Written by: Giulia Simolo
It’s spring cleaning time! Although you want to ensure your home is clean and shiny for spring, the last thing you want is to infuse your home with unhealthy cleaning agents. Here are ways to clean your house in an eco-friendly way.
No shopping required
Before you make it your mission to purchase eco-friendly cleaning products, think of what cleaning products you could already own lying around in the house.
Bicarbonate of soda
Bicarbonate of soda is cheap and cleans many different surfaces. Simply sprinkle a bit of bicarb on a wet cloth and wipe! To remove horrid food stains on the stove or in pots, sprinkle baking soda over the stains and then leave them to soak in hot water overnight. When you tackle those stains the next morning, they’ll be much easier to clean. Bicarb is especially great when cleaning more sensitive items, such as children’s toys, because it’s non-toxic.
Another great natural product to use for cleaning is lemons. To clean your microwave, heat half a cup of lemon juice on high in the microwave for three minutes. The lemon juice will de-grease any build-up so that you can wipe it away. For a great floor cleaner that is safe for pets and children, put four cups of vinegar and one cup of lemon juice concentrate in four litres of water. Mix it and use the solution liberally. The added bonus of lemon is that it has a fresh, mood-boosting scent.
If you’d prefer shopping for cleaning agents, try to find green ones that are healthier for your family because they don’t contain harmful ingredients. When choosing eco-friendly products, don’t be fooled by their packaging as they might not be eco-friendly inside! Check the labels to ensure that the products are reducing their impact on the environment. It also helps to scrounge the packaging for any endorsements from environmental organisations, such as EPA (the Environmental Protection Agency). Do your research so that you are sure of what you are purchasing.
Here are some things that an eco-friendly cleaning agent should achieve, as well as where to purchase some fabulous green products:
No harmful residue
When you wash your dishes, you might not think that the dishwashing liquid is doing anything but promoting cleanliness. However, you could be wrong. Dishwashing liquid contains unhealthy chemicals that could leave a residue on plates and glasses. Although such residue is a minimal amount, it is still not good for the human body.
Better Earth products contain natural ingredients that are combined in simple ways so that they are not harmful to the environment or the people who use the products. One of their great products is the Better Earth Dishwashing Liquid that is made from natural ingredients such as Eucalyptus Globulus (blue gum), leaf oil and lemongrass oil. It’s such a great product that it was a finalist in the Best Cleaning Product category in the Fairlady Best Buy Consumer Awards 2010. Visit Better Earth’s website here to see their products. You could also order their products online at www.sustainable.co.za or www.greengrocer.co.za.
Using the world’s resources, not ruining them
When you choose eco-friendly products, you have the world’s best interests at heart. Sometimes organic products go one step further as they contain ingredients from the environment so that we can use our natural resources without taking advantage of them.
Enchantrix uses organic ingredients which are formulated by microbiologists so that they’re effective but still safe for your family and the environment. The product range contains plants that have been organically grown, essential oil and spring water. You can find a lot of products in the range, such as window cleaners, disinfectants and air fresheners. One of their must-try products is the ‘Drains, Grease and Odours’- this is a natural product that kills off bad odours and prevents disease from dangerous bacteria. It’s great for cleaning bathrooms, toilets and drains. Enchantrix products are available at most health stores countrywide.
They care for the earth in more ways than one
There’s nothing like the smell and feel of fresh laundry, but try to make your fresh laundry as fresh and good on the inside, too. Soap nuts are berries that have been used for centuries for cleaning in India and they have a large amount of saponin in their shells. Saponin is a natural and gentle detergent when it is used with water. It doesn’t have any chemicals, dyes or fragrances. It leaves your laundry soft but also clean, and you won’t require a fabric softener. Soap nuts are great for use, especially if you wish to avoid skin irritation or allergies. This makes them great for washing baby’s linen and clothing, too. Soap nuts come from India but are shipped directly to Durban so that they minimise their carbon footprint. They also don’t pollute the environment and can be fully recycled as they are 100% biodegradable. To order soap nuts, check out the Nature Soap website here.
The liveeco team