Green cleaning products have been around for years, but are often unfairly stereotyped as less effective and far more expensive than traditional cleaning products.
Although this might have been the case at one point, the effectiveness of the products available today are now on a par with traditional products at shifting dust, grime, mould and grease, and it’s definitely worth considering them as viable alternatives to the usual chemical-laden cleaners.
Why go green?
With increasing numbers of manufacturers entering the eco-conscious cleaning scene, natural products are now more competitively priced to their conventional chemical-laden counterparts, and in some cases even cheaper.
Most importantly, they are a lot less harmful to you and your family. They don’t contain toxic elements such as phosphates, ammonia, acids, bleach, artificial colouring or fragrances that can be harmful to the lungs and skin. Symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, rashes and headaches frequently disappear once you stop using toxic cleaning chemicals.
The other main USP of green cleaning products is that they’re a lot kinder to our environment, as they use sustainable manufacturing practices and naturally derived, non-toxic, and biodegradable ingredients that don't harm the environment.
Our tips on getting the most out of your green cleaning:
- Use less: it is easy to over-estimate the volume of cleaning product to use, which can be wasteful. By using less, we can balance out any potentially extra cost of ‘green’ cleaners.
- Use concentrate and dilute: Buy concentrated eco-cleaners and dilute them. Not only will this be cheaper, but you reduce packaging waste as well.
- Make your own cleaning agents: home-made cleaners, such as vinegar and baking soda can be very effective at getting the job done. Here are some of the most popular ones:
Bicarbonate of soda (aka baking soda)
Baking soda is used to deodorise and remove dirt and stains from sinks, toilets, baths, hobs, and ovens. It can also remove fridge smells, and is a great odour-eliminator for your carpet.
A great multi-purpose cleaner that is very effective at removing stains, grease, dirt, odours and mildew. It is an effective replacement for traditional mould and limescale removers, and is great at cleaning windows, amongst many other applications.
Another very versatile all-purpose cleaning product, it can be used as laundry detergent, washing up liquid, floor cleaner and even shampoo.
A very strong acid, lemon juice helps to fight against bacteria, eradicate stains and keep whites looking white.
These produce a natural soap, called saponin, which acts as a surfactant, removing grime when mixed with water. They have the added advantage of being anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-microbial.
This works particularly well for polishing furniture.
And finally, some things to bear in mind about ‘non-green’ cleaning:
- Reconsider antibacterial cleaners: there is growing evidence that antibacterial cleaners don't clean hands any better than soap and water, and in fact their use adds to the risk of breeding ‘super germs’ that can survive any chemical onslaught.
- Minimise using a dry cleaner: dry cleaners traditionally use the industrial solvent perchloroethylene which is toxic to humans. There are now alternative green dry cleaning methods, but if you do use a conventional dry cleaner, be sure to air your clothes outside before wearing them or putting them in the wardrobe.
- Watch the indoor air quality: our homes are so well insulated today that the air inside a home or office can quickly become polluted, especially if cleaning with conventional bleaches and chemical cleaners. Try to keep windows open as often as possible to allow fresh air in and toxins to flow out. Also ensure your home has plenty of broad leaf plants as they are great for filtering interior air.
Housekeepers are increasingly turning to green cleaning products as their advantages become increasingly apparent. We certainly support greater adoption of eco-friendly products, not only for the sake of our planet, but for our own well-being.
If you are looking for a housekeeper or are searching for a housekeeper job, please do get in touch. We have over 20 years’ experience in private household staff recruitment, and would love to help you in your search!