It’s important to keep a clean, welcoming home to feel comfortable in, but often times people rely harsh chemicals and single use disposables to clean their home. Luckily, a germ-free house doesn’t need to come at the cost of polluting the environment. There are plenty of ways to keep your home neat and tidy without the use of harsh chemicals or wasteful single use disposables which harm the environment and are hazardous to your health. For everyone new to the green cleaning world, there are five great ways to get started below.
Raid Your Kitchen
You don’t need harsh chemicals to sanitize and clean your home. Vinegar and baking soda can be used to scour and wipe down counters, windows, flours, and just about any other surface in your house. The acidity in vinegar and the scouring power of baking soda combine to make a powerful cleaner that is tough on germs but gentle on your health and the environment. For best results use white vinegar on windows and apple cider vinegar everywhere else and dilute it with water in a 1:3 ratio. Apply baking soda directly to any area and mix with water to form a paste.
Another great cleaning tool that can be found in your kitchen is lemons! Lemons are a great tool to use to clean your kitchen. The citric acid and low pH level makes lemon juice a fantastic disinfectant for places like the stove or microwave. Just be sure to water down any lemon juice as well, what makes it so effective can also make it harsh on some surfaces. A few drops of lemon juice go a long way!
Ditch the Paper Towels
Paper towels are a wasteful use of trees that contribute to the deforestation of thousands of acres of forest land every year. What most people take for granted as a cleaning necessity is a relatively new luxury that is hurting the environment unnecessarily. Instead of paper towels, use rags. Rags can be cut from old T-shirts and worn out towels and used over and over again. This means that no trees need to be cut down to wipe up messes and you can save money on expensive single use paper products.
Forget About Air Fresheners
The contents of a can of air freshening spray doesn’t even come close to the lavender or freshly washed laundry it is supposed to make your home smell like. Instead, air fresheners are filled with harmful chemicals which build up a residue on your furniture. A better alternative is diffusing essential oils, which have health benefits and don’t harm the environment. You can also try burning beeswax candles or even just opening up your windows to release any mustiness and let in some fresh air. Best of all, consider indoor plants. They clean the air, look pretty, and produce more oxygen to breath.
Stay Away from Antibacterials
Antibacterial products may sound like a great idea, after all the point of cleaning things is to kill germs, right? However, their overuse helps to create antibacterial resistant germs that harm the environment and ourselves. Also, when they wash away into the water supply, they kill beneficial bacteria that exist naturally in the environment. Not all bacteria are bad ones, and they play an important part in our ecosystem. Instead use regular soap and cleaners without antibacterial properties or vinegar and lemon to clean surfaces and floors.
Dispose of Things Correctly
Dumping all of your old cleaning products in the trash may seem like the best way to get started with eco-friendly cleaning, but be careful. Just as these products are hazardous for the environment in your home, they are hazardous in the landfill as well where they seep into the soil. Instead, bring your old cleaning products as well as anything else, like old paint or motor oil, to the hazardous waste disposal site in your town where they can be disposed of properly.
Green cleaning, like every other green living lifestyle changes, is a habit. Once you develop the habit and get used to it, everything becomes easier. It just takes a little bit of forethought and planning and you will be on your way to cleaning your home the green way.