Have you every considered eco friendly cleaning products? Maybe you have made your own? I am sure I am not the only one looking at a gentler way to clean the house. However, can you do it on a budget?
A chemical cocktail
Many of us use a multitude of household cleaners. One for the bathroom, another for the kitchen. Something for the oven and a different product for the sink. Window cleaning sprays, powders to sprinkle on the carpets, bleaches and toilet cleaners, spray polishes, laundry products, dishwasher tablets, washing up liquids and floor cleaners all combine to make a chemical cocktail in our homes that can’t be good for us. We then add to this indoor pollution by plugging in air fresheners! Sounds like a recipe for disaster to me.
All of the chemicals in these various products, not to mention the plastic bottles they tend to arrive in, also have potentially negative implications for the wider environment. In addition, you can spend a small fortune on this stuff! Buy less and spend less.
So, how can we reduce this chemical cocktail and create a healthier environment for ourselves, our families and the planet?
Reduce the number
You can reduce the number of chemicals you use when cleaning simply by using fewer products. Our great grandparents would have been totally befuddled with the choice. They cleaned with carbolic soap, soda crystals, hot water and elbow grease. I am not saying there was no room for improvement, but it is an illustration of how we got by perfectly well without so many detergents and cleaning products.
A general purpose cleaning spray can be used in the kitchen and the bathroom, for example! A big, cheap bottle of disinfectant in a bowl of hot water will do all your surfaces and floors.
Make your own
I make my own eco friendly cleaning spray from time to time. It’s not as powerful on really dirty areas but I try not the let the house get that bad. You can use products from your larder, such as lemon juice, white vinegar and bicarbonate of soda to clean pretty much anything. Cass over at Diary of a Frugal Family makes her own window cleaning spray and even an alternative to Febreze!
I have used a vinegar and water mix instead of a window spray or furniture polish for years and it works perfectly well. In addition, I have a small bottle of linseed oil to put on wooden surfaces every now and again.
Making your own eco friendly cleaning products saves you lots of money and is much kinder to Planet Earth.
Buy eco friendly cleaning products
Not everybody has time to make their own eco friendly cleaning stuff, of course. But there are so many products available, even for those of us on a budget.
I was amazed to find Carbolic Household Soap still available, for example. Maid Simple Laundry Soap is good for removing stains before washing or for hand washing clothes. It is also great as a laundry wash when travelling.
Soap Nuts or Ecoeggs are also great eco friendly alternatives to standard laundry liquids, although I am not convinced they work well on really dirty items. They do a lot of washes for your money though.
In the course of researching this post, I was sent some natural non-bio washing powder and dishwasher powder to try. Both are from LabNatu and are free from chemical additives, bleaches and petroleum. They are 100% natural and the ingredients are organic. I was very impressed with them both. They cleaned well and smelled lovely. Both are available from Beauty Naturals at £7 for a 500g bag, but if you buy before the end of August you can get 25% off this. Incidentally, check out their whole range of beauty and home products! I was very impressed and most items are not overly expensive.
Ecover is another favourite of mine for really effective eco friendly cleaning. They use plant based ingredients and, although they do use plastic packaging, say they are on a mission to stop their use of virgin plastic. I currently use their all purpose cleaner, multi-action spray and toilet cleaner, which I bought when they were on offer in Sainsbury’s. Along with my vinegar spray I need very little else for my eco friendly cleaning routine. I use them quite sparingly as they are pretty powerful.
Yes, I could go back to buying all the cheapest cleaning stuff from Aldi (and I still will if my budget gets really tight), but whilst I have the option I am happy to pay a little more for eco friendly cleaning products.
Eco friendly garden cleaning
You can also get eco friendly products for the garden too. I was recently sent some Ecofective path, patio and decking cleaner and Ecofective Safe to Clean general outdoor cleaner to review. The latter worked well on our bench on the patio. It is safe to use around children, pets, wildlife and ponds and uses friendly bacteria to get rid of the dirt. They do a whole range of green gardening products, which look quite interesting.
Think about the packaging
Buy laundry powder rather than liquid, as it comes in a biodegradable cardboard box. Buy soap in solid rather than liquid form and there will be no plastic bottle to recycle. White vinegar tends to come in glass rather than plastic bottles, which is another good reason to use it. Make sure packaging is recyclable then ensure you recycle it! Avoid products that are ridiculously over packaged. It might be a silent protest, but maybe manufacturers will stop doing it if we all refuse to buy these things.
Do you try to avoid too many chemical nasties in your home? Which eco friendly cleaning products do you find effective?
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