There are many methods and hacks for Green Home Cleaning and almost everything — some more effective than others. Do you struggle with cleaning your home? Does it matter what order you clean your house? The answer is definitely yes. If you haven’t cleaned your house in a while, doing anything will probably help. However, you can clean your home or apartment regularly.
If you want to save time, there is a right way to do it. There are golden rules, 15-minute and 20-minute rules, and various stage cleaning methods instruct you to follow two, three, or up to five steps to help ensure your home is spotless at all times. But most people are just looking for the best green home cleaning tips to help them clean faster, more effectively, and less frequently.
Luckily, we know how to separate fact from fiction when cleaning so you can get your home sparkling with minimal effort. You’ve probably noticed a growing trend towards eco-friendly and natural living. A good reason for this shift is that it’s better for the environment and can be healthier for you and your family. Cleaning your home shouldn’t be an exception to this green movement.
You might be wondering how you can keep your space spick-and-span without resorting to harsh chemicals and wasteful practices. The good news? It’s not as complicated as you might think! Please follow our guide to learn more about Green Home Cleaning.
Understanding The Natural Ingredients Role In A Green Home Cleaning Process
Everyone hates to clean, but everyone loves a clean house. Is there a best way to clean your household and items fast? Most novices aren’t sure if they should dust or vacuum first. They wonder whether they should clean the kitchen before the bathroom or vice versa. The number of standards for green products has increased in recent years due to growth in market demand for “green” products.
Recent examples include standards for electronics and building materials (such as furniture, carpet, and paint). More will likely arise as retailers, governments, and other buyers seek to expand their green purchasing. However, with this changing green energy marketplace has come increasing concern regarding “greenwashing” and uncertainty about the best environmental measures.
More so based on claims related to standards and labels can be trusted. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has created its Green Guides to help ensure that marketing claims regarding the environmental attributes of products are truthful and substantiated. However, these target-based guides broadly address when and how particular and narrow ecological features can be claimed.
And not how to construct a broad-based environmental standard or ecolabeling program. On that note, let’s dive into the world of natural cleaning. It’s more than just a trendy buzzword; it’s a practice that can significantly benefit you and the environment. Realistically, by understanding its importance, you’ll be better equipped to make informed choices about home maintenance.
The Natural Ingredients Role In Maintaining A Clean House Environment
One thing is sure: The terms Sanitation and Hygiene are critical to health, survival, and development. Many countries face challenges in providing adequate sanitation and hygiene for their entire populations, leaving people at risk for water, sanitation, and hygiene-related diseases. An estimated 1.7 billion people worldwide lack basic sanitation (about 21% of the world’s population).
Basic sanitation is defined as having access to facilities for the safe disposal of human waste (feces and urine) and maintaining hygiene through services such as garbage collection, industrial/hazardous waste management, and wastewater treatment and disposal. Unfortunately, around 2.3 billion people (about 29%) lack access to essential home hygiene like handwashing with soap and water.
Natural ingredients play a crucial role in household sanitation. They offer an alternative to harsh chemical cleaners that may cause allergies or respiratory issues over time. Plus, they’re often cheaper and readily available! For example, lemon is pleasantly scented and has antibacterial properties. For cleaning beginners, a little bit of salt can help remove stubborn stains without scratching.
On the one hand, let’s not overlook the role of essential oils — their potent aromas can transform your home into a calming sanctuary while fighting off germs. On the other hand, eco-friendly cleaning has numerous benefits beyond spotless floors and counters.
The main benefits are as follows:
- Safeguarding your health by reducing exposure to toxic substances.
- Lessening environmental impact by lowering pollutant levels in wastewater.
- Saving money by using inexpensive, commonly available ingredients.
The bottom line? Switching to green cleaning methods isn’t just good for Mother Earth — it’s beneficial for you, too!
Why Green Home Cleaning Practices Matter For Common Household Spaces
Sure, green home cleaning matters— imagine what’s on your shoes at the end of the day. Bringing that oil, antifreeze, animal waste, particulate pollution, pesticides, herbicides, pollen, and who knows what else into the house is not good news, especially for kids and other critters that spend time on floor level. Keep the sidewalk out of your home with a good doormat or a shoeless house policy.
