Taking care of children and keeping the house clean is a monumental task, and that’s before you throw in the added concern of being environmentally friendly. There’s much more to eco-friendly cleaning than just buying green products. There are a number of little tricks that can make your life easier while cleaning, without employing wasteful products and toxic ingredients.
Rid your home of toxic chemicals and keep your space green with these eco-friendly house cleaning tips. They require little extra effort and leave your home smelling fresh and natural.
- Use Vinegar to Kill Germs
Odds are you have a bottle of vinegar somewhere in your kitchen. Now there’s, even more, uses for it beyond cooking! Distilled vinegar is an excellent, eco-friendly liquid for killing germs around the house without resorting to strange chemicals. Create a spray bottle of vinegar solution by mixing white vinegar with water. This mixture will break up grease, dry quickly, and leave the surfaces of your home looking shiny.
- Try Cloth Diapers
If you have a baby, mountains of diapers are necessary. But throwing them out constantly just sends tons of waste to the landfill. Try avoiding this environmental waste by using a cloth diaper. These can be washed regularly and reused, saving on paper products sent to the local landfill. If you find the idea of wasting water in the washing machine a disincentive, try researching diaper brands for more disposable, biodegradable products.
- Make Home Green with Actual Greenery
Don’t bother with chemical-filled air fresheners with artificial scents. Go for the real thing: actual plants! Certain species of houseplants filter the air around them naturally, producing fresh, clean-smelling natural oxygen. The best plants for this purpose are peace lilies, English ivy, and spider plants. Not only will this freshen up the air circulating indoors, they’re also nice decorations.
- Shop with Reusable Bags
There are always so many plastic bags left over after a trip to the grocery store, it’s normal to start throwing them out after a while. However, single-use bags are horrible for the environment. The easiest way to avoid contributing to this problem is by bringing a reusable shopping bag with you to the store. You can store them in the car or in your closet and pull them out whenever you need them. Some of them are even quite fashionable!
- Change Light Bulbs
To save on both your electricity bill and your effect on the environment, change the light bulbs in your house to compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). These bulbs cut energy consumption by 75 percent, and also last longer than regular bulbs. Take five minutes to swap out your old incandescent bulbs and make a small but meaningful impact on the environment.
- Clean with Lemon Juice
Vinegars, not the only liquid in your kitchen that will help you clean – it turns out lemon juice is also a fantastic cleaning product. For polishing hardwood, mix together half a cup with one cup of olive oil to create a fragrant solution. If you’re tackling hard water deposits, employ undiluted lemon juice to clear away the marks in your tub. It smells nice, and also can clear away stains on furniture, carpets, and counters.
- Use Newspapers
Paper towels generate a lot of waste, but they’re not the only paper product that can take on smudged windows and mirrors. Take old newspapers that are lying around on your tables and use them to wipe down surfaces. When you use newspapers to wipe windows and mirrors, no streaks or lint are left behind.
- Make Homemade Fruit Fly Repellent
Where there are small children, there is stickiness. Dropped pieces of food are sure to attract fruit flies, especially in the summer. You could always buy chemical fly traps, or unsightly fly tape, but there are eco-friendly solutions to your fruit fly problem. Simply take a mason jar and fill it with both dish soap and apple cider vinegar. The vinegar will attract the flies, and the soap will trap them in the solution. After a few days, no more flies!