Green House Cleaning Methods And Gadgets

Time To Think Green - Especially For House Cleaning

Saving the environment is no longer fashionable - it has now become a necessity. Instead of using damaging, sometimes even hazardous cleaning products or gadgets, you can choose something more environmentally responsible and eco-friendly.

The time has come to become anti-polluting, money-saving, and friendly to Mother Earth. If you think green, the following products and gadgets are perfect for your household.

 

Useful Eco-friendly Gadgets

 

  • Steam cleaner: If you want to save money from booking dry carpet cleaning services, you can also use the good old steam cleaner, which doesn't use chemicals that damage the environment. This friend kills almost 99% of the bacteria, and it's also environmentally- friendly and chemical-free.

  • E-cloths: It may be hard to believe, but these little gadgets are really helpful and deal with greasy stains, dirt, limescale, and grime. They have great cleaning power, using a special microfibre technology. The fibres remove more dirt and grease than the gadgets and detergents combined! And guess what - the e-cloths use only water!

  • Washing Line Cover: Yes, I know probably most of you have drying machines, but have you ever thought if the dryer is eco-friendly? I can assure you - this gadget is very far from eco- friendly! I know it is almost impossible to dry your clothes, at least not if you rely on the stubborn UK weather. So you can't just hang the laundry outside and pray that it will eventually dry. What you can do is use a washing line cover. Imagine it as a big umbrella that covers and protects your clothes from the fastidious Mother Nature. You can install it with ease onto rotary airers. Don't forget that this method is also energy and money saver.

Domestic Green Cleaning Hardware

 

If you are considering using natural products to clean your home (and the rest), you are going to need more than just the basic cleaning substances, which are, of course, baking soda and vinegar as the staples, alongside some other odds and ends. You will also need some actual “hardware” to do the cleaning. Natural cleaning products, seeing as they have multiple uses, don’t come in ready-to-use packages that make things easy for the cleaner. And you still have to find something to apply the elbow grease – a necessary ingredient in any natural cleaning product.

 

You will also need:

 

  • Spray dispenser bottles. Many natural cleaning products (vinegar and vodka, to name a couple) need to be sprayed onto whatever they are cleaning. You can buy these from a garden shop (where they are called plant misters) or from a chemist. Or if you have some commercial cleaning products that came in a spray dispenser bottle, get rid of the contents of the bottle, give the bottle a good clean, rinse to get rid of the residue, and re-use the bottle for your new natural cleaners.

  • Screw-top jars. You need to keep some self-made polishes and cleaning paste in airtight jars, which are very simple to acquire. Don’t throw out the empty jam or peanut butter jar - give it a good rinse out and use it. It pays to remove the old label as well (or stick a new label over the top), so you know what’s inside and how to use it.

  • Soft, lint-free cloths. No matter what you use for cleaning, you will need one of these. In fact, you’ll need several of them. Old sheets and towels can be cut up for soft all-purpose cleaning cloths, but these aren’t always lint-free. Old cotton T-shirts are better.

  • A soft-bristled brush. Sometimes, you need to loosen the dirt without scratching anything. The best sort of brush to use in this case is a toothbrush. Toothbrushes are also convenient for tricky jobs, as they are narrow and have a long handle, allowing you to reach awkward places. Don’t be silly to go out and buy a new toothbrush just for cleaning purposes. Buy a new toothbrush, by all means, but use the new one for your teeth. The old one gets used for cleaning.

  • Microfibre cloths. Arguably, the natural cleaner’s best friend, as the only “cleaning product” they need is water – and they don’t even use very much of it. Enjo is the best-known brand of microfiber cloths, and they have a huge range of microfibre products that range from humble cleaning cloths to specialised mops and brushes.

  • A razor blade and/or your fingernails. Sometimes you need to pick or scrape a stubborn bit of dirt or grime off. Hand-care gurus say that you should never use your nails as tools. Common sense and millennia of human wisdom say you should – it’s what your fingernails are for after all. They’re not just there to collect dirt and to apply polish. And you probably pick at little bits of grime on the window, the tabletop, etc. with your nails instinctively, anyway.

  • Soap gel. Soap gel is great for cleaning floors, cleaning cars, cleaning carpets and cleaning the inside of toilets, as well as for hand-washing woollens and other delicate items. Soap gel is very simple to make: all you have to do is to save up those useless little slivers of soap leftover at the end of the bar or else chop up a bar of cheap soap. Pour boiling water over the bits, then leave the mix to melt and cool to a gel. Soap gel can also be used as a shampoo and as an aphid deterrent. I have also tried using it for washing dishes, but this doesn’t work too well in a hard water area, and the items have to be rinsed thoroughly, preferably in water with a splash of vinegar in, before drying, or they get soap spots. Soap gel works best in warm water rather than cold.

 

Natural Helpers Our Grandmas Did Not Even Dream About

 

The majority of natural house products and methods are old-fashioned - baking soda, vinegar, soap, water, essential oils, and elbow grease. These methods have been temporarily pushed aside from about since the 1950s, as advertisers sold consumers the story that our homes should be 100% germ-free and you needed Brand X to get everything gleaming and healthy, tackling the hidden dirt and germs! Ostracism and disease were the penalties for not choosing Brand X. Today, people who want to reduce environmental toxins and live more sustainably – or more frugally – are rediscovering the cleaning methods our grandmothers used and stayed perfectly healthy.

