A beginners guide to eco cleaning
Nowadays we associate household cleaning with chemical products and harsh disinfectants. Indeed, there is a prevalent belief among some that a thing hasn’t been properly cleaned until it has been bleached to within an inch of its life.
However, this isn’t the case and for centuries people cleaned their homes and their clothes in a much more natural way.
Now ‘eco cleaning’, as it has been dubbed, is coming back in fashion – albeit slowly – and it has plenty of benefits. From lower costs to a smaller environmental impact, eco cleaning is a great way to scrub up in a greener and more efficient way.
Benefits of eco cleaning
There are six obvious benefits from switching to more environmentally friendly cleaning methods. These include:
1) Less chemicals being absorbed into the body
By removing the presence of harsh, synthesised chemicals during the cleaning process, it limits their existence in your home and prevents them from being absorbed into the skin. This is especially important for children and those with sensitive skin.
2) A purer environment
Using natural cleaning ingredients means the world around you is not being polluted by harsh chemicals.
3) Better air quality
If chemicals aren’t being produced and disseminated into the air, air quality should improve.
4) Lower cost
Natural ingredients are cheaper and can often be used multiple times, making cleaning more cost effective.
5) Safer products
Chemicals are highly dangerous but natural goods often don’t present the same level of danger. This is because they are generally not flammable or toxic.
6) Ingredient transparency.
With natural products, you know what has gone into them and where ingredients have been sourced – something that is much harder with chemical products.
How to get green
The first thing you need to do if you decide to switch to eco cleaning methods is to identify your core ingredients. These are water, lemon juice, salt, baking soda and vinegar. These will allow you to clean your entire home in a much greener way. There may be a few other things you need to add, but these are certainly the main ones to get started with.
Once you’ve got these stored away, you need to learn how to use them effectively.
Let’s start from the outside in.
Mixing four tablespoons of lemon juice with half a gallon of water is a brilliant way to clean windows. The juice helps to break through dirt and create a great shine. If you’re a newspaper reader, instead of throwing them away, use them to wipe down the windows once you have applied the lemon juice/water solution. This technique can also be used to clean mirrors and other glass surfaces.
Once your windows are clean, it’s time to move inside and start polishing. Water and lemon juice will work well for plastic surfaces but for wood you need to combine two parts olive oil and one part lemon juice. Apply to the wood using a soft cloth. For tough stains, add some salt to create a thin paste. Wipe it on then lightly buff the area with the soft cloth.
For metal surfaces, combine salt, vinegar and flour in equal parts to make a paste. Rub it onto the metal, leave it to dry for an hour, then wipe it off.
Baking soda is one of the best ways to get rid of household smells. Add some to the bottom of the bin or wash containers with it. You can also wipe down surfaces with baking soda by adding a small amount to a damp cloth.
Cleaning clothes in an eco way may seem a bit more tricky at first but it’s actually easier than you think. It’s all about efficiency so be sure to only use the temperature you need and add an ecoball. EcoZone Ecoballs can be used for up to 1,000 washes, which is the equivalent of around 50 boxes of washing powder. Simply put the ball in the water to ionize it. The ionized water then gets deep into clothes, washing dirt away.
Costing less than three pence per wash, ecoballs are cost effective and completely get rid of harmful chemicals that irritate the skin and harm the environment.
There are also more traditional cleaning products which are eco-friendly, have a multitude of uses and can save you money, non more so than Borax Substitute from Dri Pak which has slightly more cleaning power than bicarbonate of soda and baking soda and just as many uses, from surface cleaning and stain removal to your everyday laundry.