Everyone likes to have a nice, clean home, but unfortunately for the planet, this often means using chemical-based cleaners packaged in plastic to achieve the desired results. Fortunately, there are plenty of alternatives out there that can help you achieve the clean you want without the same harm to the environment. Here are some ideas that every home should incorporate into their cleaning routines.
Chances are that your grandparents or even great-grandparents relied on vinegar as their primary cleaning product. You might think that vinegar’s amazing cleaning capabilities are nothing more than old wives’ tales, but the National Science Foundation begs to differ. You can read up on the benefits of vinegar as a cleaning product on the NSF website, but aside from that, it’s also environmentally friendly to produce and use.
Reusable “Paper” Towels
Many people mindlessly reach for the roll of paper towels when we’re diving into a big deep clean, but the truth is that paper towels are more harmful for the environment than you might think. While most paper towels are completely biodegradable, it’s the energy and resources that go into making them and transporting them to your local supermarkets that’s the real concern. Instead, switch that roll of paper towels for reusable alternatives. Many of them are extremely high-quality and just as lint-free as your favorite name brand paper towel.
Dish soap is an essential in many homes, but unfortunately, most households only use it for the purpose of washing their dishes. The truth is that you can utilize dish soap in many ways around your home – and most of them have nothing to do with your kitchen sink. Eco-friendly dishwashing detergents are everywhere these days, and castile soap is a fantastic alternative, too. A good castile soap can be utilized to clean floors, showers, tubs, and even clothes. The possibilities are endless. The fewer products you buy, the fewer bottles you have to dispose of, and that’s always a good thing for the planet.
If you’re still buying expensive (and sometimes even corrosive) metal polishes for chrome and stainless steel, you might be surprised to learn that a single lemon can do the same job just as well. Try cutting a lemon in half and sprinkling some salt on the exposed fruit, then using it much like you would a scouring pad. All you have to do is rinse the surface and then buff with a soft cloth, and your stainless steel and chrome will be as shiny as the day it was new.
Last, but most certainly not least, baking soda is another versatile ingredient to keep around your home for cooking, cleaning, laundry – virtually anything you can imagine. It’s mildly alkaline, which is great for neutralizing acidic stains and odors in your laundry, and it can even fight tough stains, too. Poured into a container, it can serve as a powerful deodorant in far more areas than the refrigerator. For scrubbing away rust, use a paste made with baking soda and water, and for greasy kitchen messes or to clean your toilet bowl, use a more liquidy mix of baking soda and water.
Although there are hundreds of eco-friendly cleaning products out there, these five are the simplest and most effective, and they are often the most affordable, too. In fact, with some vinegar, baking soda, a lemon, some eco-friendly dish soap, and a few reusable paper towels, there’s nothing in your home that you can’t clean, sanitize, and deodorize – no single-purpose expensive cleaning products required.