We all want to be more environmentally friendly in these days of global warming and coral bleaching, but not many people realise that our household cleaning isn’t always too green. Here are some great tips for greener cleaning, from scrubbing to rubbish removal. If that’s all too hard there are also some green cleaning companies out there!
1) Use natural products:
Most people don’t realise that a lot of the stuff in your fridge or kitchen cupboards isn’t just useful for eating! Lemon juice is good for mild bleaching, and much better smelling than the bleach you buy in a bottle. Another big advantage it has over store bleach is that it’s non-toxic, so if a small child gets into it the worst that will happen is a sour taste and a hit of vitamin C.
White vinegar is a useful disinfectant, and it cuts through all kinds of dirt and grease to leave your plates, silverware and windows nice and shiny. It also gets rid of bad smells, although the smell it replaces them with isn’t as nice as you get with lemon juice.
Table salt is good for getting rid of stains, especially if you combine it with something acidic like lemon juice or white vinegar.
Finally, don’t forget that soap isn’t just good for your body! It’s a fantastic all-purpose cleaner, for everything from clothes to dishes, and it completely biodegrades too!
2) Ingredients to avoid:
Of course, we can’t use natural cleaning products for everything – after all, if we could then other cleaning agents wouldn’t have been invented! What we can do, though, is make sure that the artificial cleaners we use are as harmless to the environment as possible.
Dishwasher tablets can’t really be replaced, for example, but what we can do is make sure we use brands with the lowest phosphate count we can find, and avoid any tablets with chlorine in them.
Try to avoid using air fresheners as much as possible – it’s better to keep bad odours outside in the first place, or if something in the house does smell, spray white vinegar or lemon juice on it.
Use a towel or sponge to clean up spills, rather than paper towels. While paper is pretty good on the biodegradable front, most household paper towels have been bleached to look as white as possible, which isn’t very good for the environment.
If you do have to have part of your house (your carpet, for example) cleaned professionally, make sure you choose a cleaning company that has a strong environmental policy and uses products low in volatile organic compounds and irritants – in other words, one that uses gentler chemicals.
3) Keeping pests away:
We all know that the best way to keep pests away is to keep the house squeaky clean (particularly in food areas), but this isn’t always possible. When pests do get in, there are a number of ways we can get rid of them while being as environmentally friendly as possible.
Put chips or blocks made from cedar wood in places where you store your winter clothes to keep away moths.
While I understand it isn’t very environmentally friendly to recommend increasing the demand for wood, mothballs frequently contain toxic chemicals which are worse.
Use traps rather than bait – they can be purchased an any rubbish removal Sydney companies. Bait can easily be carried out of your house and get into the environment. Traps, on the other hand, stay put and you know where the pest is – after all, no one wants to hunt through every nook and cranny of their house for a dead mouse!
4) Disposing of harmful waste
Everyone knows the benefits of recycling by now, but what about getting rid of chemical waste? What you should absolutely not do with it is pour it down the sink! Instead, take it to either a community recycling centre (which will be more specialised than the recycling from your council garbage collection) or to a Household Chemical CleanOut event, which are held across NSW.
If this isn’t an option for you, have a look online and find a green rubbish removal company, who will often do all the work of getting rid of toxic waste for you.