Eco cleaning has burst onto the mainstream stage in a big way. Say goodbye to all the toxic chemicals, wasted water, and trashed recyclables – recent advances in product technology mean that you don’t have to sacrifice any cleaning power to get the house cleaned up. All it takes is the right mindset and following some simple techniques that anybody can do. Here are a few tips to help you get started.
Recycle, Reduce And Reuse
Always use recycled cleaning materials and don’t throw things away if they still have a useful life. This doesn’t mean you need to become a compulsive hoarder that ends up drowning under mountains of useless junk; just make sure you’re not being excessively wasteful. Ditch the paper towels and instead use cloth rags. When you’re getting rid of clutter and useless junk, keep in mind that your local recycling center will probably take just about anything – shoes, books, clothes, batteries, plastics – you name it.
Don’t run any machines unless you have to. You can make your regular house cleaning into eco cleaning by sweeping instead of using the vacuum. Only pull out the vacuum for carpets, special occasions, or huge spring cleanings. Wash your clothes in cold water instead of hot, and hang your clothes on the line instead of using a dryer.
There may however be an exception to this anti-machine rule. The general consensus seems to be that using a dishwasher is more environmentally friendly than washing dishes by hand! This is backed up by a research project conducted by the University of Bonn in Germany, which showed that dishwashers used less water, energy and soap than hand washing. Although this is likely to be welcome news for many people, it should also be considered that the research project was partially funded by dishwasher manufacturers. It’s doesn’t automatically mean that the study is biased, as plenty of valid studies are funded by environmental organizations, but perhaps an additional study would be helpful. Either way, make sure that your appliances have high water and energy efficiency ratings.
Always use as little water as possible. Only run the water when you’re either using it directly or filling up a container for future use. Again, sweep instead of wet mopping. Make sure that your washing machine has a minimum or low water setting. Recycle grey water for use in the garden. There are also some ways that you can save water when you’re washing dishes, like by turning the tap off when you’re scrubbing, and turning it on low when rinsing.
Use Eco-Friendly Supplies
There are lots of tips for eco cleaning, but a major component of cleaning your home the green way is to use environmentally friendly products. The first thing to do is to get rid of all toxic cleaners, and all other toxic products as well while you’re at it. Take all the stuff from under your sink that says “danger,” “poison,” “caution” and “do not ingest,” and pitch it – the environmentally sound way, of course. Call your city’s toxic materials disposal department.
Then, restock the cleaning supplies you need with eco-friendly products. They’ll be available at your local cleaning supply store or supermarket. Eco cleaning is enjoying incredible popularity now, so you should have no trouble finding the things you need.
This may surprise you, but you can actually make most of the cleaning supplies you need. You can make your own detergent, soap, dish soap, drain de-clogger, window washer and more. For example, a solution of bicarbonate, vinegar and salt makes a great homemade eco cleaning solution for your drains. Mixtures of vinegar, lemon juice, and water work on windows just as well as anything you buy at the store. You can find lots of recipes for all-natural cleaning solutions you can make at home if you search online.
In summary, always keep in mind the effect your actions have when you’re cleaning your house. Running water when you don’t need it is a waste. Throwing away stuff that you could recycle is also a waste. Using products on your house that would kill you if you ingested them is dangerous and not environmentally sound. Keep these things in mind, try creating your own eco cleaning solutions, and you’ll be doing your part to make a greener and cleaner world.
Housework Heroes is one of Australia’s leading cleaning franchise groups.