We all know the importance of keeping our homes clean and sanitary, but many conventional cleaning products contain aerosols and toxic chemicals that can harm people, pets, and the environment.
The good news is that it just takes a few small changes to turn your cleaning routine green. Below are 10 eco-friendly tips and tricks for keeping your home fresh, clean, and toxin-free.
1. Stock your green cleaning kit
You can clean just about any surface of your home with a few basic essentials
*Baking soda – a great scrubbing cleanser that reacts with lemon or vinegar for and extra clean
*White vinegar – a natural disinfectant
*Lemon juice – disinfects and cuts through greasy messes
*Borax – whitens fabrics, deodorizes, and disinfects
*Olive oil – protects and polishes wood surfaces
*Castile soap – a foaming cleanser
2. Try commercial green cleaning products
While you can make a number of DIY cleaners from the items in your green cleaning kit, some messes require a little something extra. There are a number of commercial green cleaners that get the job done without using harsh chemicals. It’s nice to have a good all-purpose green cleaner on hand when you don’t have the time or energy to mix and measure your own.
3. Stay clean and green and the kitchen
Keep your drain clean and clear by using a strainer to catch food from building up and flush it regularly with hot water to clear out build up from oils. Lining your oven with tin foil can keep you from having to use cleaning products as often if your oven doesn’t have a self-cleaning function.
4. Non-toxic tiles and toilets
You don’t need harsh cleaners to keep your bathroom germ-free and sparkling. Baking soda and vinegar are great for cleaning and disinfecting the toilet and borax does wonders as a scrubber for tubs and tile.
5. A natural shine for floors and furniture
Olive oil and vinegar isn’t just great on a salad, it also cleans and conditions wood floors and furniture. Mix ¼ cup of vinegar with 1 gallon of hot water and 1 teaspoon of oil for floors or 1 cup of vinegar and a teaspoon of oil for furniture. You may need to adjust the ratios depending on the type of wood and finish.
6. Fresh, clean carpets
To remove odors from carpets, simply vacuum before sprinkling them with baking soda or cornstarch, leave for about an hour and vacuum again. For spills and stains try blotting with soda water and a rag. For really deep stains, use a bristle brush to scrub with soap, water, and vinegar.
7. A clear view
¼ cup of vinegar and 2 or 3 cups of water is all you need for a streak-free window cleaning solution. You can use the same solution on appliances or other surfaces without leaving any residue.
8. A breath of fresh air
You don’t need toxic chemical air fresheners to keep your house smelling clean and fresh. The easiest way to freshen stale air in your home is to open the windows and let the breeze do its thing. Green, leafy plants like peace lilies can also help to purify the air. To fill your house with pleasing aromas, simply add extracts or plants like citrus or lavender to a pot of boiling water.
9. Check the toxins at the door
Our shoes protect our feet from all sorts of things including oil and chemicals from vehicles and animal waste. But if you wouldn’t want it on your feet, why bring it into your house? Leaving your shoes at the door can prevent chemicals, germs, pollen, and more from entering your home. Just a simple change to your routine can help keep crawling kids or pets safer and keep you from having to clean as often.
10. Design green
Keep your space clean and clear by being strategic with your design. Consider window treatments, furnishings, or other surfaces that collect less dust, stay cleaner longer, or don’t take as much energy or effort to maintain.
There’s no need to hang onto the old, toxic, petroleum-based cleaning products of the past. With natural commercial products, DIY solutions, and a few small changes you can be cleaning green and breathing easy!