Eco-friendly ways to spring-clean your home
Whether you’re preparing to market your home or are moving in or out, spring-cleaning should be towards the top of your ‘to do’ list.
But instead of forking out on harsh chemical-based cleaners – which can release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air, increasing air pollution inside your home – or using plastic household products, make a conscious effort to give household essentials an eco-upgrade.
Remember, the word ‘natural’ on a label doesn’t necessarily mean environmentally-friendly, so check out the ingredients. Below are a few eco-cleaning products to get you started. And some of the cleaners are so nicely presented, you won’t want to hide them under the sink.
Household brushes, naturally
Switch to plastic-free alternatives for household brushes for cleaning anything from dishes, pots and flooring. For instance, the Oxford Brush Company’s brushes with natural bristles are made from sustainable materials including coconut husks and horsehair.
Household essentials include vegetable, bottle, pot and dish brushes, toilet brushes, floor brushes and a traditional, outdoor broom crafted from ‘rice straw’ that will also come in handy on Halloween. Shop online or visit the company’s store in Burford, Oxfordshire.
Also look out for LoofCo’s pads, brushes and accessories for washing-up and household cleaning. Made from the fibres of the loofah plant and coconut, these are plastic-free, biodegradable and recyclable. The loofah is farmed in Egypt, while the coconut coir comes from Sri Lanka – and both are ethically produced.
Method’s home and laundry range is plant-based and biodegradable and comes in 100% recycled bottles.
Products range from multi-surface cleaners to kitchen, bathroom, glass, shower and granite cleaners, wood polish, as well as hard floor and wood floor cleaners. Look out for scents such as pink grapefruit, lavender, clementine, wild rhubarb and passion fruit.
Vegan-friendly and not tested on animals, Method is available from most supermarkets, as well as Amazon, Dunelm, John Lewis, Planet Organic and Robert Dyas.
Also look out for Kinn plant-based, vegan cleaning and laundry products, which are free from petrochemicals and biodegradable. The cleaning range includes floor wash, bathroom cleaner and glass and stainless steel cleaner, all in lavender and rosemary, plus a multi-surface cleaner and a sweet orange bathroom cleaner. Available online and at stockists including Waitrose.
Reusable kitchen towels and dishcloths
Every day, 51,000 trees are felled to meet the daily demand of single-use paper towels. So, if you use paper towels or chemical-based wipes to clean kitchen worktops and tables, then why not switch to washable, natural alternatives?
Reusable Bamboo Kitchen Roll by Ecobees, for example, has 20 sheets on each roll, which can be used up to 100 times. Made from 95% bamboo, which is fast-growing and grows new shoots after being harvested, these sheets can be machine-washed or just rinsed under the tap.
While you’re at it, replace plastic-filled dishcloths with cellulose versions. Made from 70% cellulose (plant fibre) and 30% cotton, Patterned Cellulose Dishcloths are machine washable and biodegradable.
Sponge cloths and scouring pads
Look out for natural sponge cloths and scouring pads to replace plastic-based ones. For instance, If You Care Sponge Cloths are made from cellulose and unbleached cotton and can be washed up to 300 times, while compostable sponge cleaning cloths by Eco Living are also made from natural materials and are reusable.
If you need heavy-duty scouring pads for tough cleaning tasks, choose natural alternatives to plastic-based ones. Walnut Scourers, for example, are made from walnut-shell and recycled plastic and can be hand-washed in warm, soapy water, while EcoForce Recycled Sponge Scourers are made from 100% recycled fibre.
Plastic-free cleaning accessories
So many accessories designed for dusting and cleaning are plastic, so it’s good to find some environmentally-friendly alternatives, using recycled materials such as the Greener Cleaner Duster; and the Greener Cleaner Window Wiper, which can also be used on shower enclosures and tiles, and the Greener Cleaner Dust Pan and Brush, which are both made from 100% wood pulp and recycled plastic.
Where to find them
Unless stockists are mentioned, you’ll find these eco cleaning products on the following websites: