With environmental concerns in the headlines at the moment I thought I’d pass on some easy tips for being green and clean!
Chemical free cleaning
Once upon time I used to be a big user of chemicals in my everyday cleaning. I like my household surfaces to sparkle and I have to admit I had just about every cleaning chemical available tucked under my kitchen sink.
After my eldest son was diagnosed with severe asthma and eczema I started to investigate ways I could use more natural products in my cleaning. That was 15 years ago, and today I’m happy to report that I use very few chemicals at all in my cleaning routine.
I use Enjo® products for most cleaning jobs. Enjo® make a series of cleaning “fibres” (in other words, cloths) that require no chemicals to work. My favourite product is the floor cleaner. I use the Matt Floor Fibre on my tiled floors and they come up beautifully clean – no detergents or chemicals of any type required. Enjo® products are not cheap, but in my opinion they represent value for money.
Washing machines use an awful lot of water and power. The best way to be green in the laundry is choose an eco smart appliance when you next have to buy a new machine. There can be considerable differences between models so it’s worth doing your research.
If you are not in the market for new appliances just yet there are lots of things you can do to minimise your environmental impact in the laundry. Choose the cold water option on your machine whenever possible to save power. The shortest wash cycle is usually adequate to clean normally soiled clothing. Choosing this will save power and water. Wash only full loads where possible.
Think carefully about the washing powder you use, especially if you reuse your washing water on the garden. Harsh laundry detergents can dull your clothes over time so choosing a gentler option makes economic sense as well as being kind to the environment. Replace your fabric conditioner with white vinegar. This will leave your washing lovely and soft and keeps your machine clean at the same time!
Hang clothes on an airer or clothesline as soon as the load is finished to prevent creasing. This cuts down on ironing time and saves your clothes from the wear and tear of the clothes dryer. If you must use a dryer, choose the minimum amount of drying time. Remove and fold clothes as soon as the cycle is finished and you won’t need to iron.
In the kitchen
Only use your dishwasher when it is full and choose an appropriate wash cycle. Choose the eco option if there is one.
Use microfibre cloths to wipe down kitchen benches and other surfaces. These are available in the supermarket and are very inexpensive. Just dampen the cloth to clean most surfaces (even grimy cooktops!) No sprays or chemicals required.
A fantastic product to clean with is bicarb soda. I make a past with bicarb and lemon juice to clean my sink with if it is looking a little dull. I also keep a small amount in an open container at the back of fridge. The bicarb absorbs odours and helps keep the fridge smelling fresh.
I’d love to hear your tips for environmentally friendly cleaning and organising.