Usually, most green buildings now include entryway track-off systems to maintain a healthy interior environment. Less dirt also means less sweeping, mopping, and vacuuming, less work, water, energy, and fewer chemicals. Conversely, designing houses and other buildings with cleanability in mind can create spaces that are cleaner, healthier, and require fewer substances to maintain.
In addition, good cleanability can also be a big money-saver in more significant buildings, as cleaning costs can often add up to half of a building’s total energy costs. By all means, there are a few green home cleaning service solutions to note by the numbers.
- 17,000: Petrochemicals available for home use only—30% has been tested for human health and the environment.
- 63: Synthetic chemical products in an average American home—translates to roughly 10 gallons of harmful chemicals.
- 100: The number of times higher indoor air pollution levels can be above outdoor air pollution levels, per the EPA estimates.
- 275: The active ingredients number in antimicrobials that the EPA classifies as pesticides—designed to kill microbes.
- 5 billion: The number of pounds of chemicals that the institutional cleaning industry uses each year.
- 23: The average gallons of chemicals (87 liters) that a janitor uses each year, 25 percent of which are hazardous.
You’ve probably heard the term “green practices” thrown around quite a bit, but what does it mean? Simply put, it’s making environmental-friendly choices that benefit nature and contribute to a healthier living space. Adopting green practices at home is more than just jumping on an eco-friendly bandwagon. It’s creating a sustainable lifestyle that minimizes waste and reduces pollution.
By choosing environmentally friendly alternatives, you’re doing your part to conserve natural resources and minimize your carbon footprint. As such, there are some reasons why going green matters for both business workplaces and household spaces.
Some reasons are:
- Healthier Living: Non-toxic cleaning products improve indoor air quality by reducing chemical pollutants.
- Financial Savings: Many green solutions are cost-effective in the long run.
- Environmental Impact: Simple habits like recycling or composting help reduce landfill waste.
Remember, Green Cleaning is defined as cleaning to protect health without harming the environment. It’s a widely accepted movement that uses procedures and products to make cleaning for the health of building occupants, janitors, and the environment a primary concern. For instance, energy-efficient appliances/items that use less electricity can save you money on utility bills.
Transitioning Into An Eco-Friendly Green House Cleaning Environment
Changing old habits isn’t always easy, but taking small steps toward going green with the best methods can make a big difference over time. Start by swapping one conventional product with its eco-friendly counterpart at a time until you’ve completely transitioned. Remember, you don’t have to do it all at once. The little things count, like using a microfiber cloth instead of paper towels.
Or consider choosing reusable containers over single-use plastics. And who knows? You might find that green cleaning is better for your health and pocketbook and just as effective – if not more so – than the traditional method. Equally important, conventional dry cleaners are the most significant users of the industrial solvent, Perchloroethylene, or perc, which is unhealthy for humans.
In addition, it also creates smog. The two most common green dry cleaning methods are carbon dioxide cleaning and Green Earth. Seek out cleaners that use green methods. If you take clothes to conventional cleaners, air them outside before wearing them or putting them in the closet. Still, for people who don’t have the time to clean their homes, you can have the luxury of hiring experts.
Of course, there is an increasing number of green home cleaning services to help get things spic and span. If you can’t find one in your area (or their rates are outlandish), call around until you find a service willing to use the products and methods you specify. However, in addition to being harmful to human health, many cleaning products have also proven detrimental to the environment.
What An Ecolabel In An Eco-Friendly Green Home Cleaning Process Entails
Notably, Ecolabels are marks placed on product packaging or in e-catalogs that help consumers and institutional purchasers quickly and easily identify products that meet specific environmental performance criteria and are deemed “environmentally preferable.” Government agencies, nonprofit environmental advocacy organizations, or private sector entities can own or manage them.
Specifically, eco-labels are awarded to products and services that meet specific environmental quality standards. Such standards are voluntary and can be linked to a single-attribute or multi-attribute certification. In most cases, the certifying green energy body defines the criteria and can include attributes like ingredient sourcing, workers’ treatment, or the overall environmental impact.
They can be single-attribute, meaning they focus on a single lifecycle stage (i.e., the use phase) of a product/service or a single environmental issue (i.e., VOC emissions). Being multi-attribute means they focus on the entire lifecycle (manufacture, use, maintenance, disposal) of a product/service and address many different environmental issues (i.e., energy, chemicals, recycling, etc.).
