According to Moneywise, as a nation we spend an average of Â£163 on cleaning products each year. Cleaning products are everywhere in our homes; from the plates and dishes to countertops, furniture, clothes, floors and windows. There are plenty of natural products and ways that you can keep your home clean and fresh without the toxic side effects. Below are some ways in which you can reduce your impact on the environment and become a greener cleaner:
Choose green cleaning products
Many cleaning products contain specific chemicals, which can be bad for your family and the environment. It is best to use cleaning products that are non-toxic and environmentally friendly. It is important to avoid cleaning products that contain phosphates, chlorine, and VOCs, as these can be harmful to your health and the environment. If in doubt at all, there is some useful information on the website of domestic cleaning company Molly Maid, which discusses green cleaning and guidance on reading product labels-go to mollymaid.co.uk and visit their blog.
Try finding all-purpose cleaners that can be used interchangeably between your bathroom and kitchen. These contain naturally occurring substances such as lauramine oxide, TEA lauryl sulphate and caprylyl glucoside. Alternatively, vinegar and baking soda can be used to clean almost anything. Just mix with a little warm water and you’ve got yourself an all-purpose cleaner!
Get clever with your cleaning
There are some simple yet clever ways to reduce your environmental impact within your cleaning routine. If you have a dishwasher, only put it on when you have a full load. If you have wooden or laminate flooring within your home, avoid using a vacuum cleaner when you can use a dustpan and brush to sweep up. Try not to clean excessively either; that small mess on the kitchen worktop can often be wiped with a wet cloth rather than using cleaning products.
Recycle when you can
A recent survey of 1,000 people revealed the average UK home uses 440 plastic bottles a year, but recycles just 250 of them. When it comes to recycling, nearly two thirds admit to being indifferent, and one in ten young people claim not to care about recycling at all. It is important to recycle, whatever the economic climate; it saves energy and reduces the amount of raw materials being used. There will be a large number of items in your home that you can recycle. Your local council will be able to tell you what recycling services and facilities are available in your area.
Wash clothing at 30 degrees
If you don't already, try washing your clothes at 30 degrees to save energy. According to Energy Star, 90% of the energy used in a washing machine is used to heat the water. Unless you need to remove a tough stain, it is possible to wash your clothes in cold water. There are various types of green laundry detergents and only use the recommended dose for the hardness of water in your area. Another useful tip is to wait until you have enough clothes before putting on a full load; two half loads will use more energy and water. Also try to avoid using a tumble dryer and dry your clothes outside when you can.