No matter who we are or what we do, cleaning the house is a chore that we all have to tackle, at least now and again. While the job of scrubbing the modern home has been made relatively easy thanks to the wide range of chemical cleaners available, there are many that are bad for both your health and the environment.
If you’re interested in not only achieving a spotlessly clean house, but also in keeping a green attitude while you do it, here are five green home cleaning tutorials:
1. Green Glass and Window Cleaner
Most popular factory-made window and glass cleaners are ammonia-based, making them bad for your lungs and the air in general. Luckily, a simple mix of household goods is enough to allow you to say goodbye to ammonia once and for all, and without the need to sacrifice clean, clear windows!
You have two excellent options when it comes to homemade, Earth-friendly glass cleaners:
- A mixture of 4 teaspoons of lemon juice mixed with 2 liters of water.
- A mixture of 1 part rubbing alcohol, 1 part water and a teaspoon of witch hazel.
No matter which cleaning solution works best for you, make a simple rag from a discarded towel or piece of clothing and you’re ready to get those windows and mirrors sparkling!
2. Green Furniture Polish
One of the ugliest manufactured cleaners is furniture polish. Typically served up in an aerosol can, these polishes almost always contain petroleum distillates and solvents, two substances that are not only smelly, but also harmful to the lungs.
In order to justify tossing out those poisonous, yet effective, chemicals, you’ll need first to whip up a batch of your own homemade furniture polish. Simply mix 2 parts olive oil with 1 part lemon juice and then apply to wooden furniture with a soft cloth or rag. This mixture will not only give your tables and chairs a beautiful shine, it will also tack on the pleasant, subtle smell of lemon, eliminating the strong odor of store-bought furniture polish in your home once and for all (hat tip to Tom of VIP Realty Dallas).
3. Green Floor Cleaner
While there are hundreds of different cleaners aimed at shining different types of floors, most of them are nearly identical and many contain entirely unnecessary chemicals.
Whether your floors are wood, tile, vinyl or linoleum, the only solution you need in order to keep them sparkling clean and fully sanitized is an equal mixture of vinegar and water. Applied gently, the solution can simply be left on the floor once mopped or scrubbed, or you can mop once more with straight club soda in order to encourage an extra shine.
4. Green Carpet Cleaner
Every cleaner knows that carpets present some of the most difficult-to-resolve cleaning jobs, but green homemade cleaners are no less effective on them! As you’ve probably heard, simple club soda does an excellent job of lifting fresh stains, allowing even the most troubling of spills to come up with a cloth.
When it comes to simple deodorizing, especially in light of pets and their lingering scent, simple baking soda or cornstarch can be sprinkled lightly on the floor and then vacuumed after 30 minutes.
5. Green Copper and Brass Polish
One chore that is common to almost all households is the polishing of metal, whether pipes and fixtures or jewelry and collectables. Like furniture polish, manufactured metal polish is often made from petroleum derivatives, making it harsh on the environment, both inside and outside your house, necessitating a green replacement.
Like other DIY solutions, these ones require minimal supplies and even less time to throw together! To remove tarnish and unsightly stains from household metals, mix salt and vinegar with simple white flour in order to make a paste. Cover the metal in question with the paste and then allow it to dry before wiping the paste off with a clean, dry cloth.
Please note that leaving the paste on for too long after it has dried could result in a greening of the metal due to the salt — consider setting an audible timer!