10 eco-friendly cleaning tips for your home
Want to give your home a spring clean in a sustainable way? We've put together our top 10 tips for green cleaning your home.
1. Say goodbye to plastic
A great place to start is by ditching the plastic containers (recycle them if you can) and replace with glass bottles to store your cleaning supplies in. Many towns and cities now have refill shops where you can take a reusable container and fill it up with washing up liquid or detergent.
2. Use recycled textiles
Rather than using disposable paper towels or microfiber cloths that contain microplastics, wipe surfaces and appliances with recycled cleaning cloths that you can find easily online, or with any old towels or clothes you might have that you can cut up and reuse.
3. Freshen your home naturally
Instead of traditional air freshers that contain chemicals and often come in plastic packaging, keep your home smelling fresh with a helping hand from nature. In the warmer months this is as simple as leaving windows open to air out rooms, otherwise you can boil herbs, cinnamon or lemon to create a natural scent that fills the house. You can also follow these tutorials to make fragrant homemade potpourri.
4. Reuse, recycle
You’ll no doubt have plenty of items around your home that can be repurposed as cleaning supplies. Worn out toothbrushes can become scrubbers, old clothes rags and socks can be used as cleaning cloths, and empty bottles and jars can be used to store homemade cleaning solutions.
5. Baking soda
Baking soda is an incredibly effective cleaning product that you most likely already have in your cupboard. Great for absorbing odours, you can sprinkle it on sofas and pet beds and then vacuum up to freshen them, mix it with water and scrub to remove mould, dirt and grease, or use it as a gentle cleaner for worktops and hobs.
6. White vinegar
White vinegar is another one of those miracle household products. Mix water and vinegar to make a solution that can be used to clean windows, stainless steel pans, grout and the inside of your fridge. You can fill a bowl with vinegar and water and then microwave it to steam clean the inside of your microwave, and fill a kettle with equal parts water and white vinegar and then boil to remove limescale.
7. Use natural sponges
As an alternative to kitchen sponges which are usually made of plastic, purchase a biodegradable sponge or use nature’s own solution, a natural sea sponge. These are durable and non-abrasive, but are best used with other natural products such as baking soda or vinegar, rather than cleaning chemicals.
8. Go green with your laundry
Substitute your usual laundry detergent for an eco-friendly alternative – there are plenty of great brands available that don’t contain harsh synthetic ingredients and use minimal packaging. To keep your washing machine as fresh as your clothes, mix equal parts water and baking soda and pour into the drawer, and add a couple of cups of white vinegar to the drum then run on a high heat.
9. Introduce more plants
Not only do houseplants look beautiful and help boost our mood, they also have air purifying properties, removing toxins and carbon dioxide and emitting oxygen. You should, however, consider the eco-credentials of the plants you buy – locally grown plants will have a smaller carbon footprint, and you can then propagate them to create more.
10. Make conscious choices
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all the changes we can be making in our daily lives to be kinder to the planet, but the easiest thing you can do is just be thoughtful and conscious when it comes to the cleaning products you purchase, and the items you’re throwing away.