Clean Green – Simple ways to clean your home the eco-way
Published January 22, 2010
If you are one of the Moms who wants to do your bit for the environment, but don’t know where to start and haven’t got the time to do all the research…well, here’s some simple ingredients that will leave your home squeaky clean, the natural way.
The advantages are endless!
Every chemical we use in our homes ends up back in the environment. What’s even worse is that nobody can really appreciate the harm the combination of chemicals can cause to the plants and animals that inhabit our planet with us. Reducing our own toxic footprint and the negative impact we have on those animals, has to be a good thing.
But there’s more than the feel-good factor of contributing to keeping the environment ‘clean’: using natural cleaners is actually cheaper than using the ones you buy in the shop. You are saving some precious dollars here. Your home will smell beautiful.
And last, but certainly not least, chemicals in common household cleaners can contribute to skin allergies and rashes that so many of our children suffer from these days.
I still bathe my children mainly in warm water (sometimes with some olive oil and milk added for baby soft skin, just like my midwife taught me almost 5 years ago). I simply don’t see the need wash them with shower gels and bubble bath every day.
So maybe, just maybe, cutting out those chemicals will help your children’s skin (and your own!) to be radiant and healthy, instead of blotchy and itchy.
Let’s give it a go!
1. Lemon Juice
Lemon juice is great for dissolving grease and it acts as a natural bleach. So, for those perspiration stains on his shirts or your white blouses, coffee or tea stains on white T-shirts, all you have to do is squeeze a couple of drops of lemon juice on the affected areas on pre-soaked clothing, and hang the clothes out in the sun to dry. I wash these clothes afterwards with some eco-friendly washing powder. You’ll be amazed at the results!
Greasy pots and pans can be soaked for about 30 mins in a solution of 1 part lemon juice and 1 part warm water. It works just as well as any dishwashing liquid.
2. Eucalyptus Oil
Eucalyptus is an absolute blessing in any household with kids where parents want to keep things as natural as possible. Apart from its beautiful fragrance, it has anti-inflammatory, pain relieving and anti-septic properties.
A small splash in a warm bucket of water is an eco-friendly way to clean your floors, and a drop of the pure oil itself can help dissolve glue, chewing gum and sticker residue.
I use a drop of Eucalypt on a bip that I hang outside of the cot near my kids head (or I dress them in an old T-Shirt and apply it directly to that), whenever they have a cold and it really helps them breathe through the night.
3. Bicarb Soda
Bicarb soda mixed with lemon juice or white vinegar into a paste works wonders on bathroom tiles, and in the bath and the shower. Before you use lemon juice for cleaning purposes, make sure you run it through a sieve to keep ‘the bits’ out. A good mixture is 2 parts of fluid to one part of bicarb to replace your usual surface cleaner.
To remove those stubborn black scuff marks from the soles of dark shoes, I just spill some bicarb on a small plate and use a moist cloth to dip it in. Wipe over your marks and you will see, it works beautifully!
4. Tea Tree Oil
If you experience problems with mould in your bathroom, try Tea Tree Oil instead of harsh chemicals: mix 10 drops in 500ml of lukewarm water in a spray bottle and apply generously. There’s no need to rinse!
I use tee tree oil to clean floors (add a couple of drops into your water bucket),and on bathroom and kitchen surfaces. It kills bacteria, leaves the surfaces with a lovely shine, and the rooms with a wonderful aroma .
5. White Vinegar
This is probably my favourite household cleaner today. It is dirt cheap and extremely versatile! I boil it in the kettle to remove limescale, dab it on a cleaning cloth or use it directly to kill of odours (for example in the fridge or in my thermal bottles) and (as above) mixed with Bicarb Soda to clean many of my surfaces. I buy a couple of litres of the cheapest vinegar that I can find and it lasts for ages!
It is quicker to mix some Bicarb Soda with white vinegar in a plastic container and store it for future use (it easily keeps for a couple of weeks), then to find the right aisle in the supermarket and choose between all the different cleaning agents that are available these days!
I hope you’ve found this useful and found some inspiration to cut out some everyday chemicals in your home. And if you are one of the lucky girls, who don’t have to clean their homes but have someone to do it…these days there are plenty of green cleaning agencies to choose from.
Please add your own thoughts and tips on green living, as always I am looking forward to your comments!