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Eco-friendly cleaning: Natural products for a perfectly clean home

eco cleaning lemon

Photo by Crema Joe

To some people, cleaning is just another dull household chore. To others – an enjoyable experience. The first ‘group’ of people probably counts more members, but let’s come down to the conclusion that even though cleaning is not always enjoyable, it should be a safe experience. Though many people swear by certain detergents and chemical cleaning products offered on the market, others have turned to the old-fashioned way of cleaning – by using natural products. If you are environmentally conscious, you already know that some cleaning products offered by big brands are full of toxic chemicals which are hazardous to both our health and the environment. So, would you consider the eco-friendly cleaning alternatives?

eco cleaning lemon
Photo by Crema Joe

What does ‘eco-friendly cleaning’ actually mean?

The term itself explains it all, so ‘green cleaning’ means using cleaning products and methods with environmentally friendly ingredients. Eco-friendly products are used to clean your home naturally, without the chemical residue that can potentially harm your family and pets. They are designed to protect the health of both humans and the environment.

Green cleaning also refers to the manufacture, packaging and distribution of the cleaning products. So, if the manufacturing process was environmentally friendly, and the products are biodegradable, then the term ‘green’ or ‘eco-friendly’ would apply. Believe it or not, some of these products are already used in everyday life, even for cooking! And all of these products can be found on the shelves of your favourite supermarket, or online!

Why switch to natural products?

Chemical-based cleaning products have a few disadvantages:

  • Very often, they are pricier than the natural cleaning products
  • The chemical ingredients they are made of are often toxic and can trigger health issues
  • Their manufacture, use and disposal has a negative impact and can harm the environment

What are the most common, environmentally safe ingredients used for cleaning?

We gathered a list of ingredients that can be used alone or in combination with other ingredients to create a mixture and ‘treat’ a number of household applications.  Most areas don’t need more than vinegar, soap, water and baking soda, but the rest of the products mentioned on the list are useful for specific jobs.

Lemon

 Lemon juice is one of nature’s greatest gifts as far as cleaning is concerned. It is considered to have one of the food’s strongest acids. Due to its high level of acidity, lemon juice acts as a powerful antiseptic and a natural deodorizer.

Baking soda

Sodium bicarbonate, more commonly known as baking soda, is also one of the most effective natural cleaners. This substance cleans, deodorizes, scours surfaces and softens the water.

White vinegar

This ingredient is known to have a weak acetic acid with strong antibacterial properties. This means that is can be used in almost every aspect of home cleaning, to cut grease, remove odors and stains, remove mildew and prevent wax build-up.

Alcohol

Certain types of alcohol, such as for example vodka, are known to be excellent odor removers. Other forms of ethanol can be used as cleaners and disinfectants.

Vegetable or olive oil

Simply perfect when taking care of wooden areas.

Soap

Unscented soaps are biodegradable and will clean almost everything. Avoid buying soaps that contain petroleum distillates.

Yes, you can make your own eco-friendly cleaning products at home!

The following recipes are less harmful and in most cases-less expensive cleaning alternatives to many commercial products. They should minimize the toxic substances in your home and reduce the negative impact on the environment.

Results may vary, so be careful and before applying any cleaning formulas, test them on areas which aren’t very visible, if possible. Make sure you label them properly and always keep them out of reach of children.

1. All-Purpose Cleaner

What you need:

  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • ¼ cup baking soda
  • ½ gallon (2 liters) of water

Mix them together, pour liquid into a spray bottle and use it whenever you need. Cleaning windows, bathroom mirrors, removing water deposit stains on shower panels, you name it – this all-purpose cleaner can be used for almost everything indeed!

2. Clean a ceramic or glass stovetop

What you need:

  • Soap
  • Water/ White vinegar

To remove sticky day-to-day food stains, wet the area with hot soapy water or mix vinegar and soap. Then, sprinkle it with baking soda. Cover it with damp towel and leave it for half an hour. You should then wipe the area with a clean damp cloth.

3. Clean your oven

What you need:

  • Water
  • Baking soda

Make a thick paste of baking soda and water and apply it to the bottom of the oven to clean it. Leave it for a couple of hours or overnight and scrape it off or wipe the surface with a cloth.

4. Descale your kettle

What you need:

  • White vinegar

Yes, vinegar is your best friend if you want to clean your kettle, or you can use lemon juice as well. So, pour a 50/50 mixture of water and white vinegar into the kettle and let it boil. Rinse the kettle once it cools down and scrub it with a sponge to make it shine. Rinse it again and there you have it – looking new and shiny!

5. Make your windows, mirrors and tiles shine

What you need:

  • White vinegar

Once again, vinegar comes to the rescue! Simply fill an empty spray bottle with a 50/50 mixture of water and white vinegar and spray it on the needed area. Wipe down the area with a microfiber cloth to avoid streaking.

6. Carpet Freshener

What you need:

  • 1 cup Baking soda
  • Essential oil

Combine a cup of baking soda with 10-20 drops of your favourite essential oil. Sprinkle it all over the carpet and allow it to be absorbed a few hours before you vacuum it.

7. Clean and soften your clothes

What you need:

  • Baking soda

Baking soda is a practical addition to the laundry room. Add it to the wash when you add your regular liquid detergent. It will soften your clothes and remove any unpleasant odors.

8. Brighten the toilet bowl

What you need:

  • 1 cup of baking soda
  • 1 cup of white vinegar

Yes, believe it: baking soda does wonders in the bathroom as well. Sprinkle a cup of baking soda into the toilet and leave it for an hour. Then, add a cup of white vinegar, let it sit for a while and flush. There it is – practical and easy!

9. Return the shine to your copper pans

What you need:

  • 1 half of lemon
  • salt/baking powder

Dip the lemon in salt or baking powder and rub the mixture onto your pans. You will see the difference immediately.

Are there any commercial, non-toxic cleaning products offered on the market?

So, if you aren’t in the mood to mix and match different home products, you can always opt for safe, naturally-derived, non-toxic products offered on the market. These eco-friendly cleaning products are totally safe for you, your family and for the environment.

Tip: If you are a person who thinks that a cleaning company can do a better job at cleaning than yourself, or you simply don’t have the time, we have some good news. There are companies that use ‘green cleaning’ methods, so that you aren’t afraid of all the downsides of cleaning with chemical-based detergents.

  • Method: This brand is famous for its floor and bathroom cleaner sprays, and they sell a multi-surface cleaner that comes in different fragrances, so you can opt for a scent you like.
  • Common Good: It’s famous for its refillable eco-friendly cleaning products. Their mission is to reduce plastic waste, so they sell their products in biodegradable refillable packaging.
  • Ecos: Super practical and budget friendly, this brand sells cleaning products for more than one purpose. So, from a laundry detergent to stain and odour removers-this company sells it all!
  • Mrs. Meyers: If you are looking for a multi-purpose cleaner, look no more! This brand offers a very convenient cleaning product. Plus, it includes a birch extract, which is an excellent grease cutter.
  • Better Life: This multi-purpose cleaner will become your best friend around the house. It cuts through hard water stains, soap and grease leftovers and food stains. What could possibly be better than this?

Clean safe: time to ditch chemical-based cleaning products!

Let’s be honest, common commercial cleaners are full of toxins and polluting substances which we admit, may make domestic life easier… However, the outcome of using chemical-based products can be negative and potentially harmful for you, your family and the environment. This is why ‘green cleaning’ has taken the world by storm and it comes as no surprise that many people have turned to using natural ingredients as cleaning alternatives. Eco-friendly cleaning products clean your home naturally, and aren’t hazardous to you and everything around you. So, which side are you on?

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