When it comes to cleaning, there’s a clear catch-22: most traditional cleaning techniques simply swap dust and biodegradable food particles for nasty chemicals that pose potential health risks. Sure, your counter looks nice, but is it really so “clean” you could eat off of it? For healthier, more eco-friendly cleaning, it’s time to get creative with a few alternative techniques.
8. Shop for natural supplies
One of the best methods for green cleaning is simply to swap your traditional cleaning supplies for their more eco-friendly counterparts. This can mean hunting for products that are free of phosphates, petroleum and chlorine, or simply going the unscented route. Biodegradable cleaning supplies provide a much more earth and health-conscious clean.
7. Think beyond traditional cleaning products
Believe it or not, your eco-friendly cleaning solution might already be hiding in your kitchen cabinet. Distilled white vinegar, for instance, can do everything from brighten surfaces, to erase marks, to clean windows and floors, to put a little shine in your hair (if you can stand the smell).
Baking soda is another powerful natural agent, good for scrubbing the toilet or keep that fridge smelling nice. Or, you can make your own cleaning solutions by following one of many simple recipes
6. Conserve water
Try to get away with sweeping rather than mopping when you can, and don’t run water unless you’re really using it at that moment. You can also conserve water simply by determining whether it’s soft or hard, as hard water will be more effective and efficient with detergent rather than with.
5. Put old clothes to work
You don’t need to chuck that favorite old t-shirt when it has a hole. Give it new life by using it as a rag rather than reaching for the paper towels. Sure, it may seem a low fate for such a beloved article, but that t-shirt will be far more effective at cleaning than one use paper towels that just tear anyway, and if it’s helping you reduce your impact on the environment, isn’t that a rewarding role?
4. Refresh with plants
Whether in the form of potpourri or a fresh vase of flowers, plants are a natural air freshener. You don’t need to buy chemical-ridden “Mountain Meadow” in a spray can when you’ve got the real thing.
3. Air dry
Unless you live in a place as humid as the rainforest, air drying is a relatively fast, energy and cost-efficient way to dry those clothes, especially when you use a foldable drying rack rather than a line. And you’ll notice a nice, fresh smell the next time you wear your clothes — the kind no chemical detergent can emulate.
2. Washable mops
Mopping can be an eco-puzzle. Do you use a disposable mop and create unnecessary waste, or do you use a regular mop that eventually will become filthy to the point of being unusable? Neither. Invest in a mop with washable heads. Just toss ‘em in the washer with your other cleaning rags and you’ll be good to go, having avoided the waste basket entirely.
Perhaps one of the best techniques for eco-cleaning is simply to get rid of stuff you don’t need. You’ll feel good when you de-clutter, and hey, when you drag those old toys out for a yard sale, the dust caked onto them is someone else’s problem.
So there you have it. With these 8 Eco Cleaning Tips, your house will achieve that sparkle without dumping a bunch of chemicals into your living space. What could be better (and more natural) than that?