But with the move towards toxin-free environmentally friendly ways to clean and care for our houses, researchers have been investigating new ways to keep clean and healthy without pouring chemicals around the place with glib abandon. Some of these more sustainable ways of cleaning and living naturally are things that our grandmothers never even dreamed of.

Here is a selection of high-tech (or exotic) natural products:

 

  • Disinfectant essential oils now go beyond good old lavender, thyme, and other European herbs. Essential oils that do a good job of killing germs and smelling great come from much further afield – tea-tree and eucalyptus oil originate from Australia, while neem oil, which acts as organic pest control, an antiseptic, and even as a medicine, comes from India.

  • Stainless steel absorbs unpleasant odours (or somehow neutralises stinks). A stainless steel disk can be used in toilets, shoes or refrigerators (not the same disk, obviously – a separate one for each place) to deal with pongs.

  • Laundry balls do the same job as soap – making water wetter by changing the molecular structure and thus reducing the surface tension – but use ions rather than chemicals. They also save water and reduce the number of chemicals in the environment, as you don’t need to rinse clothes twice to make sure all the soap residue is out.

  • Solar power improves continually and has become increasingly available. While it does not reduce the level of toxins in the environment, it is a more sustainable way of producing energy. Both solar electric panels and water heaters find greater application in modern households, and designs are improving.

  • Ionizers put out negative ions, which counteract the number of positive ions put out by electronic and electrical equipment. Positive ions and EMFs can cause sleep disruption, headaches, and grumpiness. They may also affect the body’s cells, even to the point of triggering tumour development, although the jury’s still out on this one. Moving water also puts out negative ions, and miniature waterfalls as desk ornaments are now available.

  • Paints have come a long way from the lead-based ones of the past, with many lines of low-toxin eco-paints or even organic paints. Wallpapers have also improved vastly in modern times (by way of contrast, Napoleon’s chambers had arsenic-impregnated wallpaper – arsenic produced a very popular shade of green) and you can buy wallpaper that is free of solvents, chlorine bleach, fungicide and all the rest of the muck they put in standard wallpaper, even if they don’t use arsenic.

Random Eco-friendly Cleaning Tips

 

There are many eco-friendly ways to clean your home and avoid exposure to toxic chemicals in many household cleaning products. You'll find that most green cleaning products amount to three or four types of natural cleaners, mixed into a paste, a spray, or undiluted form, and left to set. If you keep baking soda, toothpaste, vinegar, and club soda in the house, there is pretty much nothing that you can't clean. It's as easy as keeping around a hammer and some duct tape to fix little things in the household. Here are some domestic cleaning recipes to make cleaning a less costly and more environmentally friendly chore for you.

  • For a soft scrub solution, mix 1 cup of baking soda with 1 cup of soap. Use to scrub tile, bathtubs, toilets, and sinks. The soap can be a mild commercial detergent, but if you want to get eco cleaning, use a natural soap from the local store.

  • For an eco cleaning approach to liquid detergent, mix 1 cup of soap, 1/3 cup of salt, 1 cup of dissolved baking soda (dissolve the baking soda in low heat over the stove), 1 cup of vinegar, 40 drops of grapefruit seed extract, and fill a gallon jug halfway with water. Then pour in the mix and shake well. Use the solution on tubs, sinks, and tile. You can purchase the soap and grapefruit seed oil at the store - don't use grapefruit essential oils that you find in incense or room fresheners.

  • To make an eco-friendly disinfectant, mix ¼ cup of Borax with a half-gallon of hot water. Put in a spray bottle and disinfect. Borax is great, it is one of the cleaners that Grandma used, and it is as eco-friendly as you can get for a "commercial" product.

  • For a natural oven cleaner, mix ¼ cup baking soda, 2 tbsp. salt and hot water so it becomes a paste. Let the paste sit for five minutes, then scrub your oven. Make no mistake about it, this will take longer than a chemical spray, but chemical oven cleaners use fluorocarbons and the smell/fumes can make you pass out. Also, you have to wear gloves with commercial oven cleaners for a reason - they burn like heck if you get them on your skin. 

  • For a good mixture to clean toilet bowls, put ¼ cup of baking soda into a bowl and add a small amount of vinegar. Let the mixture sit for half an hour. Scrub with a toilet brush and then flush. Use borax to remove remaining stains. The longer you let it sit, the easier it will be. If you keep your bowl clean regularly, you shouldn't have any problems using this method.

  • For an eco-friendly way to use a foam carpet cleaner, mix ¼ cup of oil-based liquid soap, and 3 tbsp. water. Whip the mixture in a bowl until it becomes foamy. Rub the foam into the stained areas of your rug or carpet, and then rinse.

  • To polish silver, rub white non-gel toothpaste on your silver piece. Let it dry, and then rinse it well with water. It is a time-tested trick from the sixties. Toothpaste is a great cleaner because it is abrasive enough to get the job done but won't take the surface off your silver -or your teeth.

 

The only fret I hear about eco cleaning is that the house often smells like vinegar afterward. This is true; most people acquaint the smell of pine with a clean house. The solution for this is citrus or lavender oil mixed with mineral water and sprayed around the house-guess where you can buy that? That's right, the store.