate for oceans, beaches, state parks. I enjoy all things outdoors (e.g. running, golf, gardening, hiking, etc.) I am a graduate of the University of Kentucky (Go Wildcats!!). I'm also a huge fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I was born and raised in the beautiful state of Kentucky.

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