Cleaning the house is one of the most important and repetitive tasks that most moms wish that they could do in a swift!
It’s understandable that balancing the tasks of properly keeping your home clean while providing care and support to the family, can feel like no less than a daunting effort. And if there’s added worry of sticking to an eco-friendly house cleaning routine, naturally you’ll start feeling overwhelmed.
The simplest way to define what it means to be environmentally friendly is to say it is an act of living with intention. The intention is not to harm the environment, but to prevent the greatest damage to the environment through your interactions with it. Green living is promoted by environmentally-friendly products which help conserve power and prevent air, water, and noise pollution. They prove to be beneficial to the environment and also help improve human health.
However, keeping a clean home while using environmentally friendly cleaning methods at the same time doesn’t have to be impossible – and it doesn’t have to be difficult. While hiring a professional home cleaning service can help you tackle the most daunting household tasks for you, there are still small ways in which you can practice sustainable house cleaning on a regular basis.
Here are 15 eco-friendly house cleaning tips you can use to facilitate your cleaning goals and reduce toxic waste.
1. Use vinegar to kill germs
Most of you may have heard about this. Being a kitchen staple you may already have enough in stock. Truth is, distilled vinegar can be extremely useful for cleaning purposes as an eco-friendly solvent that can destroy common germs around your home. Housekeeping services often use vinegar for non-toxic cleaning purposes – because it works!
You can make your own germ-killing vinegar solution by mixing white vinegar with water in a 1: 1 ratio and storing it in a spray bottle for later use. In addition to breaking down grease, this solution dries quickly and leaves an attractive shine on various surfaces of your home.
2. Use lemon juice for spotless cleaning
If you were surprised by vinegar’s cleaning abilities, wait until you try adding lemon juice to your cleansing routine!
To adequately polish wood floors, you only need to mix a 1/2 cup of lemon juice with 1 cup of olive oil for an effective and wonderful polishing solution. In addition, you can also use undiluted lemon juice to erase traces for your bathroom as well as eliminate stains from furniture, kitchen tables, and carpets.
3. Easily create natural fruit fly repellent
Get rid of the annoying gatherings of fruit flies in your home by making homemade fruit fly repellent without resorting to chemicals.
Take a mason bowl or similar bowl and mixing an equal amount of apple cider vinegar and dish soap. Wrap the top of the bowl with brown paper and leave some holes. The flies will be attracted to the sweet smell of the apple cider vinegar and enter into the bowl. However, they’ll get stuck with the soap inside the solution.
This will be particularly useful during the summer when their numbers are high.
4. Consider switching to organic cloth diapers
If you have a baby in your house, then you know the struggle of seemingly endless diapers hitting the store. Unfortunately, the mountains of dirty diapers this produces can be harmful to the environment, as it adds to the bulky paper waste sent to local landfills.
That’s why organic cloth diapers are becoming more and more popular as an environmentally friendly alternative to regular diapers, as they can be washed regularly and reused. However, if the responsibility of washing these nappies regularly seems to require a lot of work, there are a number of diaper brands with their products available online that offer biodegradable or disposable products.
5. Invest in some greenery
In comparison to artificial air fresheners, having plants in your home will provide a healthy and friendly fragrance while still filtering the air naturally. Plants such as English Ivies, Peace Lilies, and Spider Plants help serve this purpose more effectively than others. Plus, in addition to serving as natural air filters, houseplants can also be beautiful decorations for your home.
6. Use reusable shopping bags
Using reusable shopping bags for your trips to the store is a simple yet effective way to reduce plastic waste. Reusable bags are widely available, and they are usually sold in storefronts or online in a variety of different sizes, colors, and designs. Store it in a locker or in your car to make sure it’s easily available for you to use even on your quick trips to the store.
7. Wipe surfaces with newspapers
Make use of the old newspapers that may be lying around your home by using them to wipe down surfaces. As an alternative to paper towels, newspapers can be used to wipe down windows and mirrors without leaving dirty streaks or bits of lint on their surfaces.
8. Carpet stain remover
In a spray bottle, blend together equal parts of white vinegar and water. Sprinkle directly on the stain, keep it on for a couple of minutes and clean using warm soapy water with a brush or sponge. Sprinkle cornstarch on the stain to avoid fresh grease stains, then wait 15-30 minutes before vacuuming. Combine 1/4 cup of salt, borax, and vinegar for a hard-wearing carpet cleaner. Apply the dough onto the carpet and quit for a couple of hours.
