Ways to Clean Green
Everyone has their own reason for switching to green cleaning. Perhaps you’re rightfully concerned about the chemicals in popular store-bought cleaners. Your skin may be too sensitive for the harsh chemicals, or you may worry about the long term health risks of chemical cleaners. Or maybe you want to save money—and the environment—by using more natural cleaners and fewer one-time-use products.
Whatever your reasons, going green has never been easier. Between bulk purchasing and the Internet’s bounty of information, green cleaning is both affordable and accessible to anyone willing to try.
For those just starting out, here are 10 simple ways to clean green:
1. Baking soda
Does your kitchen sink look a bit scary? Simply sprinkle baking soda over the problem area and mist it with a little water to make a paste. Wait ten to twenty minutes, and then use a scrub brush, cloth, or sponge to scrub the area. All that’s left is to rinse and be amazed.
Baking soda is a hardworking, natural and versatile scouring agent. What’s more, it’s also a powerful deodorizer. It’s no wonder that baking soda is one of the most commonly used ingredients in home cleaning recipes and remedies.
If green cleaning were a competition, vinegar would tie with baking soda for MVP. Vinegar is a natural anti-fungal cleaner that can be used to kill bacteria and germs. Like baking soda, vinegar is also an effective deodorizer. Though it smells strong with first use, it’s odor quickly disappears—taking the bad odor with it.
Essential oils are yet another versatile, natural cleaning component. Like vinegar and baking soda, they are recommended for a wide variety of cleaning recipes. These natural extracts are capable of killing mold and bacteria, as well as provide a fresh, clean scent. Popular oils include tea tree, lemon and lavender. Although $15 for a few milliliters may seem like a steep price, never fear, it’s quite the cost effective purchase. Essential oils are so strong, you usually only need a few drops per cleaning recipe.
4. Lemon Juice
While users with paper cuts may want to wear gloves, lemon juice is a user friendly, non-toxic bleach. A capable disinfectant and stain remover, lemon juice—like essential oils—provides a fresh, bright scent to accompany its cleaning powers.
5. Olive Oil
Wood furniture can be a surprising sticking point when it comes to green cleaning. Surely you need to use a highly specific, manufactured cleaner when caring for your wood furniture.
Wrong. There are simple and effective natural wood cleaner recipes as well as natural wood polish recipes. If your wood furniture is in need of a quick polish and shine, skip the aerosol sprays and combine a little cold pressed olive oil and lemon juice.
6. Distilled Water
Although it won’t do much on its own, distilled water is frequently used to dilute other ingredients in green cleaning recipes.
Borax inspires a lot of debate: is it safe or not? Borax is sodium tetraborate, a natural mineral and salt. Overall it appears to be a relatively safe antifungal, disinfectant, deodorant, and all around cleaner. Just try to avoid ingesting—that goes for pets or small children as well— as it can be dangerous if ingested in high quantities. (But hey, the same thing can be said about ingesting large quantities of baking soda!)
8. Elbow Grease
One of the cheapest, most natural tools in your green cleaning arsenal is good old-fashioned elbow grease.
You’ll find that you don’t need fifty separate cleaners and fifty different brushes, wands, wipes, or specialty tools. Instead, invest in the most widely used ingredients (listed above) and a good scrub brush. If you’re looking to up-cycle items on hand, try re-purposing your old toothbrush. While your dentist may recommend changing it every three months, your toothbrush still has a lot to offer. Toothbrushes make the perfect scrubbers for grout lines and other small spaces.
9. Microfiber Cloths
Throw out that aerosol dusting spray and grab a pack of microfiber cloths. Microfiber cloths are affordable, reusable, and pick up an amazing amount of dirt and dust. Depending on your need, use them dry or dampen them with a bit of water. Once dirty, either rinse and wring or toss them in the washer.
Instead of wasting a bunch of paper towels—and having to deal with their lint—use an old newspaper next time you clean your windows. Once you’re finished, you can toss the newspaper in the recycling.
Still not convinced? Next time you need to clean, use the ingredients you have on hand (most homes are stocked with vinegar and baking soda) and take a home cleaning recipe for a test drive.
Related Blog: Get the Skinny on Weight Management with Citrus Oils
Please share Ways to Clean Green