How to clean your house the green way, plus some green cleaning products we like.
Photo by OC Ecobroker
Back when I was younger, cleaning up meant going around with a spray can of yellow stuff and a pine-scented potion. Now that I’m older, I’m interested in cleaning solutions that will leave my house shiny without the strong chemicals and non-recyclable packaging. With environmentally-conscious cleaners and household helpers showing up everywhere from Amazon’s Amazon Green section to the aisles of grocery stores and big retailers like Target, it’s becoming easier than ever for me to clean up the green way.
Here were some of my experiences with a few notable cleaning products that are also gentle with the environment:
Green Cleaning Products I’ve Considered
First off, I tried out the Green Works natural dilutable cleaner from Clorox. According to the ingredients list, it’s made with things I can pronounce, like a coconut-based cleaning agent, corn-based ethanol, and even some essential lemon oil. It did a pretty good job on those bathroom cleaning tasks I dread and it didn’t give me a headache like other products sometimes do. Green Works has a range of cleaners available, and the price seemed comparable to other brands I saw on the shelf. Best of all, my family hasn’t complained about the smell compared to those times I’ve used the old-school cleaners in their presence.
Another brand that interests me is the Seventh Generation line of products. They have laundry detergent, dish liquid, and other items that don’t have fragrances or dyes, which would be good for my family because some of us are allergic to regular detergents and the like. Even better, Seventh Generation has coupons on their website and their cleaners are available through retailers I already know like Whole Foods and Walgreens.
Method O Mop and Method Cleaners
When I moved into my current home, someone gave us one of those adjustable sweepers. I used to dread toting the mop and broom around, so this sweeper made me swoon. However, it’s about to sweep off into the sunset after a few years of steady use and I need to find a replacement soon. Staring at the Method OMop All Floor Care Kit, I can’t help but drool. Clean up on Aisle One — I’d be happy to swap my old model for a lemon ginger sweeper! Method makes a good sweeper along with a line of great cleaning products that use an environmentally friendly formula.
Since I’m still repressing my memories of all those childhood hours with the yellow can of dusting spray, I’ve opted to attack household dust with a microfiber cloth like the one Scotch-Brite offers. Actually, I picked up about a dozen of them, but don’t spill the beans to my cleaning fanatic relatives (they may want samples!). 😉
Eco-Friendly Trash Bags
On those occasions when I pounce on clutter, I need a sturdy trash bag. The box of GoodSense Trash Bags that I picked up says it has 60% recycled plastic and the carton’s made with 100% recycled paperboard. So far, so good and they’ve withstood the long haul all the way to the curbside trashcan. Now if you’re opting for even greener alternatives, how about the biodegradable and compostable waste bags like those from BioBag? These bags are made of cornstarch and will biodegrade along with your “natural” trash but they won’t do so until the perfect conditions of moisture, warmth and micro-organisms are met.
Natural Materials and Green Helpers
What about natural cleaners like baking soda, vinegar, and tea tree oil? I like them, but I can’t seem to remember how much to use when and on what surface. I sure could use a reference book like Green Clean: The Environmentally Sound Guide to Cleaning Your Home by Linda Mason Hunter or Green This! Volume 1: Greening Your Cleaning by Deirdre Imus.
Of course, when I go buy all my green cleaning helpers, I try to remember my collection of totebags.
And in case I can’t get it done myself, I can always try out a green cleaning service. Maid Brigade can do all my cleaning for me, without the dreaded spray can or pine potions of my past.
For more on green cleaning, you can check out Amazon Green.