Sure, product labeling is a tool for promoting markets with specific characteristics. They provide information about those characteristics that are typically unobservable or difficult to assess. With growing concern about the impact of production systems on the environment, many efforts have been made to shift both producer and consumer behavior. Ecolabelling helps achieve a lot:
Consider the following:
- Labeling products or services helps to share information about the quality and content of their products.
- Ecolabelling helps inform consumers about the environmental impact of their consumption patterns.
- These labels encourage producers to improve the ecological sustainability of their products and services.
- In addition, ecolabels help to certify the environmental performance of a particular product or service.
- The information is used as a marketing tool that encourages consumer trust and helps to differentiate similar products.
If all standards are structurally and systematically implemented, ecolabels serve as reliable and credible sources of consumer information. When a product or service is certified, the ecolabel confirms that rigorous quality standards have been achieved. Likewise, an ecolabel acknowledges that the certified products and goods are more sustainable and environmentally friendly.
The Most Effective Natural Ingredients For Green Home Cleaning Processes
So, with a few simple home-cleaning recipes, you can save money. You may already have many ingredients. An essential natural cleaning toolkit includes white vinegar, baking soda, borax, citrus fruit, and empty spray bottles. Or hydrogen peroxide, cornstarch, castile soap, tea tree oil, and other essential oils for scent. Add microfiber cloths or old cotton T-shirts instead of paper towels.
One source of indoor air pollution can be found in the cleaning products used in the area. These products may produce toxic fumes or leave potent residues behind. Short-term health problems caused by exposure to hazardous cleaning products include eye irritation, coughing, chest pain, vomiting, cramps, and diarrhea. Still worse are the long-term effects, which may also vary.
Including liver and kidney failure, birth defects, emphysema, brain damage, and even cancer. Unintentional ingestion of toxic household chemicals in the U.S. costs almost $2.3 billion in health care annually. “Eco-Friendly Home Cleaning Products” and “green” are words some brands toss around to describe cleaning products like all-purpose sprays and disinfectants. But what does it mean?
In some cases, according to experts, nothing at all — these labels don’t indicate any actual certification and are just there to help a product sell. With that in mind, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty – how do natural ingredients fit into this picture? They’re essential in making homemade cleaning solutions that won’t harm you or the environment. Below is a short list of must-have home ingredients.
1. White Vinegar
Markedly, Vinegar is a natural disinfectant with many uses in home cleaning. Since it’s acidic, it’s excellent for removing gummy buildup, rust, and hard water stains. Try using vinegar to remove the buildup from your coffee pot. You can use lemon juice the same way as vinegar, but since it goes bad quickly, you can’t store cleaners made with lemon juice for over a few days.
2. Baking Soda
Regarding Baking Soda, it absorbs odors in the air and works well for many cleaning tasks. Use it in litter boxes, garbage cans, and diaper pails to keep the stink down. Sprinkle it on a damp cloth as a gentle surface cleaner on counters, sinks, ovens, stoves, and tubs. Find baking soda in the baking aisle of your grocery store.
3. Sodium Borate
Borax (Sodium Borate) is similar to baking soda but stronger. It’s a natural bleach that removes dirt and stains from laundry and surfaces. Although crude, borax could irritate your skin, eyes, or breathing, so use it cautiously and keep it away from children and pets. Moreover, you can easily and quickly find it in your store’s laundry section.
4. Lemon Juice
For your information, the Lemon Juice acidity helps cut through grease while leaving behind a fresh scent. One apparent reason is that its acid is naturally antibacterial and antiseptic — it can also serve as a natural bleach. Not only is lemon great to use as a natural cleanser, but the citrus scent is also energizing and refreshing.
5. Custom Mixtures
When mixing your custom home cleaning ingredients, use spray bottles or containers — those you won’t easily confuse with food containers. Label them right away. Hot water will clean better than cold, so in most cases, fresh-made cleaners with hot water will work the best. You may need to scrub a little harder or let cleaning mixtures sit slightly longer than you would with store-bought cleaners.
