Almost every homeowner uses chemical cleaning products to clean their home, as they see them as necessary to remove dirt and germs. In recent years, it has become common knowledge that these cleaning chemicals are actually bad for our health and the environment.
If you want to clean your home in a more environmentally-friendly way, then these simple changes to your cleaning routine are a great start. Not only will you have a clean home and save money, but you will also be protecting your family from harmful chemicals, and doing your bit to save the planet.
Use Natural Cleaning Products
You’d be forgiven for thinking that you need multiple cleaning products for every surface in your home. This is a result of clever marketing from cleaning companies when in actual fact you can clean your home perfectly well with natural ingredients that you have in your home already.
White vinegar is one of the most versatile ingredients, and its anti-bacterial qualities make it a great cleaning product. Simply mix it with water and use it as a cleaner for your kitchen surfaces, windows, and sink. If the smell of vinegar is overpowering to you, add in a few drops of your favorite essential oil to make a great smelling, natural cleaning spray.
Lemons are another useful ingredient when it comes to cleaning, and they are great for removing tough stains. Squeeze some lemon juice into a small bowl of water and put it into the microwave for 3 minutes. After it has finished, leave the door shut for a further 5 minutes. The steam and the lemon juice will soften any burnt on food, and you can simply wipe away with a cloth.
Invest in an Eco-Friendly Vacuum Cleaner
If you have pets or kids in the house, you will probably need to choose the best vacuum cleaner to vacuum your floors every day. Vacuum cleaners consume a lot of energy, and while it may not be possible to reduce how much you use it, there are things you can do to help the environment.
The first thing you can do is invest in a bagless vacuum cleaner. Vacuum cleaner bags can’t usually be recycled, and this means that they end up in a landfill. The bags also have to be made in a factory, further increasing your carbon footprint. With a bag less vacuum, the dirt is collected in a canister that you can empty when full.
Another thing you can do is avoid buying cheap vacuum cleaners. These machines are cheap because they are made from inferior materials and are not designed to last long, which means more of them end up being thrown away. If you buy a vacuum that is three times more expensive but may last three times as long, then you are actually spending the same amount of money while ensuring that these cheap machines are not clogging up landfills.
Dry your Clothes Naturally
Clothes driers are one of the biggest sources of energy usage in most households. Reducing their use will make a huge difference in reducing your carbon footprint. Try to dry your clothes outside as much as possible. Even if it is cold outside, the fresh air will still dry your clothes as long as it’s not raining. If it’s raining, then you can use a drying rack inside your home. Place it in front of a radiator so that you are drying clothes with energy that you are already using to heat your home.
Use your Washing Machine’s Eco Setting
Most modern washing machines have an eco-setting that you can use, and this will use far less energy than a normal wash. You shouldn’t need to wash anything in high temperatures if you use an Eco-Friendly detergent.
If you only have a few items to wash, you could cut the machine out altogether and wash them by hand. Put some warm water and detergent into your bathtub and leave the clothes to soak for a while. Wring the excess water off and hang them up to dry naturally.
Freshen the Air without Chemicals
Air freshener sprays contain lots of harmful chemicals, and while they smell nice, all they really do is mask any bad odors. If you really want your house to smell fresh, open up every window for an hour (unless it’s freezing outside).
You can make a homemade air freshener by boiling some of your favorite herbs in a pot of water. Cinnamon, cloves, and basil are good ones and they will leave your home smelling wonderful.
House plants are a great way to purify the air naturally. Spider plants and peace lilies may not have a strong smell, but they do a great job of filtering your indoor air without the need for energy-sapping air purifiers.
Use Baking Soda on your Carpets
If you live in a house with pets or children, your carpets can become quite smelly. Before you reach for the expensive carpet cleaner machine and chemical cleaners, give baking soda a try.
Simply sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda all over the carpet, paying attention to particularly bad smelling areas. Leave for a few hours, or preferably overnight, and then vacuum it up. The baking soda will absorb any foul odors and leave your carpet smelling clean and fresh.
Leave the Toxins Outside
While you can control the toxins inside your home, there is nothing you can do about the pollution outside. When you walk outside, all sorts of toxins end up on your shoes – antifreeze, pollen, animal waste, particulate pollution, oil to name a few. If you don’t want these toxins inside your home and on your floors, it’s a good idea to remove your shoes before you enter the house.
Another option is to place a doormat outside your door, allowing visitors to wipe their feet before they come in. While this is better than nothing, it won’t remove all the toxins and it’s better just to remove shoes.