9. Ceramic or glass stove top cleaner
Daily cleaning can be done with soap and water or a vinegar spray. To remove stuck food, wet the area with hot, soapy water and spray it with baking soda. Cover with a damp towel and leave it for half an hour, then wipe with a damp cloth. Use a silicone spatula to help separate food. Be sure to remove all residue.
10. Oven Cleaner
Keep moistening oven surface with sponge and water. Use half a cup of baking soda, half a cup of salt, and half a cup of water to make a thick paste, and spread it around the inside of the oven. (Avoid bare metal and any vents.) Leave it on overnight. Remove it with a spoon and wipe it clean. Rub gently with fine steel wool for stubborn stains.
11. Window Cleaner
Mix with a quarter of warm water, two teaspoons of white vinegar. To wash using damaged paper or cotton cloth, just use black and white newspapers, not newspapers with color. Do not clean windows when the sun is on them because after drying up it’s when those streaks appear. Be sure to follow the formula, as using a very strong vinegar solution will etch the glass and eventually contribute to its cloudiness.
12. Refrigerator Cleaner
Use an all-purpose spray of vinegar and water to clean the interior and exterior of fridges of materials other than stainless steel. To clean the outside of your stainless steel fridge, use undiluted vinegar to avoid streaks.
13. Garbage disposal cleaner
You can clean it by running the empty half of a used lemon or a handful of citrus peels through it. Alternatively, add half a cup of baking soda followed by a cup of white vinegar, then let it sit with water before rinsing.
14. Toilet bowl cleaner
Mix 1/4 cup of baking soda and a cup of vinegar, pour it into a sink and leave for a few minutes. Scrub, brush, and rinse properly. A mixture of borax and lemon juice will also work. For rust stains, sprinkle with vinegar and leave overnight before brushing with baking soda.
15. Metal cleaner and polishes
Here are some quick environmentally-friendly solutions for metal cleaning and polishing –
- Aluminium: Clean with a solution of tartar cream and water using a soft rag.
- Copper: Soak a cotton cloth in a saucepan of boiling water with 1 tablespoon of salt and 1 cup of white vinegar. It is placed on the copper while it is hot. Let it cool, then wipe it clean. For tough jobs, spray baking soda or lemon juice on a soft cloth, then wipe it off. For copper cookware, sprinkle salt on a piece of lemon, then rub it on. The easiest way is to put a little ketchup on a soft cloth and scrub the stained spots.
- Bronze: Polish with a smooth cloth dipped into the baked solution of soda or salt and lemon juice. Another way is to put a little ketchup on a soft cloth and rub off the spots which have faded.
- Chrome: Polish it with lemon oil, vinegar, or aluminium foil with the shiny side out.
- Gold: clean it with toothpaste or with a paste made of salt, vinegar and flour.
- Silver: Line the pan with aluminium foil and fill it with water; add 1 teaspoon each of baking soda and salt. Bring to a boil and cover the silver. Polishing with a soft cloth.
- Cast Iron: Cast iron pans are usually roasted before use. Since soap and water can strip spices, avoid prolonged soap and water contact. Immediately after use, clean the cast iron with regular hot water and a sponge. Sticky food can be removed with a paste made of coarse salt and water. Dry it well with a clean towel and cover it with a layer of oil.
- Stainless steel: Wipe clean with a cloth dampened with undiluted white vinegar or olive oil. For stainless cookware, mix 4 tablespoons of baking soda in 1 liter of water and apply with a soft cloth. Dry it with a clean cloth. Pour some baking soda on an absorbent cloth for stainless steel sinks, rinse them and scrub them with a clean rag.
Here’s a beautiful infographic detailing simple eco-friendly cleaning hacks for all kitchen areas and items.
Harsh chemicals are bad for you, bad for the world, and bad for your wallet as well.
Going green takes some time and some research in your cleaning routine. The upside is along with the environmental benefits, eco-friendly house cleaning would be super beneficial for your family’s general health and well-being. You just need to have some patience and make this a habit. Rest will happen naturally.
What do you think of our list? Did we miss anything?
Let us know in the comment section below so that more moms will be able to take care of their family in an eco-friendly way.
Sophia James is a professional cleaner having more than 5 years of experience in the cleaning industry. She’s currently working with Bull18 Cleaners – best move in move out cleaning Burwood, Melbourne. She loves writing and sharing a variety of blogs on cleaning and household tips.
Featured image: Family photo created by prostooleh from freepik.com