How to Clean your Home the Eco Friendly Way – and Why you Should!
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Take a look at your household cleaning products – how many have you got? If you’re anything like the average household, you’ll have products to clean the floor, one to clean the bathtub, another for the kitchen sink, specialized ones for countertops, formulas for glass, different ones for polishing wooden furniture, and yet more for drains and ovens.
But you really don’t need all these different products. I use one simple household ingredient to clean countertops, sinks, the bathtub and hob, and it’s so safe you can eat it!
But why should I bother to use eco friendly cleaning products?
There are many reasons to ‘green clean’, but one of the most compelling ones is about our health. Did you know that indoor air pollution can be greater than outdoor? Scientists now believe that indoor air pollution can be two to five times worse than outdoor air pollution, due to the amount of chemicals we use in our homes. That’s shocking isn’t it? Many of us are living in a chemical soup that we have brought into our homes, believing that these products are keeping our homes clean and safe!
Green cleaning is better for the environment too. If you have a cesspit or septic tank, you’ll know all about the importance of using the right products. I learned the hard way in my first home and went out one morning to a garden covered in unmentionables – I later learned it was because I’d been regularly using bleach. Not only did it disrupt the health of my cesspit, it was affecting my health too! By choosing products with care, you’ll know exactly what you are pouring into the water system. Every cleaning product we use eventually ends up in the environment at large where it can affect wildlife, the ground, the water and the air.
Do eco friendly products really work?
I’m going to let you into one of the most closely guarded secrets to green cleaning and how to get those more natural and less toxic products working effectively for you:
Prevention really is better than cure.
There’s a reason why manufacturers use terribly harsh ingredients in products such as drain cleaners or oven cleaners – it’s because they work on those procrastination jobs we never want to do – the ones that have built up to such an extent you need an industrial strength product to tackle it! But if we take small steps each day to PREVENT a problem building up, then safer and less toxic products are just as effective. In other words, if you do not allow dirt, grease and germs to build up, you will not need harsh chemicals to deal with them.
Here are some simple ideas you can incorporate into your daily routine:
- Trap and remove dirt and pollutants with good-quality doormats before they enter your home.
- Regularly dust and vacuum to minimize particles in the air, which can lead to allergies.
- Wipe around kitchen and bathroom surfaces on a daily basis so that greasy spots and soap scum do not build up.
- Dry surfaces properly so that bacteria cannot multiply, reducing the risk of mould and mildew forming. [Did you know your kitchen sponge could be 200,000 times dirtier than your toilet seat?!]
- Wash your hands before preparing food to reduce the need for anti-bacterial products around your home.
- Keep areas such as door handles, toilet flushes and light switches clean to give germs less chance to breed.
If you keep ‘short accounts’ as my husband likes to call it, then you can absolutely use more natural and less toxic products to clean your home.
My favourite eco friendly cleaning ingredient!
Now if you’re curious about that one product I mentioned that gets used for 80% of my cleaning jobs, it’s simply bicarbonate of soda (baking soda – NOT baking powder, that’s something different; keep it for your cakes)!
Baking soda is a versatile, all-purpose, non-toxic, mildly alkaline cleaner. It cleans, deodorizes, scours, polishes and removes stains. Baking soda can help dirt and grease to dissolve in water, so is very effective in the kitchen to clean countertops, sinks and tiles. It makes an effective oven and hob cleaner, cleans burnt saucepans and will bring a shine to bath tubs and sinks. It can even help freshen your drains and toilet bowl.
In the laundry, baking soda eliminates perspiration odours, softens fabrics and removes some stains. Its deodorizing properties make it useful to sprinkle on carpets and upholstery before vacuuming, and on pet bedding. Baking soda absorbs odours from the air in your home, making a useful air freshener. Baking soda will clean and polish aluminum, chrome, jewellery, plastic, porcelain, stainless steel and even silver without scratching.
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