What if I told you that when you’re cleaning you’re actually making things even dirtier? Can cleaning be “uncleaned”? For sure.Some cleaning products in the market are toxic and full of chemicals that harm the environment and people’s health. Follow these 7 sustainable cleaning tips and you’ll contribute to lessen pollution and consequently, reduce health issues.
Actually, unclean and environmentally damaging cleaning products are more common than you may think. The typical name-brand chemical cleaners are petroleum-based which means they are pretty harmful for our health and the planet.
Whenever we are about to start our house cleaning routine we equip ourselves with several different products to make sure every place ends up sparkling.
Deep cleaning is great, so it is turning to these sustainable cleaning tips to make things better and greener:
1- Sustainable Cleaning Tips for your: KITCHEN
Beginning with the stovetop, it’s always greasy and you may find food stuck on it. So, fear not! Vegetable oil does the job! For an eco-friendly cleaning you just need to soak a soft cloth with oil and just scrub surfaces to remove grease.
Combining coconut oil and baking soda comes in handy to clean cupboards. You can use a soft cloth or an old toothbrush to scrub handles and clean cabinet doors with one part of oil and two parts of baking soda. Wipe clean with water.
Kitchen surfaces near the stovetop are always greasy and may have grease splatters and other stuff. Wipe away old oil splatter with a mixture of vinegar, water and lemon peels. Simply grab a spray bottle.Fill in with lemon peels, add equal parts of vinegar and water and after two weeks the super grease remover will be ready. Spray on any greasy kitchen surface and let it sit for 5 minutes. Then, rinse with a soft cloth.
For countertops or pots and pans with food scraps stuck on it, you can use coffee grounds which are perfect for scrubbing hard-to-clean surfaces thanks to their grainy texture. Scrape with a wet cloth and rinse afterwards. Also, coffee grounds are great odor removers, so consider having some grains around in the kitchen or in the fridge for an eco-friendly cleaning.
Baking soda and water mixed together can be the best for oven cleaning. Mix half a cup of baking soda with 3 tbsp. of water and spread this paste all over the oven (take the rack out). Leave it overnight and rinse the day after.
Get a shining sink by cleaning it with baking soda. Spread some baking soda on the bottom of the sink. With a wet sponge (with hot water) and a drop of dish soap, scrub all the surface.
Microwave oven can be easily cleaned by placing a small bowl with a mixture of water and lemon juice. Add lemon halves as well and run the microwave for about 3 minutes.Let it sit for 5 and then just wipe clean the interior using a damp cloth.
For an eco-friendly cleaning of bathroom surfaces full of soap scum, take half a grapefruit and cover it with a layer of salt. Start scrubbing the surfaces and the magic is done. For other areas like the sink and countertop, mix 2 cups of baking soda, one cup of water, ½ cup of dish soap and ½ cup of vinegar. Spray on affected areas and it’ll remove any residues of soap and toothbrush.
Toilet bowls can be cleaned with vinegar spread on the bowl and left overnight, then scrubbed with baking soda. Also, mix ¼ of baking soda and a cup of vinegar and pour it all over the toilet bowl. Then scrub and flush.
Bathtubs and showers can be cleaned with vinegar to remove mold and mildew.More about bathroom sustainable cleaning tips in how to clean toilet eco friendly
For plastic shower curtains with mold or mildew, just spray vinegar and water mixed together. Then, wipe it. You can also try scrubbing a sponge with baking soda. What’s more, you can clean plastic shower curtains right in your washing machine. Just replace detergent by ½ cup of baking soda and 2 spoons of vinegar.
Another sustainable cleaning tip for tile floors is adding half a cup of baking soda in warm water. Mop the floor with this solution and wipe dry with a rag or cloth.
3- Sustainable Cleaning Tips for your: WINDOWS and MIRRORS
If you want shining mirrors and windows, mix 2l of water with 4 tbsp. of lemon juice. Use a clean cloth to go over all windows and mirrors. Another sustainable cleaning tip is using alcohol and hamamelis to rub on glass. You can also try mixing equal parts of water and white vinegar and you’ll bring windows to a shine. Another old technique is reusing newspapers to clean mirrors and windows, definitely the result is great.
