Cleaning Green is pretty simple, really. You can postpone major dirt purges by having a few rules about Taking Shoes off at the Front Door and not allowing Food outside designated eating areas. You might even ask the smokers in your life to desist in your space.
Think about it: if everyone’s eating meals at their desk, or while standing up walking around, or grabbing pizza while splayed out on the sofa—to say nothing of smoking a butt here and there–your place is bound to get messy. Fast.
Once you’ve made up your mind to clean, here are few guidelines:
1) Be picky. As in, be selective about your cleaning products: read labels and don’t use anything containing ingredients you can’t pronounce. You might be surprised how easy it is to use natural ingredients for great results. Ingredients like vinegar, lemon, and hot water. (As our editorial director Lexy Zissu likes to say, you may feel as though you’re mixing salad vinaigrette, but trust us, these ingredients are effective!)
2) Be careful. If you absolutely must use a strong chemical product to get rid of a horrendous stain, then be careful about it: open windows to let fresh air in, and wear protective gloves/goggles if need be. Do not let your pets or kids nearby.
3) Be mindful of how much water you use when you clean. Must you use hot water, or would or lukewarm do? A few degrees can make a big difference to your energy bill. Think about what happens next to that water. If you use natural cleaning products, can you reuse the greywater to water plants or rinse off your driveway, balcony, front gate, or dog?
We’ve got 19 green cleaning actions on Practically Green, and we’d love to have 20. Check out Switch to a natural all-purpose cleaner and Stop dry cleaning your clothes (or never start); or Clean your microwave safely and the DIY favorite Make your own cleaners, including laundry detergent. Try one and let us know how you do! If you have an idea for green cleaning action #20, we’d love to hear from you.
Note: This post is repurposed from Cuddledown’s blog, “The Bedding Snob.” If you’ve ever wanted to create a comfortable night’s sleep for yourself, you may already know about Cuddledown, the Maine company that offers topnotch bedding stuff — sheets, pillows, down comforters, pjs, much of it organic.