These days, there are countless numbers of cleaning products to choose from, ranging from conventional to certified green. However, conventional sprays and liquids are often made with chemicals that are toxic for the environment.
Fortunately, there are more options for green house cleaners beyond just purchasing (often expensive) green cleaning products. By making homemade cleaners with simple kitchen items, it’s possible to be environmentally friendly while cleaning your bedroom and bathroom.
Here are some simple eco-friendly house cleaning tips that will leave your home looking and smelling fresh.
1. Use Baking Soda
If you want to unclog a drain without using a caustic liquid cleaner, try sprinkling some baking soda into the drain and follow with an equal amount of vinegar. The two together will make a foam inside the pipes, both cleaning and clearing out the junk.
You can even use baking soda to mask pet odors that accumulate in your carpet. Start by taking the box and spreading small amounts across your carpet. Let the particles sit for a little while, then simply just vacuum up the baking soda. Your rug will smell fresh and clean!
2. Hang Dry Laundry
Dryers are convenient when clothes need to be dried quickly, however, they are not eco-friendly and consume a lot of electricity. If you really would like to diminish your carbon footprint, simply purchasing environmentally friendly detergent is not enough.
In order to be eco-friendly when drying your laundry, hang dry your clothes instead. If the weather is nice, you can hang the clothes outside on a clothesline. If you’re worried about your clothes fading from the sun or a potential rain shower, try an indoor drying rack.
3. Avoid Paper Towels
If you use paper towels when you’re cleaning your house, they pile up quickly. Besides wasting paper that can’t be recycled, you’re also creating waste that will just go straight to a landfill.
Instead, you can just take an unused old shirt and turn it into a cleaning cloth. Another option is a reusable microfiber cloth, available for purchase at most major retailers. These items can be used again and again without creating more waste.
4. Use Non-Toxic Products
Many regular cleaning products contain toxic substances. If you do need to whip out a bottle to tackle a grimy room, stock your cabinets with products composed of non-toxic ingredients.
Scan labels for phthalates, nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs), and phosphates. These substances can cause damage to both the human body and the environment. Eco-friendly cleaning products contain biodegradable ingredients, such as saponin or limonene. If you don’t feel like buying new cleaners, you can make your own. Surfaces can be effectively cleaned with a simple vinegar and water solution.
5. Try Oven Liners
Cleaning the oven can be a pain and require a ton of clean products. This can be avoided by using oven liners. These liners are pieces of heatproof plastic that fit on the bottom of your oven, designed to catch grease drops and food bits. They can be made of Teflon or other heatproof materials.
They are easy to insert and remove, and can be scrubbed in the sink – a much easier task than scrubbing an oven. This will cut down your time spent cleaning the oven without requiring the use of extra cleaning products or paper towels.
6. Clean Windows and Mirrors with Vinegar
Rather than using a window cleaner with a questionable chemical composition, mix a solution of one part vinegar, four parts water on your own. This mixture can also be applied to your windows and mirrors with a cloth, leaving them just as clear and clean as a store-bought product.
Lemon juice can be added to the solution, as well as washing soda, for particularly dirty windows and mirrors. Use a microfiber cloth to avoid streak lines.
7. Clean Indoor Air Naturally
There are plenty of chemical air fresheners, but nothing smells quite as good as something natural. Make your home smell like natural greens by storing dried plants in areas with lots of air circulation.
You can place clove and cinnamon branches, or boil the herbs in a pot for instant fragrance. Houseplants are also a great way to make your living space smell clean. Chrysanthemums, spider plants, and certain ferns are known for their air freshening qualities.
8. Conserve Water
It’s easy to use up a ton of water when cleaning, especially if you’re performing other housekeeping tasks, like watering the lawn. The best way to conserve water is by using rainwater. This can be gathered by setting up a rain barrel outside to catch the natural rainfall, which can be scooped out in buckets as necessary.
Another option is using water-efficient cleaning products, such as bio detergents that work at low temperatures. By making these choices regarding water use, you can cut down on your water bill and avoid wasting water.