Ever wondered how to make your cleaning routine kinder on the environment? Well we have put together a brief article sharing some of our tips and tricks on green cleaning.
We’re not suggesting you change your cleaning routine entirely, but maybe just make some small changes here and there to kick-start a greener cleaning routine.
1. A breath of fresh air
Nothing feels fresher than the great outdoors, so why not try freshening up your home more frequently with some fresh air. Open your windows for 20 mins a day to let some air in. Even if it’s winter and it’s a bit too cold, just open them for 5 minutes.
If you live in a city however, chances are that there isn’t an abundance of ‘fresh’ air to go around. Well the good news is that you can introduce items into your home to purify the air from within. Plants are one of the best options for air purification, thanks to their natural ability to absorb particles from the air to produce oxygen (photosynthesis). The plants to choose for this purpose are those with large green leaves.
Instead of buying shop bought air fresheners why not try something a little different that you can make yourself. Try boiling your favourite herbs, fruits and spices to create a delicious aroma that will reach every nook and cranny in your house. You could also use essential oils to make room sprays and diffusers to introduce a permanent fresh scent into your home.
2. Natural cleaning products
If you fancy trying your hand at a spot of DIY, why not try making your own natural cleaning products. There are plenty of ingredients you could find lying around your cupboards that could be used for deep cleaning your home, and one of the best things is that they smell amazing!
Do you have any of the following lying around at home: baking soda, white vinegar and essential oils? If you do, then you are already half way there.
Try chopping up a lemon and putting it in a bowl of water, then microwave it for a minute and remove from the microwave; you will find that all of the grease and grime is suddenly far easier to clean away with a damp cloth.
To make your very own multi-purpose cleaning spray, simply mix the following ingredients together and store in a spray container:
- 3/4 cup white vinegar
- 3 tbsp baking powder
- 15 drops of your favourite essential oil (lemon and tea tree both work really well)
3. Leave it outside
One of the last things you want to do is bring any more germs, toxins or dirt into your house than necessary so you need to get into the habit of leaving all of those things outside.
We’re not suggesting that you should become obsessive about germs and dirt but it does pay to make a habit of certain things that will help keep your house cleaner, saving you time in the long run as you won’t have to clean up after yourself as much.
One of the most commonly overlooked contaminants are your shoes. The soles of your shoes come into contact with an abundance of germs and potential harmful toxins during the average day, and even if you religiously wipe your feet on the doormat at the end you will still be trailing all of these particles through your home. This is particularly bad news for small children and pets who spend a large amount of time on the floor.
Enforce a shoeless policy in your home, with a doormat and shoe rack in the porch that makes it clear to any house guests that shoes are to be removed before coming in. Even if you would rather not make a fuss of this rule with guests, at least follow this habit yourself.
4. Keep it fresh
We are all too familiar of that feeling of not having enough time, and although we would like to think that our weekends are going to be spent relaxing, more often than not our house chores seem to consume our weekends.
The best thing you can do to counteract this, is to establish a cleaning routine to make sure that those chores are evenly spread. Assign yourself specific tasks for each day of the week; this shouldn’t take up more than 15 / 20 minutes a day (if that). This will not only help keep your house looking and smelling fresh all week long but it will also give you a better quality of life, with more time on the weekend set aside for doing something you enjoy.
If you really can’t stay on top of your home cleaning it may be worth considering hiring some assistance. There are plenty of cleaning companies that would be more than happy to help take some of the weight off your shoulders.
As we mentioned in step 1, introducing plants into your home is a great way to improve the quality of air. Ranking in the top five public health risks, indoor air pollutants are an underestimated threat to our health.
Considering how much time the average Brit spends at home, it is important that the environment they live in supports a healthy lifestyle.
So why do plants make the air cleaner? It all comes back down to photosynthesis; in the same way that they absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen, they also absorb air pollutants that linger in our homes. Not only do they clean the air we breathe, it has also been revealed that they improve our quality of life and help us concentrate. It was recently found in a study that hospital patients who have plants and flowers nearby had reduced stress levels.
So how do you know which houseplant to buy, or how may? A lot of this comes down to personal choice but essentially you need to look for the plants with broad green leaves, and if they have a delightfully sweet smell, well that’s just a bonus! Depending on how forgetful you are it might be a good idea to choose houseplants that are pretty self-sustaining and difficult to kill; this way you don’t need to worry too much about remembering to water them on a daily basis.