A practical guide to greener cleaning

A clean home is both a pleasure to live in and essential for healthy living. Maintaining a regular cleaning routine helps make a clean home possible, even if you think that you're too busy to clean. Plus, cleaning little but often is the key to being greener when you clean — if you catch dust and spills before they turn to grime, you won't need harsh chemical cleaners.

  • Stop the dirt before it comes inside. Place good-quality dirt-absorbing mats at all entrances to your home. Your carpets will stay cleaner and last longer.
  • Initiate a shoe-free policy in your household to avoid the problem of tracking in oil and dirt from outside. Provide a shoe rack at the door and a chair nearby, to encourage people to oblige.
  • Try to tidy up as you go. If you haven't the time, clear up small messes as they occur and you won't have a big job to deal with at the end of the day.
  • Instead of reaching for the strongest chemical cleaner first, look for environmentally responsible cleaning alternatives. For the most part, they will work just as well.
  • Act fast on spills and stains. You'll not only find your cleaning is more effective, you'll also need fewer chemicals to do the job.
  • Give cleaners time to work and you'll find you need less of them. Leave mould and oven cleaners to work overnight, for example.
  • See how little you can get away with. Use less when applying household cleaners, whether they're commercial brands or more natural alternatives. You may find a wipe with a damp cloth is all you need.
  • Use elbow grease. Brushes, scourers and cloths are the first line of defense against dirt and reduce the need for harsh, fast-acting chemicals.
  • Use recycled materials to clean kitchen and bathroom surfaces. Old cotton T-shirts and towels are perfect. They're economical and longer-lasting than disposable wipes and paper towels.
  • Work out a minimum cleaning routine to keep your home functioning efficiently. That way, even if you're extra busy, at least you know you've covered the basics each week.
A practical guide to greener cleaning

Weekly routine

Here's a quick checklist that you can use for your weekly cleaning routine:

  • Vacuum and dust rooms
  • Clean stove and grill pan
  • Wipe over kitchen cupboards and fridge
  • Wash and disinfect garbage, recycling, and compost bins
  • Clean toilet and wipe down bathroom basin
  • Shake out doormats
  • Sweep entrances and any outside living areas

Keep this checklist and those natural cleaning tips in mind to help you clean more efficiently and to be more green when you clean.

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