Spring cleaning time – greener time! Always looking for eco-friendly products and methods for „greener“ cleaning, I want all the effects and no toxic side-effects.
Spring cleaning the blog is good fun; spring cleaning the house used to be a headache-inducing chore until I switched, step by step, to organic and eco-friendly detergents completely. Such is the nature of my Quest: consistently upping the ante for a healthier and more sustainable life.
Of course I tried DIY recipes first. Aaaaand I found out that I’m not a DIY person. Let’s leave it at that 😉
So if vinegar and soda aren’t for you, don’t panic, know that there are many, many natural options for nearly any cleaning challenge. And in today’s post, I want to share with you my best and time-tested tips. In the end, I list my favourite hero products (no affiliates, just taking stock) that keep the BEAUTYCALYPSE home clean – the clean way.
THE CHECKLIST OR:
7 DOs & DON’Ts OF CLEANING CLEANER
1. DO: minimise indoor air pollution
I spoke about the immense fatal impact of outdoor air pollution earlier this month, but indoor air pollution is about as bad. Toxic materials in houses and furniture, fumes of dye, printers, air fresheners… these add up to very unhealthy cocktail we breathe in day in day out. I plan an extra post on indoor air pollution – let’s just mention here that fresh air and leafy green plants are your best friends.
2. DON’T use synthetic air fresheners & candles
They may promise you delicious smells of pumpkin spice in autumn, chocolate cookies in winter, cherry flowers in spring or green apples and berries in summer – but all they do is fill the air with harsh, synthetic, toxic fumes as bad as cigarette smoke. Conventional candles are made of paraffin wax – when burned, it releases highly toxic benzene and toluene into the air – and can have lead-core wicks. Isn’t it bitter that the industry knows how toxic lead is? We’re not living in Victorian times, after all.
Wiser choice: organic beeswax or soy (vegans: make sure to choose GMO-free!) candles with lead-free wicks, essential oil diffusors, organic incense sticks.
3. DO: dispose of your toxic “leftovers” – wisely
Never just toss them out into the landscape! Ask in your community/ municipality how to dispose of special waste. Example: in Berlin, the municipal waste disposal and collector company BSR maintains waste depots where you can, for free, dispose also of your toxic waste (conventional detergents, toxic air fresheners, and, while at that, conventional perfumes AND nail polish).
4. DON’T use antibacterial cleaners or soaps
It should be common knowledge by now: antibacterial agents – Triclosan may ring a bell – are actually bad for our health and our environment.
Alternative: green sanitising sprays (check out my product picks); or resort to grandma’s vinegar-based recipes: vinegar with a 2016 upgrade of a few drops of an antibacterial essential oil is what the doctor prescribed to keep germs at bay.
5. DO: choose renowned green detergents
Eco cleaning products are great these days. Highly effective, they come with different sizes, recipes and price tags, are free from what we shall name known synthetic toxins, biodegradable and based on raw materials gained from renewable resources.
+ ALLERGY TIP:
allergy sufferers must pay extra attention to the fine-printed ingredients since not all fragrance-free detergents are organic, just as not all eco detergents may be safe for them to use, often containing potentially allergenic ingredients such as essential oils.
6. DON’T take textiles to conventional dry cleaners
The standard – and most common – cleaning agents are Perchlorethylene (aka Tetrachlorethene), a recognised potential human carcinogen, and Hydrocarbon. Hydrocarbon is made of petroleum, goes right into the atmosphere where it becomes the global warming’s best friend. A greener dry cleaning agent is carbon dioxide.
7. DO: use a good doormat and wear house shoes 😉
The logic behind this is simple: leave outdoor toxins (also those unvisible to the naked eye) outside and you have less toxins in the house to worry about – and less work cleaning!
My mat says “OH NO, NOT YOU AGAIN” to give away how welcome suprise visitors are 😀
And finally, here’s a glimpse at my green cleaning squad: products by brands that have amassed sustainability awards – mostly certified, vegan-friendly organic products with great efficiency and no side-effects for my family:
Active Sport Laundry Detergent Liquid – THE best laundry detergent I ever had!
Organic Dish Detergent,
Organic Shower Spray
Stain Removal Spray,
Disinfectant Spray – this one is genius: made of alcohol and essential oils, it kills viruses, bacteria and mould fungus
Allergy-Safe Laundry Detergent Liquid for Wool & Delicate Fabric
All-Purpose Cleaner Lavender
– And that’s it!