How to Clean Your House without Hurting the Earth
Eco-friendly house cleaning can impact the environment in a positive way. On a more personal level it can cut down on illnesses, asthma, and allergies within your family.
There are a number of reasons why people don't use eco-friendly cleaning products, however. Here are a few common excuses:
- It will take longer
- It won't do as good a job
- It is more expensive
- It is hard to find
The truth is that none of those excuses are valid ones. Green cleaning supplies are as effective and easy to use as commercial ones. They may be more expensive but most eco friendly cleaning supplies can be made easily at home in a small amount of time. Here are several ways you can implement eco friendly house cleaning into your life.
Use Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products
Of course cleaning with eco-friendly cleaning products keeps you home green as well. You can buy these items from the store or use homemade products from eco-friendly cleaning recipes. Companies to look for are:
- Mrs Meyers
- 7th Generation
- Castille Soap
These products will work as well as their toxic counterparts. You may need to allow them to stand on the surface you are cleaning if it is very dirty.
Eco-Friendly Cleaning Recipes
There are recipes for everything from homemade laundry detergent to antibacterial spray. Be willing to experiment with a few of these to see which you prefer. Always put the homemade cleaners in a clean spray bottle (or one that has held the very same cleaner) and label it well.
- ½ pint of water
- 2 ounces of rubbing alcohol
- 1 ounce vinegar
- 10 drops lavender essential oil
- 5 drops tea tree essential oil
Spray on. Allow to stand for 15 minutes and wipe dry.
Hardwood Floor Cleaner
- 6 ounces strong black tea
- 1 teaspoon Dr. Bronners Pine liquid soap
- 6 ounces water
Spray on the floor and wipe dry.
Use Plants to Clean Air in Your Home
Did you know that plants actually reduce indoor air pollution and keep the air you breathe healthy? There are architects that are using plants as air filters in commercial buildings. Here are some of the best plants for cleaning your air:
- Peace Lily
- English Ivy
- Bamboo Palm
By utilizing live plants in your home you can allow them to do your eco-friendly house cleaning for you.
Use reusable items whenever you can. Rather than a swiffer pad use a permanent pad on your swiffer that can be removed and washed as needed. By using items that can be used over and over you will be saving money, often a lot of money. You will also be reducing waste; from packaging as well as the item itself when it is thrown away.
- Use a rag rather than paper towels
- Use dust cloths and feather dusters
- Mark sponges for various uses, toilet, sink, floor
- Use a bagless vacuum cleaner
Recycling, Hazardous Waste, and Composting
Understanding the concept of recycling and knowing what you can and can't recycle is an important part of green cleaning. Many items that people commonly send to the landfill with their trash pick up can be recycled. Some items that can be recycled are:
- Motor oil
- Fluorescent lights
For items like Fluorescent lights that have been broken, and other hazardous wastes you can call your city hall to find out where and when hazardous waste is disposed of. Household hazardous waste consists of things like:
You can cut down on the amount of trash that goes to the landfill by composting your food waste. Although you won't want to compost meat nearly everything else, including dryer lint is compostable and can enrich your soil.
- Vegetable peels and parings
- Fruit cores
- Grains and breads
Just add these to your compost pile to make your trash bin lighter and you soil rich.
Eco-Friendly Cleaning Companies
If you don't have time to clean your own home, consider hiring eco-friendly cleaning companies to do it for you. More and more “green cleaning” teams are appearing around the country. These small homebased businesses specialize in eco-friendly cleaning.
You canexpect to pay about $10 dollars more an hour. This is because these companies use organic products which can run a little higher in cost, plus they are specialized which means they can charge a little more.
Eco-friendly house cleaning is a smart choice, whether you do it for yourself or hire someone to do it for you.