I love green cleaning. It is healthier for you and healthier for the environment. I guess, for me, the awareness for the need to use “green” products in cleaning came about when I noticed I had problems around certain chemicals when cleaning. My eyes would burn and sting, my nasal passages would burn and I would have trouble breathing. My body told me these were bad long before I heard of “green cleaning and I learned other methods of cleaning. Some people think green cleaning is a hassle, but here are some of my tips to make things easier:
- Keep things clean as you go so you don’t have build-up that requires stronger cleaning techniques. Wipe down sinks, countertops, stove tops after using them. Spills wipe up quickly if you don't give them time to set and get hard.
- In the shower, purchase a squeegee (dollar store ones work well) and squeegee down the walls and shower door. This keeps soap scum from building up. I can go weeks without cleaning and then just use a mild cleanser when I do clean.
- Use a little elbow grease! Put more muscle into cleaning and less chemicals! I often enlist the help of my husband on some projects.
- A little vinegar and water goes a long way! I love to use this mix for my wood floors (make sure you dry with a towel as you go along) and my tile bathroom floors. Don't fear vinegar--the scent doesn't hang around.
- Clean the air naturally with plants. Plants can absorb many common pollutants and improve air quality. Some common ones are Philodendron, Dracaena, Ficus and my favorite, Mother-in-Law’s Tongue (boy, I wish I could kill this one!). I like these plants because they are easy to grow. A quick internet search can help you select the best plants for your house.
- Keep your drains clean by cleaning them out every month with a baking soda vinegar mix. Not only will they stay clog-free, they will also smell fresh.
- Cook something that smells not-so-pleasant (think fish or Goetta)? Set out a bowl of vinegar. It will absorb odors in no time!
- Garbage disposal stink? Toss some lemon in to freshen it up. Throw some ice in, too, to sharpen those blades.
- Stinky trash cans? Try lining the bottom with newspaper and sprinkle some baking soda on it. It should absorb all the odors.
- Another favorite of mine is to use baking soda to freshen carpets. Sprinkle some on your carpet and allow to set a bit, then vacuum up for fresh carpets!
If you are more inclined to just purchase “green” products, consider Mrs. Meyers products. About Mrs. Meyer’s as posted on Twittermoms:
"Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day makes household products for people looking for a better way to clean. Our natural, plant-derived essential oils are powerful against daily dirt and grime, but leave your home smelling like a garden, not harsh chemicals.
Our refreshing scents include cool and crisp Basil, soothing Lavender, invigorating Lemon Verbena and uplifting Geranium. We also make a line of Baby Blossom personal care products specifically formulated and dermatologist-tested for little ones.
For more info on Mrs. Meyers, go to http://www.mrsmeyers.com/
All of our cleaning supplies are earth friendly -- biodegradable, phosphate-free, and not tested on animals. Cleaning is something we all have to do. So why not make it just a little more enjoyable?"
Disclosure: I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Mrs. Meyer’s blogging program, making me eligible to get a $30 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.