Green is no longer just a color, but a movement intended to be gentler to ourselves and our Earth by reducing chemical usage, increasing recycling and using less energy, among other goals. So, how can you ‘go green’ when you clean your home? The following are some green cleaning tips:
- Laundry: Do you know how much energy it takes to wash and dry laundry? You can cut that energy use in half by hanging your laundry to dry rather than using your dryer. In the winter, or cooler, months, you can set up an indoor laundry drying system that allows laundry to hang dry, taking advantage of the heat you’ve already got. If you hang your laundry outdoors, turn things inside out so they don’t fade.
- Oven cleaning: If you have baked on food in your oven, you don’t need to run a self- cleaning cycle that uses a great deal of energy or invest in harmful cleaning products. Instead, use table salt. The next time you bake, after you remove the food from your oven, put some salt on any spills while the oven is still warm. Wait for it to cool then scrape the food off or wipe it with a sponge.
- Floor cleaning: The floors in your house get dirty, but you can clean them properly while staying green. Clean any spills immediately, so they don’t have a chance to settle in. Then, once a week, wash them using a mixture of one gallon hot water, 1/8 cup white vinegar and 1/8 cup liquid dish soap. A weekly scrubbing with this effective, yet mild mixture will result in a very clean floor without the need for harsh chemical cleaners.
- All purpose cleaning: Your sinks, walls, counter tops and general household surfaces all need cleaning from time to time. A green all purpose cleaner works wonders on these areas. You can buy a commercial product that’s kid and earth friendly or you can make your own using a quart of warm water and 4 tablespoons of baking soda. It’s non-toxic and cleans surfaces like counters beautifully.
- Cleaner air: The air in your home can become polluted and contaminated if you don’t take measures to keep it clean. However, electric filters which can be expensive and energy consuming are not green options. So, what is? Try houseplants. Many houseplants such as spider plants, ferns and English ivy clean the air and freshen it naturally.
These five tips will help you have a cleaner, greener home!