4- Sustainable Cleaning Tips for your: CARPETS
Again, our best friend baking soda is the star among the best sustainable cleaning tips here. Sprinkle some baking soda on your carpet and after 5 minutes vacuum it up. You’ll get rid of bad odor from your carpet.
For carpet stains, combine equal parts of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray on the stain and let it sit for some minutes. Use a sponge, an old toothbrush or a clean cloth with soapy water to clean it all.
5- Sustainable Cleaning Tips for your: LAUNDRY
Sustainable cleaning tips go beyond surfaces and rooms around your home. Adding ½ cup of baking soda to your laundry detergent will actually boost it as it softens the water and thus you need less detergent. Plus, baking soda (you can use Borax as well) it’s great to brighten colors.
For white clothes to be even whiter, combine 180g of baking soda in 4l water. Soak in your clothes. Then, soak again in hot water combined with 5 dissolved aspirin tablets. Finally, add 250 ml white vinegar during the rinse cycle.
For black clothes to remain black, add 2 cups of coffee or tea to the rinse cycle and they will look brand new.
For yellow stains, grab a pot and combine ¼ cup of salt and ¼ cup of baking soda in 3l water. Plunge in yellow clothes and allow to boil for an hour.
6- Sustainable Cleaning Tips for your: METALS
It’s great to have shining metal appliances and surfaces, right? But, after some time, they get rusty and look pretty old and unattractive. Here’s a solution for eco-friendly cleaning and polishing.
Lemon and baking soda are a must to go green in cleaning. For bronze surfaces, use a wet cloth dipped in a mixture of baking soda or salt and lemon juice. Polish!
Another useful hack, use FLOUR. Yes, flour is a great ingredient when it comes to getting loads of shine. Combine salt, vinegar and flour in equal parts to get a paste. Rub it on any brass or copper appliances with a soft rag. Let it sit for an hour and wipe the paste off with a soft cloth.
For aluminum objects, combine tartar cream and water and clean with a soft cloth.
For stainless steel to look as shiny as ever, grab half a lemon and sprinkle some salt onto it, then use it as a polish sponge.
7- Other Eco-friendly Cleaning Hacks
Open your windows more often: air quality depends on how often you open your windows. You need to eliminate all toxic air inside your home. Avoid air fresheners full of chemicals and just boil some herbs or lemon to get a fresh scent around the house. Another useful sustainable cleaning tip: include houseplants around your rooms. There are some toxin-cleansing houseplants like aloe Vera or lilies which remove toxins and release clean air.
Avoid paper towels. Replace them with cloth towels, old cloth diapers or even old clothes cut in several pieces.
Choose reusable bags to go shopping.Reducing plastic waste is extremely important to be really eco-friendly. Also, choose composting to turn your garbage into rich soil thus reducing the amount of plastic bags you use.
Turn to green cleaning products. There are some non toxic versions of the most common cleaning products in the market. Take time to read tags carefully to choose non petroleum, non toxic, chemical free items.
When you want to get rid of toxic cleaning products, don’t just throw them in the trash. Find recycling centers around your community to eliminate these items.
Polish all your wood furniture in an environmentally friendly way! Just combine 2 parts of olive oil with one part of lemon juice and apply this mixture onto your furniture using a clean soft cloth.The result? Nice smell and shine!
For odors, be sure you have plenty of dishes with vinegar around your home. Vinegar is a perfect absorbent. Baking soda as well. Place a box with baking soda in the fridge and you’ll get rid of a smelly refri.
That being said, there’s no way you keep on buying and using toxic cleaning products. Think about it, natural ingredients are greener, unharmful for your family and pretty cheap. You’re protecting the environment, reducing damage, and protecting your loved ones’ health. You just need to have the most important products: baking soda, white vinegar, lemon and water and follow these sustainable cleaning tips. Once ready, having an old-t-shirt cloth and just some toothbrushes you’ll become the greenest cleaner on earth, just for some pennies.