Green Cleaning Tips for Your Home

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Home Improvement

Keeping your home clean doesn’t have to harm the environment. There are several natural cleaning methods that can make your household tasks less complicated and easier on you and the environment. Keeping your living space clean can be challenging, but it’s necessary to maintain a healthy and presentable home. Here are ten green cleaning tips to help you get started.

10. Glass and Mirrors

Forget ammonia-based window cleaners! You can effectively clean the windows in your home with natural cleaners such as 4 tablespoons of lemon juice mixed with a half gallon of water, rubbing alcohol, or witch hazel. Avoid using newspapers to wipe windows clean, as it can be messy and a big waste of time. Instead, use a clean, lint-free rag.

9. Vinyl

Remove stains on vinyl items such as recliners or tile flooring by dipping a cloth in straight lemon juice and rubbing it onto the stained area.

8. Furniture Polishing

Traditional furniture polish is usually made of petroleum distillates and solvents, which are hazardous and smelly. Use earth-friendly ways to polish your wood items by mixing 2 parts olive oil with 1 part lemon juice and applying it to your furniture using a soft cloth. This combination will give your wood furniture a nice smell and a sparkling shine. To get rid of marks on the surface of a wood table, make a thin paste of salad oil or lemon oil and salt. Wipe the paste on, then lightly buff the area as you wipe it off with a soft cloth.

7. Paint Odors

Control the smell of paint during indoor painting projects by keeping small dishes of vinegar scattered around the room. The vinegar will absorb the paint odor while you work. Remember to change the vinegar each day.

6. Metal Cleaning

Metal polishes are included in the Terrible Ten list for a good reason. Most of these products contain ammonia, acid, and other undisclosed ingredients, which can be harmful to your health and the environment. It is recommended to try greener cleaning methods before turning to harsh commercial products.

If you have tarnished copper or brass antiques, you can make a paste out of salt, vinegar, and flour to restore their shine. Apply the paste onto the item, cover the entire surface, and let it dry for an hour before wiping it off with a clean cloth. For lightly tarnished brass or copper pieces, you can use lemon dipped in salt to rub the item, rinse, and dry it thoroughly. Another option is to use undiluted vinegar in a spray bottle, sprinkle salt over the tarnished area, wipe with a sponge or cotton cloth, and repeat if necessary.

To clean and refresh your pewter items, mix salt and vinegar, add flour to make a paste, apply it onto the item, let it dry for half an hour, rinse with warm water, and polish with a soft cloth.

5. Fireplace Cleaning

To clean the exterior of your wood-burning fireplace, apply a paste made of cream of tartar and water onto the stains, let it dry, and scrub it off. To help loosen soot buildup in the interior and chimney, toss salt into the fire occasionally.

4. Downsizing

Living in a smaller home can save time, energy, and resources. House sizes in the United States have been increasing over the past three decades, despite smaller families being the norm now. Consider downsizing to reduce your cleaning workload and environmental impact.

When searching for a new home, it’s important to consider how much space is really necessary. Most people only spend time in a few rooms of their home, leaving other rooms unused for extended periods of time. To make the most of space, it’s helpful to think about multiple uses for each room. In response to the trend towards larger homes, some nonprofit organizations and trade groups have emerged to promote smaller homes. Some cities have even placed upper limits on house size in certain areas to conserve community resources. If downsizing is of interest, there are several organizations to explore. Cleaning can also lead to decluttering the home. Freecycle is an online community where members can give away reusable items to others in their local area. Charitable organizations such as DAV, Goodwill, and the Salvation Army will also take outdated items such as electronics, eyeglasses, and sneakers and distribute them to those in need.

2. Keep Your Home’s Infrastructure Clean

While you may clean your house regularly, it’s important to remember to also clean your home’s infrastructure. This includes having your heating and cooling air ducts inspected and cleaned on a regular basis. Neglecting this can impact your health as much as dirt buildup. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends hiring a professional contractor to inspect your ducts and systems, and if necessary, hire a professional duct cleaner to safely remove any mold, dust, dirt, or other contaminants.

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1. Clean Bare Floors with Vinegar and Water

For most types of bare floors, a solution of 1 cup vinegar and 1 gallon of warm water works perfectly. This can be used on ceramic tiles, linoleum, vinyl, and wood floors without the need for rinsing afterward. If your vinyl or linoleum floor looks dull after cleaning, a mop with club soda can give it a shine. Be careful not to saturate wood floors with the vinegar and water solution, as a light touch will make it shiny and remove any greasy buildup.

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FAQ

1. What are green cleaning products?

Green cleaning products are eco-friendly alternatives to traditional cleaning products that contain harsh chemicals. These products are made from natural, non-toxic ingredients that are safe for the environment and your family. Examples of green cleaning products include vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice.

2. Why should I use green cleaning products?

Green cleaning products are better for the environment and your health. Traditional cleaning products can release harmful chemicals into the air and water, which can contribute to health problems and pollution. By using green cleaning products, you can reduce your carbon footprint and keep your home clean and healthy.

3. How can I make my own green cleaning products?

You can make your own green cleaning products by using natural ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, and essential oils. For example, you can mix vinegar and water to create a natural all-purpose cleaner, or combine baking soda and lemon juice to make a paste for scrubbing. There are many recipes available online for making your own green cleaning products.

4. What are some common green cleaning mistakes to avoid?

Some common green cleaning mistakes to avoid include using too much product, not using enough water, and using the wrong type of cleaner for the job. It’s important to follow the instructions on the label and use the appropriate amount of product for the task at hand.

5. How can I reduce waste when cleaning?

You can reduce waste when cleaning by using reusable cloths and towels instead of disposable ones. You can also make your own cleaning products to reduce packaging waste. Additionally, you can recycle or repurpose old cleaning tools and containers instead of throwing them away.

6. What are some eco-friendly cleaning tools?

Eco-friendly cleaning tools include microfiber cloths, reusable sponges, and natural-bristle brushes. These tools are made from sustainable materials and can be reused many times, reducing waste. Additionally, you can use a steam cleaner instead of traditional cleaning products to sanitize surfaces without using chemicals.

7. How can I reduce water usage when cleaning?

You can reduce water usage when cleaning by turning off the faucet when you’re not using it, and using a bucket or basin to collect water for cleaning instead of running the tap. Additionally, you can use a low-flow showerhead and faucet aerators to reduce water usage throughout your home.

8. How can I make my cleaning routine more eco-friendly?

You can make your cleaning routine more eco-friendly by using green cleaning products, reducing waste, and conserving water. Additionally, you can incorporate sustainable practices into your routine, like composting food waste and recycling paper and plastics.

9. What are some benefits of using green cleaning products?

The benefits of using green cleaning products include reducing your carbon footprint, improving indoor air quality, and protecting your health. Green cleaning products are made from natural, non-toxic ingredients that are safe for the environment and your family, and they can be just as effective as traditional cleaning products.

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