Clean your home — but do it naturally — and with a little help from the bots.
One activity many people love to hate is deep cleaning. It is a lot of work, but the sense of accomplishment you feel when the job is done is undeniable. Plus, a clean home brings peace of mind and helps reduce your exposure to germs. And, when you do it naturally, you also reduce the exposure to harmful toxins.
Common cleaning mistakes
Despite best efforts, it’s easy to make mistakes when it comes to home cleaning. Some of these tips may help.
Avoid the wrong mix of cleaning detergents
While cleaning your home, you may be tempted to mix different cleaning detergents together when dealing with tough stains. These so-called ‘super cleaning solutions’ mixed at home can be hazards. Every cleaning agent is created with specific chemicals; therefore, creating a concoction of them at home can expose you and others to dangerous, even deadly fumes (such as mixing ammonia and bleach). Be sure to read the ingredients, follow instructions, and avoid mixing chemicals.
Clean in the right order
Have you ever finished cleaning your home only to realize the floors are dirty again? Although you may wonder where the dust and debris could have come from, the answer could be in your cleaning order.
Believe it or not, cleaning is an art and requires technique. You can achieve this by cleaning the house from top to bottom, starting from the ceiling and all high areas, before tackling the floors. Cobwebs and debris stuck onto your home’s ceiling and walls will fall on the floor, messing up a freshly cleaned room. The same can be said for cleaning and disinfecting. The former must be completed before tackling the latter. Cleaning removes dirt and debris, while disinfecting focuses on killing harmful bacteria. When you adopt the right order, you will find it easier to follow through with the chores and complete them quickly.
Don’t miss hidden dust accumulation
When tidying up, people usually focus more on surface cleaning. Although this is understandably faster, the downside is it may not be thorough. While you dedicate time to surface cleaning, more dust accumulate in areas you give the least attention to. These areas become hotspots for an incredible amount of dust and debris. The ceiling fans, blinds, and baseboards are a few examples of where dust and debris collect in your home.
Some spots, like dryer vents, may also be hard to clean. In that case, you will need expert help. A dryer vent cleaning service will be your best bet. But if you want to go the DIY route to perform this chore, use a damp cloth to trap the particles as a dry cloth fails to trap dust adequately, and every cleaning movement spreads those dust bunnies even further. That’s not something you want if you or someone else at home has respiratory allergies.
Be careful of cross-contamination from cleaning tools
How many places around the home do you use your mop? What about your cleaning sponges and rags? Whether you use the strongest detergents for your tools, it may not be a good idea to use certain cleaning aids for every part of the home. For instance, the sponge and drying rags used for the bathroom must not be used in the kitchen. Doing this reduces the risk of cross-contamination and avoidable health conditions. While at it, remember to keep your tools clean and properly dried before the next cleaning schedule.
Knowing the kind of deep-cleaning errors to avoid will make your cleaning better and more effective.
Sustainable cleaning tips
Baseboards and ceiling fan blades deserve a dusting, but spring cleaning your home sustainably doesn’t have to be complicated.
By making a few simple changes, you can reduce your carbon footprint and create a healthier home environment. We’ve rounded up some tips that will not only make your spring cleaning more sustainable but also save you money in the long run.
1. Switch to natural cleaning products
Perhaps the most important first step to spring cleaning your home sustainably is to ditch conventional cleaning products and opt for natural and eco-friendly alternatives. Conventional cleaning products can contain harsh chemicals that can harm your health and the environment. Instead, opt for brands with clean, natural ingredients, or try making your cleaning products using natural ingredients such as vinegar, baking soda, lemon, and essential oils. These products are not only effective in cleaning, but they are also cheaper and more readily available.
2. Switch to reusable cleaning tools
Another way to spring clean sustainably is to use reusable cleaning tools. Instead of using disposable wipes and paper towels, try using microfiber cloths or reusable sponges. Microfiber cloths are excellent for cleaning surfaces, and they are also washable, meaning you can use them over and over again. Reusable sponges are also a great alternative to disposable ones. They are made from durable materials, and you can use them repeatedly.
3. Declutter responsibly
Spring cleaning is the perfect time to declutter your home and get rid of things that you no longer need or use. However, it’s essential to declutter responsibly. Avoid throwing away items that are still in good condition. Instead, donate them to a local charity or thrift store. If you have old electronics, consider recycling them instead of throwing them in the trash. Many electronics contain harmful chemicals that can harm the environment if not disposed of properly. And the spring cleaning mantra: upcycle, upcycle, upcycle! Turn old tees and towels into rags. Turn old containers into storage bins. Everything else? Try turning it into a planter.
Look, in some places, composting is now basically the law. So might as well keep those veggie scraps and garden debris and put it to good use. Otherwise, make sure it all goes in your green bins. Composting is an excellent way to reduce your waste and create a nutrient-rich soil amendment for your plants. You can compost vegetable and fruit scraps, coffee grounds, and eggshells.
5. Opt for secondhand furniture
If you’re in the market for new furniture, consider buying second-hand instead of brand-new. Secondhand furniture is not only affordable, but it’s also eco-friendly. It reduces the demand for new furniture, which helps reduce deforestation and waste. You can find second-hand furniture at thrift stores, online marketplaces, and garage sales.
6. Use energy-efficient appliances
Spring cleaning is also an excellent time to evaluate your appliances’ energy efficiency. Consider upgrading to energy-efficient appliances, such as washing machines, refrigerators, and dishwashers. These smart appliances are designed to use less energy, which translates to lower energy bills and a reduced carbon footprint. You can also switch to LED light bulbs, which are more energy-efficient than traditional bulbs.
7. Use plant-based air fresheners
Looking to get the winter stench out? Consider using plant-based air fresheners to freshen up your home. Many conventional air fresheners contain synthetic fragrances that can cause headaches and irritate allergies. Instead, try using natural air fresheners, such as essential oils, incense, or plants. You can also use dried herbs and flowers to add a natural and pleasant scent to your home.
8. Switch to natural pest control methods
If you’re dealing with pests such as ants, spiders, or cockroaches, try using natural pest control methods instead of chemical pesticides. You can use natural repellents such as peppermint oil, vinegar, or citrus peels to keep pests away. You can also use traps or barriers to prevent pests from entering your home. These methods are safer for your health and the environment than chemical pesticides. Need something stronger? Try diatomaceous earth.
9. Be water wise
When spring cleaning, you’ll likely be using a lot of water to clean your home. To use water more sustainably, consider collecting rainwater in a barrel and using it for outdoor cleaning or watering your plants. You can also use a bucket instead of a hose to clean your floors or wash your car. This reduces water waste and saves you money on your water bill.
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