Exploring The Topmost Recommended Practices In Green Home Cleaning
Green Home Cleaning Products are everywhere in our homes and offices. They float through the air on our dishes, countertops, furniture, clothes, floors, and windows. We may often make things worse in our war on dirt and germs. Most conventional cleaning products we grew up with are synthetic chemicals that often have environmental implications. Learn more from this video below:
Instead of opting for cleaning products that annihilate everything in their path, plenty of natural products and methods can help keep your house clean and fresh-smelling without harmful side effects. As conventional cleaning products’ health and environmental impacts become more thoroughly understood, more and more brands of healthy, green, and effective cleaning products exist.
Some of these products have started hitting the online marketplace and competing for that coveted place of honor under your sink. The products are non-toxic, biodegradable, and made from renewable resources (not petroleum). But if designer labels aren’t for you, home-mixed cleaners can get the job done and then some. For instance, vinegar and baking soda can clean almost anything.
Mix warm water with either of these, and you have an all-purpose cleaner. Green cleaning practices are all about minimizing waste and reducing harmful chemicals in our homes. You’ve probably noticed an increasing number of eco-friendly products on store shelves. But did you know many everyday household items, like vinegar or baking soda, can be effective cleaning agents?
- Vinegar is a great natural disinfectant and deodorizer.
- Baking soda works wonders as a gentle scrubbing agent; just be careful not to mix it with bleach.
- These ingredients clean your home effectively and reduce plastic waste from conventional cleaning product packaging.
It’s worth mentioning that on June 11, 2007, the Connecticut Legislature approved Public Act 07-100. As a rule of thumb, this act mandates that cleaning products used in State buildings must meet environmental standards set by an approved ecological certification program. These products must seek to minimize their potential harmful impact on human health or the environment.
The apparent reason is that daily and periodic janitorial cleaning is commonplace at every UConn campus due to the significant traffic from the university community. As a result, the University of Connecticut is a large cleaning products consumer. Therefore, they are working to encourage green cleaners to promote clean and safe working conditions and reduce the environmental impact.
Resource Reference: How To Go Green: Understand The Main Water Usage Environmental Benefits
At the same time, they also must stay compliant with Governor Rell’s Executive Order #14. On April 17, 2006, Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell issued an executive order that declared that all state facilities and workplaces shall “procure. And use, whenever practicable, cleaning and sanitizing products with properties that minimize potential impacts on human health and the environment.
As mentioned, the University of Connecticut must comply with Governor Rell’s Executive Order #14. This is coupled consistently with maintaining clean and sanitary State facilities. The same rules can apply to your strategic green home cleaning plan. For example, mix 6 tablespoons baking soda or 1/2 cup lemon juice with 1 cup water in a microwave-safe glass container.
This helps to eliminate food odors or hardened food splatters in the microwave. Microwave the mixture until it boils, then leave it inside with the door closed until it cools. The steam will loosen the grime and make it easy to wipe down the inside of the microwave. But there are still a few best cleaning practices to help you tidy things up and stay hygienically compliant, such as follows.
1. Let others help you in cleaning
Making a team effort is one of the best ways to clean a house quickly. Schedule a time in advance with your family, and assign tasks to each person. Working together can add some fun to cleaning, and your house will spark quickly. For instance, while cleaning, these individuals can help check on home maintenance items, such as a faulty sink that may cause water damage, leading to rot. Or change the sheets in the bedrooms before you vacuum.
2. Clear the clutter, dust, and vacuum
Before cleaning, pick up the clutter from room to room. As you pick up each item – magazines, well-read paperbacks, old sneakers – consider whether you should put it away, toss it or donate it. Before you start dusting, make sure ceiling fans are turned off. Concentrate your dusting on the tops of furniture and the undersides of shelves, handrails, picture frames, knickknacks, and TV screens. For hard-to-reach areas, like blinds and upper brackets, tie a microfiber cloth to the end of a mop or broom.
3. Effectively scrub the tub and tiles
Use a sponge to wipe the surface with vinegar, sprinkle baking soda or non-iodized salt, scrub with a damp sponge, and rinse well with water. For another option, combine 1 2/3 cup baking soda, 1/2 cup castile soap (liquid), and 1/2 cup water. Add 2 tablespoons vinegar and use the mixture to scrub the bathtub or tile area. Baking soda not only removes those strange smells from your fridge, but it’s also an excellent odor eliminator for your carpet. Just sprinkle a little to soak up some of those odors, then vacuum.
