On Earth Day each April, people celebrate the planet and try to be a bit greener. This should not be a once in a year event, but should rather become a way of life. Many companies, including home cleaning services, use green methods continually to help protect and preserve our environment.
One way you can do your part is by making your cleaning routine more eco-friendly. Harsh household cleaning chemicals have fumes and other components that can be harmful to both your health and the environment. Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to keep household cleaning green with these tips. Both you and the rest of us will breathe easier as a result.
- Lemon or lime juice
Cori Morenberg, owner of Ms. Green-Clean in New York City, recommends adding lime or lemon juice to baking soda to scour your sinks and tub. She goes a step further by using the citrus halves as a sponge after squeezing the juice out of the fruit. She sprinkles baking soda and then scrubs away any tough stains with the fruit. This method will also take care of any lingering odors.
- Baking soda
Baking soda has been used as a powerhouse in green cleaning for a long time. It can be mixed with a little dishwashing soap and used to scour pans and pots, or sprinkled onto carpets to absorb pet smells before vacuuming. Leaving an opened box in the fridge will remove odors. Note: Don’t use baking soda on aluminum, as it will tarnish it.
Vinegar is another superhero on the green scene, as it is packed with antimicrobial properties. Vinegar destroys bacteria and mold, and it removes pet urine. It can even be used to kill weeds. Dilute white vinegar with water in equal parts before using. Vodka is also a very effective disinfectant. Spray it straight onto bathroom tiles and grout to combat mildew and mold in the bathroom or kitchen.
- Reuse your refuse
An indispensable part of being green is creating less waste. Composting can reduce yours by half. Place kitchen scraps and garden clippings in a bin at least 2 feet away from the house. To aid in decomposition, turn over the pile once a week. When the components can no longer be identified, use them as fertilizer. If you have no backyard, place scraps in an aerated bucket (like this one) or a coffee can under the sink. Many farmers markets have areas for collecting compost.
Instead of using rolls of paper towels, invest in reusable cleaning cloths made of eco-friendly bamboo. The ultra-soft material is naturally bacteria resistant and can be used on even the most sensitive surfaces. Add essential oil (we love invigorating geranium or calming lavender) to hot water for a pleasant scent. Wring the cloth out completely and wipe down surfaces.
If you do use cleaners bought in the store, make sure they bear the EPA-approved Design for the Environment (DfE) label.