Spring cleaning the environmentally friendly way
The clocks have gone forward, the longer nights are here and temperatures are leaving the minus numbers. Spring is here, and for some it’s time to get out the rubber cleaning gloves and refresh the home. But, did you know your cleaning choices could have negative impacts for the nature coming back to life around us?
What are cleaning products made from?
Today, we are very conscious of the ingredients in our food and people strive to find the most organic options. But what of the products that surround us, at work at home and everywhere in between? Even today most cleaning products are petroleum based, and while they are tough on stains, they can also be bad for the environment.
While alternatives do exist on the market, it can sometimes be difficult to find purely green options. Check the contents of yours while you’re out shopping by keeping your phone handy. If you are unsure about choosing environmentally friendly options, why not use vinegar and baking soda? With the help of some warm water, this natural cleaning duo can clean almost any surface or material.
Are antibacterial cleaners essential?
In recent times antibacterial cleaners have gained a reputation as winter must-haves, however they do have faults. Firstly, hot water and soap can do the same job, plus these cleaners are linked to creating ‘superbugs’.
Do natural cleaning products smell?
After you clean your home you expect it to smell as good as it looks. The problems lie in the fact that the smell is often created using chemicals which mask other odours. The smell is chemically charged and adds to interior air pollution. Natural cleaning products can be made odourless but that doesn’t prevent you from creating a nice scent post-clean.
Use baking soda in the same way you would use scented vacuum powders, scatter it on your carpet before cleaning up after. The soda acts as an odour eliminator, neutralising the smells on fabrics.
Do you have air pollution in your home?
There’s a lot to be said for opening windows in the home, especially while cleaning. In some homes indoor air pollution has been greater than that outdoors. This is a result of cleaning substances, air fresheners and toiletries. Improved insulation may be great for energy consumption but it can lock-in air contamination - see more energy saving tips here. Keeping two windows open while you clean creates a refreshing airflow and is good for your health.
How can you dispose of cleaning products?
When your cleaning is done, be sure to dispose of goods responsibly. Strong chemicals should be correctly disposed of - don’t resort to pouring everything down the drain. Some councils offer special collection services for those sorts of wares. Centres such as ReGen can recycle the containers ensuring they do not add to the problem of plastic waste. Given that the vast majority of household cleaning goods are stored in plastic, this ensures less oil and fossil fuel-based products end up in landfill.
For more tips on improving the environment inside and outside of your home, be sure to read more from our news pages.