You’ve invested a lot of money into your home. After the long process of selecting that hardwood floor and carrying that heavy furniture into your house, you want to enjoy having them. But how can you do that if they’re dusty and dirty?
Having a clean home is a necessity for a good quality of life. But do you ever wonder what those harsh chemicals and cleansers do to our already deteriorating environment? Nothing good.
Keeping your home clean in an environmentally-friendly way isn’t as impossible of a task as it seems. We’ve been doing it for centuries before the invention of unnecessarily harsh cleaning products.
Here are some eco-friendly ways you can do your everyday cleaning.
Make Use of the Lemon, Vinegar, and Baking Soda Combo
Baking soda, lemons, and vinegar aren’t just good for making delicious food. They’re also an all-purpose, eco-friendly cleaning solution!
Baking soda is basic and can easily dissolve grease and dirt in some water. It’s also a good deodorizer and provides gentle abrasion for cleaning.
A paste of baking soda and water is enough to dislodge even the most stubborn cooking grease. Sprinkle some baking soda on your carpets to get rid of the bad smell.
Lemon is full of citric acid, which has antiseptic and antibacterial properties. Lemons can remove mold and mildew, kill bacteria, and remove rust and staining from most metals.
Use half a lemon to rub down your sinks and faucets to make them look squeaky clean! You can also rub your wooden chopping board with lemon and a sprinkle of salt to disinfect it.
Vinegar is also acidic. It can dissolve mineral deposits, soap scum, grease, dirt, and grime. Vinegar also doubles as a fabric softener. You can make your own distilled vinegar mixture by mixing vinegar and water in a 1:1 ratio and putting it in a spray bottle for easy use.
Baking soda is often sprinkled onto caked-on grimy surfaces, and vinegar or lemon juice is poured on it. Since baking soda is a base and lemon juice/vinegar is an acid, the mixture sizzles and bubbles up.
This dislodges the dirt. This reaction works well for unclogging drains, cleaning your oven and caked-on grease on pans, as well as killing mildew on fabrics.
Wipe Down Windows with Newspaper
If you have a ton of newspapers that are no longer useful to you, you can use them to wipe down your windows. It’s one of the cheapest and best-working methods for achieving clean, spotless windows.
Newspapers don’t leave streaks or lint on your windows. You can spray your distilled vinegar mixture on them and wipe it off with newspapers.
Repurpose Old Toothbrushes
You should change your toothbrush every 3 months, meaning there are many useless toothbrushes littering landfills. Every plastic toothbrush ever created since its invention still exists to this day.
Before switching to an eco-friendly alternative, use your plastic toothbrush until it’s time to throw it away, and then don’t. Turn your old toothbrushes into cleaning brushes.
They’re very handy for cleaning tight and hard-to-reach places, like stovetops, faucets, grooves in your fridge’s shelves, grout, and shoes.
Use Compostable Trash Bags
They’re made out of plant starch and are naturally broken down by the microbes in the environment, turning into compost.
Not only do compostable trash bags not end up in landfills, but they also enrich the soil with nutrients.
You’re going to have to throw things away no matter how much you try to repurpose or reuse them, so it’s best to do it in an environmentally-friendly bag.
Get Indoor Plants to Help with Pests
Certain plants have evolved to repel insects. Their smell will turn insects away without you having to spray aerosol that will end up in your lungs.
Using these plants’ natural defense mechanisms against pests is leagues better than most insect repellent sprays. For example, DEET, which has been used as an insect repellent in the US for over 50 years, has been found in groundwater and can cause brain deficits.
Lavender has a lovely scent to us, but mosquitos hate it. It also attracts pollinators, which is great for the environment and surrounding flowers.
Rosemary and basil repel mosquitoes and kill mosquito larvae respectively. They’re easy to grow anywhere, and you can make good use of fresh rosemary and basil when cooking!
Mint is an incredibly hardy, fragrant herb. Mites, mosquitoes, rats, and many other pests are repelled by the menthol in mint. You can also use it in the kitchen, from making mint-infused water to spicing up your soups and salads.
Using Cornstarch and Cream of Tartar to Clean Metal Works
Most metals tarnish after being exposed to air for some time. You might have things made of brass, copper, stainless steel, or chrome around your house.
Many taps, faucets, and some door knobs are made out of brass. Your silverware, pots, pans, and sinks are made out of stainless steel.
Many bathroom accessories are made out of chrome. You might even have some inherited copper antiques. Tarnish on some of these things can make them borderline non-functional.
To brighten them up, make a mixture of cornstarch, lemon juice, and salt in a ratio of 1:1:1. SImply apply the paste on a metal surface and rub it gently with an old piece of cloth. Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes, and then wipe it away with a damp rag.
For aluminum metalwork, fill up the aluminum pot with water and bring it to a boil. Mix into it ½ cup of vinegar and 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar for every quart of water. Let it boil for 10 minutes. Then, pour it out, rinse the pot, and admire the shine!
Using eco-friendly alternatives isn’t only good for the environment—it’s also good for you! As you adapt to some of these natural cleaning methods, you’ll see your health and well-being improve.
Most household cleansers are unnecessarily strong. For example, the use of bleach is rarely justified. Of course, there are some cleaning jobs that absolutely require the use of harsh chemicals, but most everyday cleaning certainly doesn’t.
Do the environment and yourself a favor, and implement some of these natural cleaning methods. Happy cleaning!