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A greener way to clean floors and hard surfaces is to ditch chemicals al together. One of the most thorough ways to clean without chemicals is with a steam cleaner. The heat kills germs, is effective at pulling up dirt, and doesn't leave surfaces wet. But there is a big problem with steam cleaners - they require a whole heck of a lot of electricity. The average steam cleaner requires between 1200 and 1500 watts to heat up that water and spit out the steam.

Thankfully, a lower power option is hitting the market, requiring "just" 800 watts to clean floors sans chemicals. While it's not the greenest option (a homemade cleaner, rag, and elbow grease is of course the greenest) it is a great alternative for someone who needs the speedy convenience of a steam cleaner. We'd like to point out Romi Haan's Floor Sanitizer. Priced at a fairly reasonable $90, it can clean hard surfaces like hardwood, laminate, marble, slate, and other surfaces, and a special attachment allows it to clean carpets and soft surfaces as well. And it uses washable and reusable microfiber pads to clean dirt and germs away.

Using only steam to get rid of pathogens, bacteria and grime is pretty great, especially if it can be done with less and less electricity. A big plus to this will be someday seeing it solar powered , or even better, utilizing the waste heat to reduce it's electrical draw.

For more green cleaning ideas, be sure to visit our How to Go Green Guides for the Home and Garden, where you'll find tips on everything having to do with eco-friendly cleaning.

Whether it's DIY green renovation tips you're looking for or 5 ways to reuse nearly everything you can think of, learn how with Planet Green Home & Garden.