4. Tackle mildew in the shower
Put 1/2 cup borax and 1/2 cup vinegar into a spray bottle, fill it with hot water, then spray it in the shower or bathtub and scrub. For a daily spray to prevent mold in the household shower, mix 1/3 cup rubbing alcohol with 1 cup water. Shake it up and spray it on without rinsing. Baking soda also comes in handy to make a gentle but effective soft scrub. Mix baking soda with a bit of dish soap on sinks and bathtubs. For a little extra scour action, add in some salt.
5. Protect your indoor air quality
It is not uncommon for the air inside a home or office to be more toxic than the air outside. In layman’s language, this is because of harmful materials and substances and the fact that homes and buildings are better insulated than ever before (which is a good thing from an energy standpoint). Keeping windows open as often as possible allows fresh air in and keeps toxins flowing out. This is especially important when cleaning your home.
6. Scrub the commonplace toilet
To scrub the toilet, mix 1/4 cup baking soda with 1 cup vinegar for light cleaning and pour it into the toilet bowl. Let it sit for 3 to 30 minutes, scrub it with a toilet brush, and flush. Scrub with 1/2 cup borax mixed with 1-gallon hot water to remove tougher stains. For heavy-duty cleaning, sprinkle 1 cup borax around the basin and spray with 1/2 cup vinegar. Let it sit overnight, then scrub and flush.
7. Clean your drainage channels
To prevent or clear out backups in your drains, dump 1/4 cup baking soda down the drain, followed by 1/2 cup vinegar. Cover and sit for 15 minutes, then uncover and pour in 8 cups boiling water. You could also use 1/2 cup borax followed by 8 cups boiling water. Use a plumber’s snake tool with boiling water for a nasty clog. Equally important, if your garbage disposal smells, run it with some ice and a squeezed orange, lemon, or lime. The ice will help sharpen the blade, and the citrus peels will give off a fresh scent.
8. Disinfect countertops and surface areas
Use one damp microfiber cloth and one dry cloth to clean all the mirrors and glass surfaces. Go through your house and wipe down the hard surfaces – from countertops, appliances, and cabinets to doorknobs, light switches, TV remotes, and telephones. It would be best to disinfect some characters, particularly the ones that might deliver germs to people’s fingers and faces. Make a nontoxic disinfection solution by mixing one-fourth to a half cup of white or apple cider vinegar with water.
9. Sweep, then mop and move as you vacuum
Sweep the kitchen and bathroom floors. Start cleaning from the farthest corner of the room and move backward towards the doorway (that is, don’t mop yourself into a corner). Rinse the mop every time you complete a 4-by-4-foot area. Don’t worry about getting every nook and cranny when you vacuum. Just keep moving through the house, running the vacuum in every carpeted room in one pass-through. Some tasks don’t need to be done each week. These include waxing the furniture, cleaning the windows, and washing area rugs and bath mats. Inspect these accessories and use your judgment.
10. Clean or discard toxic cleaners safely
Finally, don’t forget to wash your cleaning tools routinely. An often overlooked part of cleaning the house is maintaining your cleaning tools. Using a dirty mop or a vacuum with a full bag is much less effective, and you’ll end up spending more time trying to clean. Don’t just throw the old ones in the trash when replacing your cleaning products. They won’t suit the drain or landfill if they’re too toxic for your home. Many communities hold toxics & electronics recycling days and will take all of these off your hands. Throwing chemicals in the trash or down the drain means they might end up back in your water supply and come back to haunt you.
The Effective EPA Tips For Getting Optimal Green Home Cleaning Results
Eco-friendly, Green, All-natural, and Sustainable. When brands use words like these on their packaging without contextualizing what they mean, they’re “greenwashing” products, noted Simcox. In her experience, consumers don’t often question the significance of these labels — if they did, Simcox argued, they would learn that definitions vary by business, brand, and product.
To avoid “greenwashed” cleaning products, experts recommended looking for cleaning products with “ecolabel” certifications, which the EPA defines as marks placed on product packaging that help consumers identify products that meet specific environmental performance criteria and are therefore deemed ‘environmentally preferable. Experts said that these ecolabels are the best way.
Primarily to ensure a product is designed to be somewhat safe for the environment. For cleaning products, the EPA runs two ecolabel programs: Safer Choice, for all-purpose cleaners like dish soap or laundry detergent, and Design for the Environment, which certifies antimicrobial products like toilet bowl cleaners or bathtub disinfectants. These are the topmost EPA standards.
