Even if you do not have bamboo floors and solar panels on your roof, you can still make your home more ecologically sound. One of the simplest ways to go green involves swapping chemical-laden cleaning products for simple household cleaners. In addition to eliminating unnecessary chemicals, fragrances and irritants from your home, you will also save money, as most green cleaning substances require a few cheap, often natural, ingredients. As with all cleaning supplies, keep materials out of the reach of children and pets.
Gather your old cleaning products. You do not want to pour these down the drain or toss them in the trash, so either use them up or donate them to a friend, neighbor or community organization. Save some empty, clean spray bottles to re-use for your green cleaning kit.
Set aside a wooden crate or bucket to contain your green cleaning products. Storing them together helps you remember which solutions need refills. Keep a box or bag inside the crate for holding dirty rags.
Assemble a kit of common household cleaners that are nontoxic or natural. Scour with baking soda, add shine with white vinegar, apply liquid biodegradable soap to any tough stain, kill bacteria and add fragrance with citrus, disinfect with eucalyptus oil or borax, and remove stains with carbonated water.
Add some heavy-duty, all-purpose cleaning materials. Isopropyl alcohol kills germs and shines faucets, handles and doorknobs. Mix 1/2 gallon of water with 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup baking soda for washing surfaces, removing calcified water stains and keeping drains clear. For grease-cutting power, combine 1/2 cup pure soap with 1/4 cup lemon or lime juice and 1 gallon of hot water.
Complement your green cleaning solutions with biodegradable or recycled cleaning materials. Cut up old T-shirts or sheets to use as rags. Cover your hands with old socks for dusting furniture. For scouring, use natural sponges and bristle brushes that you can compost. Use newspaper to wipe down windows.
- Even natural cleaning products can be acidic or corrosive. Wear gloves while cleaning.