Green cleaning has exploded in popularity over the last year as more of us want to move to chemical-free cleaning and making our own cleaning products. Sometimes the best eco-friendly cleaning hacks just need some insider knowledge or old school skills rather than spending money on new products. This Lockdown, let’s clean our home using these methods.
- Dish Soap: Adding essential oil to unscented castile soap can help take the drudgery out of the ordeal. Add 10 drops of lavender oil and 10 drops of tea tree oil to 20 ounces (600 ml) of castile soap and then decant into a simple glass bottle with a pour spout to keep on your countertop.
- Glass Cleaner: Equal parts white vinegar and water combined with a few drops of citrus essential oil (orange or grapefruit) makes for a very easy glass cleaner. Also, use crumpled newspaper to wipe down the windows and keep them lint-free.
- Greasy Pot Rescue: Add a hearty dash of baking soda to a still-warm pot and add water. Let it sit while you eat and return to a much easier scrub job. If you forget to take the proactive approach, add the baking soda and a few cups of boiling water to a cooled pan. Allow it to sit while you tackle the other dishes and then wash as usual. (Also good for shining up nasty burner pans.)
- Sink Cleaner: Pour ¼ cup (30 g) baking soda and ½ cup (120 ml) vinegar into your sink, and add a few drops of your favorite fresh-scented essential oil. The mixture will create a satisfying sudsy foam. Wipe down with a sponge or brush and rinse with warm water.
- Sticky Residue Remover: Combine equal parts baking soda and coconut oil to make a thick paste. Apply the mixture directly to the sticky residue you’re hoping to remove and work at it with a warm cloth rag. The residue should come right off
- Swap out dryer sheets for reusable felted wool dryer balls, so you make less trash and your clothes still come out soft as can be.
- Rust Remover: Dissolve and buff off the rust by dipping an aluminum foil ball in vinegar, then scrubbing gently. Then just wipe clean with a cloth, recycle the foil, and call it a day! If you’re dealing with incredibly rusty items, like tools, you may need a vinegar soak instead.
These natural cleaning solutions are free from unregulated neurotoxins and other chemicals however that doesn’t mean that there wouldn’t be consequences if they were digested. Anything you use to clean your home should be used with care and common sense. Remember: Essential oils contain VOCs, too. That’s why you can smell them! They’re not synthetic, they don’t build up in our bodies, and they’re not known carcinogens, but they are highly concentrated and should be used sparingly and in small doses. Use rubber gloves when cleaning. All of these products should be kept away from children and pets.