Clean and Green

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.

Green Laundry

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.


About Lisa Ireland

Women's Fiction Author
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2 Responses to Clean and Green

  1. Mel says:

    Lisa – about a year ago I came across a woman called Wendyl Nissen,who is well known to Kiwis as a former NZ Woman’s Weekly editor, and who has given up the fastpaced media life to become a domestic goddess! She’s written a great book called “Domestic Goddess on a Budget” which is jam packed with ‘Nana recipes’ for enviro-friendly cleaning solutions. I now make my own laundry liquid as well as spray and wipe (my adapted version – fill up an empty spray bottle with warm water, add 2 teaspoons baking soda baking soda, 2 tablespoons liquid castile soap, 1 tsp glycerine and about 15-20 drops eucalyuptus oil). You can leave out the glycerine or use Sunlight liquid instead of the castille soap. You can by everything from the supermarket and it’s way cheaper than commercially bought stuff.

    • Lisa says:

      Mel, thanks for the tip. I’ll definitely be looking out for the book. My eldest has a range of allergies and suffers badly from asthma and eczema, so we try to go natural as much as possible.

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