According to the department’s website, they evaluate product performance and ingredients to ensure they meet environmental and human health and safety criteria. In addition, they also provide online databases where shoppers can browse through certified products. So, what is your input on green home cleaning natural ingredients and best practices? Below are a few more vital tips.
1. Gather all your cleaning tools in a caddy
Cleaning is much more efficient if you pick one task (dusting, vacuuming, mopping) and do the same in every room rather than cleaning the kitchen, the bathrooms, and the bedrooms. Doing it that way prevents you from feeling like you’re in an endless cleaning cycle, starting the same task repeatedly. Whether it’s a caddy, bucket, or tote, having everything you need to clean in one portable place makes it much easier to get the job done. You won’t waste time looking for tools while you clean and don’t have to worry about gathering them before your next go-around.
2. Refresh your indoor air naturally
Skip the store-bought air fresheners and try boiling cinnamon, cloves, or any other herbs you are fond of. Fresh chocolate chip cookies also have been known to create a friendly aroma. Also, plants may not make your house smell different but are suitable for filtering interior air—pretty much any broad green leaf plant will do. Peace Lilies are a favorite choice. Spray cleaner on the kitchen sink, bathroom sinks, tubs, and toilets. Let it sit for a few minutes so the cleaner has time to dissolve dirt and stains. Then, return to the kitchen and start scrubbing.
3. Ensure proper ingredients combination
Remember, although vinegar and hydrogen peroxide are great sanitizers, never combine them in a container. This creates a chemical called peracetic acid, which can burn your skin and is dangerous to breathe. The same goes for ammonia and bleach; mixing or using them in the same space can create toxic fumes. Likewise, some more potent cleaners contain volatile organic compounds, phenolic compounds, or petroleum solvents; very few are biodegradable.
4. Ditch antibacterial cleansers
Chemical cleaners produce 30,948 tons of hazardous waste each year, and some ingredients of cleaning products are associated with the eutrophication of streams and are toxic to aquatic organisms. Thus, effective means are essential. The antibacterial and antimicrobial cleaners that many people think are necessary don’t clean hands better than soap and water and also add to the risk of breeding “super germs,” bacteria that survive the chemical onslaught and have resistant offspring. The FDA has found that antibacterial soaps and hand cleansers do not work better than regular soap and water and should be avoided.
5. Focus more on tubs, sinks, and toilets
Spray cleaner on the kitchen sink, bathroom sinks, tubs, and restrooms. Let it sit for a few minutes so the cleaner has time to dissolve dirt and stains. Then, return to the kitchen and start scrubbing. Don’t forget to wipe down the inside of the microwave. Clean toilets last. While in the kitchen, you also want to ensure your garbage disposal is tip-top. Be that as it may, if you aren’t sure how to clean a garbage disposal, you can learn how to clean a garbage disposal unit for some helpful DIY garbage disposal cleaning tips.
Have you ever spent a lot of time doing something only to feel like you’ve accomplished nothing? Have you ever felt overwhelmed by a task and spent hours procrastinating because you didn’t know where to start? If you’re anything like me, this has happened to you in the past. In that case, you’ll probably be aware that having a plan is often helpful. Cleaning your house can be similar.
Thus, having an order to the tasks can make all the difference. Once you get a particular room or section of your house clean, you don’t want to touch it again until the next time you have to clean. Pick one task and do it in every room to prevent you from feeling like you’re in an endless cleaning cycle. Gather all your cleaning tools in a caddy, bucket, or tote for everything you need.
In this case, you can have them in one portable place to do the job effectively. Go room to room and pick up the clutter. Begin dusting and vacuuming. Wipe mirrors and glass with one damp microfiber cloth and one dry cloth. Disinfect countertops and surface areas, particularly the ones that might deliver germs to people’s fingers and faces. Sweep the kitchen and bathroom floors.
Start mopping from the farthest corner of the room and move backward towards the doorway. Keep moving through the house as you vacuum, and don’t worry about getting every nook and cranny. Ensure you routinely wash your cleaning tools. Lastly, make cleaning a team effort by scheduling a time in advance with your family and assigning tasks to each person. That’s it!