Have you ever looked at the ingredients list on the back of your cleaning products? Chances are, you won’t recognize the tongue-twisting chemicals that are listed. Those harsh chemicals may get your home squeaky-clean, the reality is they come at a cost to your health and the environment.
The good news is, you don’t need to expose yourself or the planet to toxic chemicals to keep your place tidy and fresh. With a few simple swaps, you can transform your cleaning routine into an eco-friendly endeavor. With a few simple steps you can swap the toxic cleaners for natural, DIY alternatives or sustainable products with ingredients you can pronounce. You’ll be breathing easier in no time.
Why Go Green with Your Cleaning Routine?
Using natural, non-toxic products improves the air quality in your home and creates a healthier environment for you and your family. Harsh chemicals found in many conventional cleaners have been linked to asthma, allergies and other ailments. By switching to eco-friendly alternatives, you may eliminate these risks.
DIY natural cleaners made from ingredients like baking soda, vinegar and essential oils are not only affordable — they often work just as well as store-bought products. You’ll save money by making your own or buying green cleaners in bulk.
But there’s more.
The chemicals in many traditional cleaners pollute the air, ground and water. By going green, you reduce pollution and practice sustainability. Eco-friendly products are biodegradable and non-toxic, so they won’t contaminate the environment.
Ease Into the Transition
Even if you’re interested in green cleaning, you don’t have to overhaul your routine overnight. Start by replacing one product at a time as you run out. Once you experience the benefits, you’ll likely want to incorporate more options into your routine. Here are a few easy swaps to start get you started:
Baking soda: Use to scrub surfaces and deodorize carpets
Vinegar: Helps to clean and disinfect floors, counters and windows
Lemon juice: Brighten and degrease dishes and cut through grease on stovetops
Hydrogen peroxide: Use to disinfect and deodorize trash cans and litter boxes
When it comes to eco-friendly cleaning supplies, the options today are all-but-endless. Not sure where to start? Read on.
Trade harsh chemicals like ammonia or bleach for a natural, DIY solution of equal parts water and white vinegar or a commercial product with plant-based ingredients. Then, use it to spray and wipe down counters, floors, bathrooms and more.
Conventional detergents contain phosphates, dyes and fragrances that pollute waterways. Choose a plant-based, dye-free and phosphate-free formula or make your own using baking soda, washing soda and castile soap.
Look for a product specifically meant for hand washing dishes that’s free from dyes, parabens and sulfates. Or create a simple sudsy solution of liquid castile soap, washing soda and essential oils.
All-Purpose Cleaning Wipes
Disposable wipes are terrible for the planet. Instead, make reusable cleaning wipes by cutting up old t-shirts or using washable cloth diapers. Spray them with your eco-friendly all-purpose cleaner or a solution of water and white vinegar and you’ve got wipes that clean without the waste.
Other Green Cleaning Ideas
In addition to using natural cleaning supplies, it’s a great time to look at some other common items you use in your home.
For example, paper towels are wasteful and end up in landfills. Instead, use cloth napkins, dish towels and sponges. Wash them regularly in hot, soapy water. For stuck-on messes, turn to natural abrasives like baking soda, scrub brushes and steel wool pads.
Not to be overlooking is your food disposal routine. Rather than throw food waste in the trash, start a compost bin or send scraps to a composting service. Composting food scraps reduces waste and produces nutrient-rich fertilizer for your garden. Plus, it cuts down on the amount of waste in landfills that produces methane gas.
By ditching harsh chemicals in favor of natural alternatives, using reusable products when you can and properly disposing of or recycling what you do use, you’re well on your way to a greener home. Remember that every small change you make has an impact, helping to reduce pollution and keep our environment healthy for future generations.
Want more tips on making your house a (sustainable) home? Check out our blog — it’s filled with tips and tricks to help you settle in, make the most of your abode and explore the neighborhood you’ve moved to.