Eco-Friendly House Cleaning Tips
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If you are looking to reduce your footprint on the world, and to make your life healthier then these tips are for you. It doesn't take a lot to make these changes, or cost a lot of money. They are simple to do, have an impact on the world around you, and can make you and your family feel better.
Tip # 1 - Replace toxic cleaners with natural ones
Take a look through your cabinets at the labels on all your cleaners from hand soaps to sprays. You don't have to memorize any long chemical names; all you need to look for are certain keywords. The keywords are:
That's your sign that there is an ingredient in the product that isn't safe for somebody. It doesn't matter if that someone is you, your family, pets, or the whole outside world. Get rid of it.
Use vinegar and water, or water with a small amount of bleach to clean. There are also many essential oils that are known for their cleaning and disinfecting properties too.
Tip #2 - Cover vents with cheesecloth
Cheesecloth is one of the secret weapons of those wishing to be more environmentally friendly. It is reusable and can provide excellent filtering and dusting material. Use it for dusting, but also cover all of your vents with it to capture dust from your ducts to reduce the amount of contaminants in the air.
Tip #3 - Avoid anti-bacterial products
Anti-bacterial products have been in the news recently as research is proving they cause more harm than good. Bacteria do serve a purpose in the cycle of life, and eradicating it causes vulnerabilities. It isn't just your health you should be concerned about, but treatments for your garden too.
The problem with bees has now been traced to a pesticide designed to be safe for bees, but the anti-bacterial properties make the bees vulnerable to a parasite that then kills them.
Tip #4 - Use environmentally friendly cleaning tools
Environmentally friendly cleaning tools are not disposable, they are reusable. Change your mops to cloth mops, swap out paper towels for old t-shirts, and make sure prosumer items – such as a pressure washer – have stainless steel features.
That stainless steel will do more to protect the environment then you expect. The metal won't break down under pressure and exposure to water, meaning there won't be rust and metal waste in your run-off.
Tip #5 - Conserve water when cleaning
Conserving water is easier than you think when it comes to cleaning. Use buckets, but don't rinse in the same one you use with the natural cleaner – use two buckets. When you are using your power washer with a nontoxic cleaner, that waste water can do double duty in your yard.
Run it through a charcoal filter and let it drain into the garden. You don't have to get fancy with the filter, just buy an inexpensive heater filter and lay it under the drain end.
Tip #6 - Clean in cycles
This last tip is the most important of them all. That is to do your cleaning in cycles. If you clean a small amount, or area a week – such as your high traffic areas, and then only do major cleanings every 3 or 4 months you will lower your impact on the environment.
When you do the major cleanings, break out the pressure washer and make sure to add vinegar or a small amount of bleach to the mix to break the fungal cycle. This will not only be safer for the environment, but will lower the amount of overall cleaning you have to do by controlling mold and fungal growth.
Written by Alexandra Stallone