5 Simple Yet Effective Eco-Friendly Cleaning Tips
When we make such an effort to save electricity, reduce waste, and be friends to the environment, we could be undoing all that hard work with our cleaning routine. It’s an easy mistake to make – we assume that because we use toxic products in such small quantities that they have a minimal effect. In actuality, the tiny quantities still make their way into the ecosystem through our drains or the air one way or another. Not to mention the effect they have on our bodies when we are exposed to them on a regular basis. But all is not lost – turning your cleaning routine green is actually very straightforward, inexpensive, and most importantly, sustainable. Check out these eco-friendly cleaning tips.
Get eco-friendly products
Non-toxic cleaning products are the backbone of any green cleaning routine. They get your home just as clean, smelling just as fresh, but they don’t put unnecessary pressure on the environment, or expose you and your family to harsh chemicals. Baking soda is one product you’ll just not be able to get enough of. It is slightly alkaline in nature, making it perfect for neutralizing acid-based smells in water, and removing bad odors from the air. It can even make a great non-abrasive cleaner for sinks and baths, kitchen counters, and ovens – all you have to do is sprinkle a little bit on a damp sponge and rub in a circular motion. To remove odors place in a small dish in the fridge, on the kitchen counter, or even sprinkle a tiny amount into carpets to leave them smelling fresh and clean.
White vinegar and lemon juice are also amazing products to hand. They achieve essentially the opposite of baking soda as they are both slightly acidic. They’re amazing for removing limescale buildup on faucets and showerheads, and wiping dirt away from wooden surfaces without damaging the varnish. Their finest talent, however, is cleaning glass and mirrors, especially if you use scrunched-up newspaper to really buff it in. Half a lemon in the fridge is also a great way to remove unwanted odors.
Don’t turn your back on good old soap and water
The world has become a bit obsessed with antibacterial products, especially in the homes. The problem is, they’re both a little bit toxic, but they can even help bacteria to become more resilient to anti-bacterial spray, making them more difficult to kill. Whether you’re washing your hands or cleaning the kitchen counter, consider using just good old soap and water, and a little bit of elbow grease – you’ll get the same effects, without all the toxic chemicals.
Prioritize air circulation
One of the most often over-looked eco-friendly cleaning tips is prioritizing air circulation. Stagnant air can be full of toxins and allergens, which we naturally don’t want in our homes. Unfortunately, our cleaning products aren’t just the only route in for toxins – they exist in a lot of furniture and soft furnishings too. The good news, however, is that good air circulation can help to remove these toxins from the home. Whenever you can, and it isn’t too hot outside, open all the windows to your house, and all internal doors, and let the air flow through. You can even use fans to give it an extra boost.
Clean the air naturally
If you’re susceptible to allergies, or you’re worried about mold spores in your home, you might be tempted to use an air purifier. Did you know that you could do this all naturally too? A few well-placed houseplants are perfect for cleaning toxins out of the air and leaving your home fresh and clean. And if you’re worried about unwanted smells, don’t turn to air fresheners and diffuser reeds – get imaginative. Start by sprinkling a bit of baking soda around the offending area, and then use a water diffuser and beeswax candle with your favorite essential oil to bring scents you love into your home. Around Christmas, try boiling a pan of water filled with cinnamon, star anise, and cloves to fill your home with the smell of the season, without using unnatural candles.
Choose natural accessories
The toxic chemicals aren’t the only unsustainable and potentially harmful part of our cleaning routine – the accessories can be chock full of unwanted chemicals too. Sponges, mops, and clothes could all contain harmful products. Try to ensure you use environmentally friendly products if you can. While they may seem more expensive upfront, they tend to be made the last – as is the nature of sustainability – so you could end up spending a lot less on cleaning accessories. To really make a difference, cut out the paper towels and start using sections of old clothes instead. Rags made this way are far more sustainable, and it’s great to recycle old clothes too!
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Water is one of those resources that we can all be guilty of taking for granted, but actually, we can be quite wasteful. Saving water in cleaning, whether it’s mopping the garage, washing the car, or watering the yard, can save you significant amounts of money on your bill, and do your bit for helping the environment. In many cases, high-pressure air can make a great substitute for water when cleaning. For example, if you want to blast away the dirt and buildup in your garage, don’t use a pressure hose, use an air compressor. The compressed air will allow you to remove the build up, without wasting a single drop of water. When choosing the best portable air compressor, be sure to consider all the ways it can be used around the house and in your DIY. It could save you significant amounts of money on electricity too, as it can power tools, and even make it significantly easier to paint your fence and exterior walls.
A great way to conserve water is by collecting rainwater and using it to wash cars, water the yard, and even flush toilets. We use perfectly good drinking water for all these activities, meaning we are paying for the cleaning costs of that water unnecessarily. When the rain falls for free, why not capture some and use it to your advantage?
Turning your cleaning routine green is far more straightforward than it sounds. It’s just a matter of banishing toxic chemicals, and making the most of more sustainable products in their wake. I hope you use these eco-friendly cleaning tips to keep your home and our earth, clean.