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Eco-Friendly Cleaning Tips

February 14th, 2013 - 8:27 AM

I’m pretty obsessed with cleaning. I’m always looking for ways to get my house super clean, and lately, I’ve been learning a lot about environmentally-friendly cleaning products. The biggest thing I’ve take away from what I’ve learned is there are cleaning products that are safer to use and can get my house just as clean if not cleaner than traditional cleaning products with toxics in them. After doing a lot of research, I have put together a bunch of eco-friendly cleaning tips that are sure to make your home environmentally safe and better for your family’s health. If you’re moving to a new home, and you want to get it super-clean before unpacking your boxes, these tips will be very helpful. Let’s take a look:

Eco-Friendly Cleaning Tips

So your first question might be “What are the traditional cleaning products you talk about above?” Basically, it’s anything labeled with the words poison, danger, or warning written on it. Toxic cleaners you should definitely avoid include: corrosives, bleach, phosphates, and petroleum products. You can read more about which toxic products to avoid here.

Empty out your cleaning closet of those harmful cleaning products and let’s begin learning some better (and safer) ways to clean your home with these eco-friendly cleaning tips:

  • Buy non-toxic products at the store or online. Look for the words “nontoxic” and “biodegradable” on the label. Remember to keep in mind those words above that indicate toxic ingredients and avoid those at all cost.
  • Vinegar and baking soda will be your new best cleaning friends! Mix the two together in hot water and you’ve got an all-purpose cleaner. The mix is great for removing dirt, but it isn’t a disinfectant.
  • When you’re cleaning, open your windows. This will allow any toxins in the air to escape your home. Did you know the air inside your home can be more toxic than the air outside simply because of good insulation?
  • Freshen up your indoor air naturally instead of with a store-bought air freshener. Boil cinnamon cloves, bake chocolate chip cookies, or use a green-leaf plant to filter your air!
  • Instead of paper towels, try a reusable microfiber cloth or sponge.
  • To clean windows and mirrors, mix 2 tablespoons of white vinegar with a gallon of water. Put it in a spray bottle and then squirt on the mirror or window. Use newspaper, not a paper towel, to clean (paper towels cause streaking). Don’t have vinegar? No problem. Substitute lemon juice or club soda instead.
  • Wall splatters are an easy fix. If it’s a water-based stain (like wine, Jell-O, ketchup, mosquitoes), use a wet cloth or paper towel. For oil-based stains (like cooking grease and crayons), mix mild dishwashing soap with water. Then, rinse it off with water.
  • For wooden furniture polish, make your own by mixing 1 tsp. of lemon juice in 1 pint of vegetable oil. Then, put a small amount on a cloth and start polishing!
  • Buy vinegar and baking soda. These two products will be your new best cleaning friends! If you mix the two together with some warm water, you have a safe all-purpose cleaner.

The Kitchen – Eco-Friendly Cleaning Tips

  • To clean the counters, sprinkle baking soda, then scrub with a damp cloth or sponge. For stains, make a paste with the baking soda and let it set there a while before you remove it. You can also use this method with stainless steel appliances.
  • If that stain just isn’t coming out of the counter top, sprinkle on kosher salt and scrub. It’s a tougher abrasive.
  • To disinfect the kitchen counter, mix 2 cups of water with 3 tablespoons of liquid soap and 20-30 drops of tea tree oil. Just spray or rub it on.
  • Clean your oven safely with baking soda and water. Make a paste, and then coat the inside of your oven with it. Let it stand overnight. Put on your gloves and wipe away the grime in the morning!
  • If your microwave is looking bad, put ¼ cup of vinegar and 1 cup of water in a bowl. Put it in the microwave until it starts boiling. The steam will loosen that gunk stuck to the inside and once the mix is boiling, remove it and wipe the interior microwave. It will be so, so clean!
  • Have some pots and pans that are tarnished? Try ketchup! Put a little on a cloth and rub gently. Then, rinse with warm water.
  • When cleaning your kitchen, work from the food prep area and outward. This way, you won’t bring dirt or germs back to the main place you prepare your food.
  • Clean around the drains of your kitchen sink with baking soda and a tooth brush. Just sprinkle the baking soda around the drain and then use the toothbrush to scrub the intricate areas your normal cleaning brush could never reach! Rinse with water and see it shine!

Floors – Eco-Friendly Cleaning Tips

  • For rugs, take them outside and use your broom to get the dust and hair out. This goes for bathroom rugs, too.
  • If you have a carpet stain you need to clean up right away, put club soda on the stain. Then, blot with an old rag. The carbonation from the soda will bring the spill to the surface. Then, the salts in the soda will prevent staining.
  • For really big carpet spills, put cornmeal all over the mess. Wait about 5-15 minutes, then vacuum it up.
  • Got a spot that just won’t go away? Mix ¼ cup liquid soap or detergent in a blender with 1/3 cup water. It will get foamy. Spray it on and rinse with vinegar!
  • If your carpet starts getting a smell, stop it fast by sprinkling baking soda or cornstarch all over the carpet. Use about 1 cup per room. Wait 30 minutes, then vacuum.
  • For hardwood floors, use ¼ cup white vinegar and 30 ounces of warm water and put the solution in a spray bottle. Lightly dampen a cotton rag or towel with the solution, then mop your hardwood floors.

The Bathroom – Eco-Friendly Cleaning Tips

  • Replace antibacterial soaps and hand cleansers with regular soap and water. The FDA has said that antibacterial cleaners do not work better than soap and water, especially during cold season. They can actually produce “super germs” instead.
  • Clean your bathroom from the top down. Always end with the toilet (the germiest of the all).
  • The toilet bowl can be intimidating to clean. Conquer the toilet bowl by mixing 2/3 cup of vinegar and a spoonful of baking soda together. Put the mix in the bowl and let it sit for 30. Then, scrub away!
  • Got soap scum? Remove it with a mix of baking soda and dish soap (all natural). Take a sponge and rub into the gunk is gone. Then use warm water to wipe everything clean. If the scum is on the grout, use a toothbrush with the paste, but be very gentle!
  • To clean clogged drains, use baking soda and boiling water! Use ½ cup of baking soda and pour it into the drain. Follow it immediately with 2 cups of boiling water. Or, chase the baking soda with ½ cup of vinegar (but be sure to cover tightly because of the fizzing chemical reaction!). Then, follow it with one gallon of boiling water.
  • Don’t use bleach to kill mold, use vinegar instead! Spray the areas with vinegar and let it dry. Then spray it one more time and wipe it clean. The vinegar will kill the bacteria. To prevent mold from occurring, simply spray down the entire shower with a mix of water and vinegar each time you shower. You can also use this mix to keep the plastic shower curtain scum-free, too!

Your eco-friendly cleaning tips

There are so many green cleaning tips and ideas out there that this post couldn’t possibly handle them all! I am amazed that there are so many green ways to clean that can make my home safe and clean at the same time! If you have an eco-friendly cleaning tip to add to the list, please comment below and let us know what it is!

Great Green Cleaning Links

Cleaning Your New Home – Getting Rid of the Old Germs
Pinterest Eco-Friendly Cleaning Tips Boards
Tips for Cleaning your new home
Pinterest Green Cleaning Tips Boards
How to Remove Carpet Stains
Moving in cleaning checklist
How to Clean your fridge