Keeping ourselves and the environment healthy is a top priority. And using green cleaning products in your daily life may be a great idea for people wanting to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle. In this article, we will take a look at some ideas of how to make cleaning safe for the environment and give you some tips on what products you can use for that.
So, if you:
- Have decided to use green clean products and are looking for “recipes” and ideas;
- Wonder if natural ingredients are as effective in killing bacteria as commercial ones;
- Have already tried cleaning some stuff with eco-friendly ingredients and are wondering what else you can or can’t clean this way;
Then, keep reading and we will tell you all about natural cleaning.
What does green cleaning actually mean?
For some people, green cleaning means making their own solutions with natural ingredients they have to clean their home. For others, using manufactured, eco-friendly green cleaners is the way to go. In both cases, people, who are considering switching to green cleaning, are looking for ways to reduce their adverse impact on the environment. These types of products and ingredients are not only Nature-friendly, but they are also generally safer for people, as well.
It is not easy, though, to evaluate which product is safer and “greener”. While natural ingredients, such as vinegar, baking soda, lemon, etc. are common substances to use for green cleaning, when you opt for commercial products, it is often hard to determine which are safe and which are misleadingly labelled. Many companies put labels such as “eco-friendly” and “natural” without having any certification at all. A good idea, when looking into a new commercial bio-cleaning product, is to check for any third-party certification. Some of the most popular certifications are Green Seal, Ecologo and Safer Choice. For products that don’t have certification, you can try to look them up on various consumer product information and rating websites or apps, such as the temporarily unavailable Goodguide.
What are the popular basic natural ingredients you can use for green cleaning?
If you want to go DIY with green cleaning, there are many common household ingredients that you can use to do so. There is actually a pretty high chance you already have most of them in your cupboards. Let’s look at some examples:
- Vinegar – Vinegar is a simple and cheap solution to clean stains, mineral deposits, remove foul odours, and to use for general disinfection.
- Baking soda – This is another well-known household cleaning ingredient. Baking soda is often used as a hard scrub for its abrasive properties and it can also be combined with vinegar to create a foamy cleaning solution.
- Lemon juice – This is another popular food acid that can deal with and eliminate common harmful bacteria and grease.
- Olive oil – Olive oil is a very good ingredient to polish wooden surfaces.
- Essential oils – Do you want your house to smell nice and fresh after you have cleaned it? Essential oils are the way to go.
- Hydrogen peroxide – One of the popular green cleaning disinfectants, hydrogen peroxide is a go-to solution when you want to get rid of bacteria in your kitchen for example. Keep in mind that it needs time to work, though. Also, it has bleaching properties, so use it with caution to avoid damaging surfaces or items.
- Castile soap – This is an unscented soap in a liquid form that is biodegradable. And as we all know, soap cleans very well and can be used for just about anything.
Along with using natural household ingredients, you will also need some tools to do the job properly. Let’s list some common tools that can help you with green cleaning in your home.
- Glass spray bottles – When you make a cleaning solution, the easiest way to apply it is with a spray bottle. Buying reusable glass bottles that last long helps with being sustainable.
- Microfiber cloths – They are great for wiping things, obviously. Microfiber cloths can be washed and reused many times as opposed to paper towels, for example, and are lint-free.
- Scrubber brushes – The “workhorse” in home cleaning – it’s always good to have one.
- Pop-up sponges – These sponges are made from cellulose and are biodegradable.
These are some of the most common household ingredients and tools that can help you with cleaning almost anything around your home. Of course, there are more options but these are also the most cost-effective.
How to clean green by combining natural ingredients for different purposes
We’ve listed some of the most common green clean ingredients that you can use to clean your home. Some of them work pretty well on their own but let’s look at four ideas on how to combine them and make them even more effective.
All-purpose cleaner – Let’s start with something essential. A half cup of vinegar and a quarter cup of baking soda into two litres of water makes a perfect all-purpose cleaner to use around the home.
Bathroom mould remover– The most commonly used product for removing mould is bleach, but it’s toxic and harmful. Instead, try mixing one part hydrogen peroxide with two parts distilled water in a spray bottle, wait a couple of hours and rinse off. Keep in mind that the best way to battle mould is prevention.
Carpet stain remover – Nobody likes carpet stains. This is where vinegar comes in handy again. Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle and spray the stains. Wait for a couple of minutes and use a brush to scrub it clean.
Stovetop cleaner – If your stovetop is glass or ceramic, you can use castile soap and water or vinegar spray solution for day-to-day cleaning.
More good practices for natural cleaning
We have already mentioned a lot of ideas on how to green clean your home. But along with using safer detergents or natural household ingredients, there are other things to keep in mind, as well.
Improve indoor air quality – Modern homes and offices are insulated very well. While this is good for energy efficiency, it’s bad for the inside air. It can get very stale very quickly, especially in properties where people use chemicals to clean. The solution is an easy one. Open up your windows as often as possible to keep the air fresh and the toxins out. When the weather is cold, open the windows and doors wide for about five minutes.
Dispose of toxic materials – If you,ve been used to cleaning with toxic cleaning agents, make sure to dispose of them properly now that you’ve become a green convert. Remember – if they are toxic inside, they are also toxic to the environment. Look around for organised initiatives for disposal of dangerous chemicals and detergents. Commercial dry cleaners are probably the most dangerous cleaners you can get, so try to avoid using them.
Keep clutter out – Dispose of any items you haven’t used in over two years. Manuals for electronics can be downloaded from the internet in a PDF form, for instance, instead of cluttering drawers and cupboards with piles of paper. Old clothes, which only take up room in your wardrobe, can be given to charity. Documents, you no longer need, can be easily recycled. The less items you have collecting dust, the better your home is going to feel and look. Not to mention that it will take less time to clean.
Leave shoes at the door – You step onto all kinds of stuff everyday, such as dust, dirt, pebbles, animal waste and even chewing gum. The last thing you want is to bring all that filth into your home, which you’ve so eagerly cleaned. The solution is simple. Buy a shoe mat for your everyday shoes and leave it besides the door. That way you’d have easy and fast access to them instead of having to check the shoe cabinet every time you want to go out.
A few words on commercial green cleaning products
If you find mixing detergents and solutions too time-consuming and are keeping away from green cleaning just for convenience – don’t. Nowadays, as people have become more aware of sustainability and eco-friendliness, there are many commercial safe detergents out on the market. Actually, many people prefer using them instead of making their own DIY solutions. As we’ve mentioned above, look for third-party certifications and do your research beforehand. And you can easily make the switch to green cleaning with the help of ready-made products.
Contact a professional eco-friendly cleaning company
If you find it hard to deal with cleaning your property on your own and you think switching to green cleaning will make the job more time-consuming, consider getting help from professionals, who care about the environment. ShiningOven Services aims to deliver safe and eco-friendly cleaning services to customers, who want to make the change but need help in doing so. Our services are getting more and more sustainable, so you don’t have to worry about making a negative impact on the environment. We work with certified detergents that are safe for your home, loved ones and the planet. Feel free to learn more about it on our website.