What is Green Cleaning?
Have you been thinking about green cleaning, but aren’t sure what it is or why it’s better than conventional cleaning?
I can understand your interest and possible misconceptions. Because green cleaning can mean a lot of things. For example, green cleaning can mean using basic cleaning agents like vinegar and baking soda to make basic old-school DIY cleaners.
Or it can mean buying the best green cleaning products free of toxins and artificial fragrances like “mountain rain” and “island breeze”. Obviously you can’t naturally bottle up either of those scents.
Many of these green cleaners may have ingredients that were grown organically or produced using sustainable farming practices. Some may even be fair trade certified, meeting certain environmental and labor standards.
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Green cleaning can also mean using refillable cleaning products like reusable glass spray bottles and multipurpose cleaning concentrates. Or cleaning with biodegradable and zero waste cleaning tools. All of these are great examples of what green cleaning is.
Why Green Cleaning?
While there are a lot of steps you can make toward creating a non-toxic home such as greening up your laundry routine, skincare, or eating healthy. Tidying your home with green cleaning solutions and tools can have one of the biggest impacts! Here are five big reasons why you should consider green cleaning:
1. Simplify Your Cleaning Tasks
It’s much faster and easier to clean when you are working with fewer products and tools. Making a surface cleaner that can be used on many different surfaces and in every room of the house will allow you to tackle several cleaning tasks without constantly reaching for another product.
2. Save Money
By opting for eco-friendly cleaning products can put some green back in your pocket. Rather you choose to buy multi-purpose green cleaners or make your own and refill the same containers over and over again you’ll be saving money every month!
3. Have a Safer Home
Poison control centers receive 10 calls every hour for eye exposures and over 20% are caused by household cleaners (source).
In fact, over 250,000 children ages 5 years and younger were treated in US emergency departments for household cleaning product-related injuries from 1990 to 2006 (source). Using green cleaners can significantly reduce the risk in your home.
4. Protect Your Family’s Health
Even if your family members are old enough to be careful around household cleaners, they can still cause several health issues to your reproductive and respiratory systems. According to a study conducted over a 20 year period by the University of Bergen, prolonged use of mainstream cleaning products is as bad for our respiratory health as is smoking 20 cigarettes a day!
When you consider many of the hazardous chemicals in conventional cleaning products are often carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, and neurotoxins it is by far worth ditching them in favor of non-toxic green cleaning products.
5. Be-friend Our Environment
Most green cleaning products are naturally derived, safe, and non-toxic. And many are made using sustainable practices, recycled materials, or biodegradable ingredients. All of which doesn’t negatively impact our environment or adversely affect the earth’s ecosystems.
Choosing green cleaning is like making a vote and commitment each and every day to protect our environment.
Related To: 6 Cleaners to Stop Buying and Start Making
Related To: 20 Must-Have Green Cleaning Essentials
8 Green Cleaning Tools To Save Time, Money, and our Environment
Sustainable Scrub Brushes:
I challenge you to walk into a big box store near you to find non-plastic scrub brushes. Even if you find one with a bamboo handle, I bet the bristles are plastic!
Whether you are scrubbing the kitchen sink with homemade scouring powder or pots and pans from supper opt for scrub brushes made with compostable materials like coconut, wood, palm fibers. I love to keep one dedicated for dishwashing on our kitchen counter in a ceramic scrub brush holder. If you are just beginning with green cleaning get this natural 4 piece scrub brush set made from sustainably harvested bamboo to cover many of your cleaning needs.
Let me point out one of the best zero waste cleaning methods is to clean with old rags. I absolutely repurpose our dishcloths, dinner napkins, and kitchen towels into “old rags” as they wear down. But, there are times when a rag just isn’t going to clean as well as a brush or sponge.
Unfortunately, most sponges are made from plastic too! Luckily I’ve found natural sea sponges work for surfaces like marble and granite when you need to avoid scratching. And plant-based jute “unsponges” like the ones pictured above make a great alternative to disposable plastic options.
Did you the shelf life of a jute “unsponge” is six months or more?
Eco-Friendly Wool Dryer Balls:
Ditching toxic dryer sheets for wool dryer balls is one of the best green cleaning changes I’ve made. They shorten drying time reducing the energy needed to dry laundry and soften clothes without the use of fabric softener. That’s what I call a “win-win”! Read all about my experience with wool dryer balls here.
Each of the options in the photos above is made from 100% New Zealand wool and lasts for 1000s of loads. P.S. Want to make your own laundry detergent too? This is the recipe I’ve been making for years!
Natural Coil Scrubbers:
When you really need more than elbow grease these natural coil scrubbers can do the job. Each is plastic-free and made from plant-based coconut fiber and palm fiber.
Reusable Spray Bottles:
My dears, cleaning never looked so beautiful than with reusable spray bottles! Reminisce of vintage apothecary bottles, these are a green cleaning tool you’ll love buying. Add your own homemade green cleaner and you’ll be ready to go. This set comes with waterproofs labels too.
Plastic-Free Broom and Dustpan:
Speaking of beautiful green cleaning tools, it’s time to upgrade your broom ladies! Rather you are looking for a table dustpan set like the one above or tall wood handle broom these will both put a smile on your face as you fly… I mean, sweep away.
Organic Dish Cloths and Towels:
Zero Waste Toilet Brush:
No cleaning tool list would be complete without covering the dirtiest job of them all… This natural coconut fiber toilet brush with a wood handle is designed with angled to easily reach under the toilet bowl rim. Or if you’re looking for an easy option make these popular toilet bowl cleaner bombs.
What Does Green Cleaning Mean To Me?
While green cleaning can have a lot of meanings, for me the most benefits are reducing waste (no more one-time-use cleaning wipes or mopping pads).
And simplicity – I love that I can fit all my cleaners in one easy to carry cleaning caddy. This zero-waste or minimalist approach to cleaning not only reduces waste and simplifies the task it also better for my family’s health and our environment.
Not to mention all my green cleaning tools are so pretty – wood handles, natural fibers, and soft organic cotton are timelessly beautiful.
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What’s your favorite way to green clean? Did I leave something out? Share it with me in the comments below or send me a DM on Instagram at @lifenreflection. Pin these green cleaning tools to beautify your cleaning day!