We all enjoy having a clean and healthy home to live in and share with friends and family. Keeping our homes green, clean and healthy while reducing or eliminating toxic chemicals and waste can be challenging. Here are 6 highly effective green cleaning tips below to keep your home clean and healthy while sticking to a minimalist lifestyle.
Green Cleaning Tip #1: Only BASIC cleaning tools and products are needed.
In striving to keep a minimalist home, keeping clutter to a minimum is essential so it is a good rule of thumb to buy and keep things that you really need and use often. Really, only a handful of cleaning tools are needed to clean most everything in your home.
1. Microfiber Towels
These soft, non-scratching microfiber towels are one of the most versatile green cleaning products you can keep around your minimalist home. Whether it’s simply tidying the dining table, dusting the cabinets and appliances or wiping finger prints off the sliding glass door these towels will keep you from the endless consumption of single use paper products. When you are finished with your cleaning, toss them in the wash and reuse them for years!
2. Clear Dawn Dish Soap
Water is by far the most amazing cleaning substance on the planet. However, from time to time you run into oily substances when cleaning like finger prints, cooking messes or tracked in from outside and water just won’t cut it. For those time, just use a few drops of the most basic Clear Dawn dish soap. It contains only bio-degradable surfactants which help water and oil mix so you can easily clean up oily messes. Typically very small amounts are needed. Once in a while a tough job might require a bit more, but when it comes to using products, less is more. One bottle goes for months when used sparingly.
3. Quality Spray Bottles
In many cases you need only mist water or a gentle soap solution on a surface to remove the debris. Thinking green and minimalist you’ll want to be sure to use a quality bottle. This saves you money, waste and frustration in the long run. These aluminum bottles are great because they are durable, spray well and the spray tops last a long time.
4. Microfiber Mop and Reusable Pads
If you have a hard surface floor in your home, it really doesn’t need a lot aggressive cleaning but keeping up with the floor will save you a lot of hassle over neglecting it and then attempting to restore it. This microfiber mop with reusable pads is a great way to make hard floor care green and minimalistic. You can cover a lot of area quickly and the pads are washable, so once again, no waste. The handle is sturdy and folds to store compactly. Most of the time, water is probably okay to use. As needed you can add a few drops of Dawn detergent to your solution. Mist it directly on the floor and wipe off with the microfiber mop.
5. High Quality HEPA Vacuum with Paper Bags
For dry soil you cannot beat a high filtration vacuum for making cleaning simple and easy! The HEPA filtration of a vacuum is critical for not only the respiratory health of your family and pets, but for keeping other cleaning tasks to a minimum such a sweeping and dusting. Using a non-HEPA vacuum or one without superior filtration will cause the particulate soil to be thrown into the air only to land elsewhere. Investing in a vacuum that will last a lifetime and can be completely repaired in event it breaks is a smart thing to do. The Windsor Sensor S12 is a commercial model and isn’t sexy, but it can easily last a decade without any major repairs. However, when it does break, repair parts are easily available as it is a common model among hotels, airports and the like. The HEPA filter is the bag so when the bag is replaced you get a clean filter. The reduces cost also as many vacuum manufacturers charge high prices for a tiny filter that should be changed way too often. These bags are made from recycled paper and composites and can be recycled after use. This vacuum has an easy to use wand that reaches under things and high areas with ease. It also automatically adjusts to the height of the floor you’re vacuuming so you always get the best results possible.
Green Cleaning Tip #2: Dry stuff is easiest to pick up dry.
Much of the airborne soil in the home is dry particulate and it settles on surfaces as dust. Many are tempted to add moisture to pick this dust up, but doing so will only complicate your life. It is a good rule of thumb to clean up dry soils without moisture.
Wipe surfaces– Microfiber towels are great for dusting as they have many little fingers to pick up the dust and trap it. These work great because they are soft, won’t scratch surfaces and are washable.
Vacuum carpets, rugs, drapes and furniture– Many people think these items are gross and collect germs. Think in the reverse. They are big filters and if you clean them often, they will help clean your air and keep you from breathing a lot of dry particulate soil and dust. Soft goods like carpet, rugs, drapes and furniture can be cleaned using a HEPA vacuum.
Green Cleaning Tip #3: Stay away from toxic chemicals.
Toxic chemicals have long promised to solve many problems but have instead become the root of most all cleaning problems. Cleaning with water can surprisingly go a long way. As said earlier, oily things will need at least a small amount of detergent to help them clean up. One might want to use some organic essential oils as a fragrance or to kill bacteria if that is a concern, but it is best to stay away from harsh chemicals as they will only attract more soil, accumulate in the fatty areas of our body.
Green Cleaning Tip #4: Keep your life and cleaning simple
When you really boil it down, being green, minimalist and clean is about simplicity. So keep it that way. Anything that is dry, pick it up dry by wiping, sweeping or vacuuming. When needed use water to rinse a surface or area. As a last resort use small amounts of detergent to break down oily things to help them clean up with water.
Green Cleaning Tip #5: Don’t procrastinate. Make cleaning a regular activity.
Typically those who despise cleaning are those who neglect it and then are left with a mountain of cleaning that is quite difficult and would exhaust even the most avid cleaner. The idea is to get a routine, simplify cleaning tasks and take the most minimal approach possible. Start your cleaning tasks with the most often used areas such as the kitchen and restroom. Keep what few cleaning tools you should need for those areas close by and touch up after you use them. Keeping up with cleaning will keep things from getting out of control and have you spending hours removing built up gunk.
Green Cleaning Tip #6: Clean quick! Focus on high use areas.
To save extra time, focus should be given to areas that receive the most use. No need to clean you house top to bottom daily. Typically these will be the entry of your home, the kitchen, restrooms and living areas. Even in these areas you can spend your time in areas which are used most often such as shoe areas, sinks and counter tops and let’s not forget all of those floors!
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