Got a green dilemma? Ask me! I'll be answering a new question each week.
Q: Is there an eco-friendly substitute for bleach that I can use on my bathroom tiles? —Nicolette Jarvis
A: First, remember to ventilate! Mildew and mold that infest grout thrive on humidity. Toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in household cleaners have recently been associated with elevated risks of breast cancer, so instead of chlorine, which is terribly caustic and harms aquatic life, scrub an oxygen-based bleach such as Biokleen’s on your grout with a toothbrush or stiff grout brush. You can also try making your own paste using baking soda and a little water and white vinegar.
Mindy Pennybacker is Whole Living’s “Econundrums” columnist. See her answers to reader questions and ask your own here. She is also editor of GreenerPenny.com and author of Do One Green Thing: Saving the Earth Through Simple, Everyday Choices.