Have you ever considered what toxins might be lurking under your kitchen sink? Many conventional cleaning detergents use a cocktail of chemicals to get the job done, leaving behind a trail of toxic residue in their wake.
Phthalates, sodium hydroxide, 2-butoxyethanol, ammonia. These are just some of the scary chemicals added to many popular cleaning products.
The truth is that our war on dirt often does more harm to ourselves, our family and the environment than good. Yikes.
So what are the alternatives if you want to keep your home clean and safe?
Here are five easy and environmentally-friendly dirt-busting ideas to get you started:
1. Let the toxins escape — out the window
Did you know that indoor air can be two to five times more polluted than outdoor air? This is in part due to toxic ingredients inside many of our household cleaners, disinfectants and air fresheners, which linger in the air and contribute to a host of health concerns.
So what’s the solution? Simply open up your windows to allow for a couple of hours of fresh air to circulate every day.
Another useful tip: Invest in some leafy indoor plants. They’ve been proven to purify the air by absorbing toxins during photosynthesis.
2. Ditch the dirt at the door
You may have memories of your mom begging you to remove your muddy shoes at the front door, and she had a point. Think about where your shoes have been in a day — now consider bringing all of that muck into your home! Not only does it mean more sweeping and mopping for you, it’s also introducing germs into your living area.
Consider placing a basket at your front door, like one of these nifty Addis HiDesign storage units, to encourage guests to remove their shoes at your entrance. You could even write a sign on a small chalkboard and offer guests slippers to wear during their stay.
Or, if a shoeless policy isn’t for you, place a good doormat at your front door to help get rid of some of the dirt before it has a chance to contaminate your home.
3. Become a DIY green genie
Over a hundred years ago they didn’t have the host of cleaning products we have today, but they did have two humble ingredients which you probably have in your pantry cupboard right now – baking soda and vinegar. When mixed with a bit of water these two simple ingredients can be used to clean just about anything.
Here’s how to make your own green cleaning spray: Mix two-thirds of a cup baking soda with half a cup water and two tablespoons of white vinegar. Give it a good shake and you have yourself an all-purpose household cleaner minus all those nasty chemicals.
4. Embrace the magic of microfibre
Ever feel like you’re simply moving dirt from one spot to another? You’re not alone. Many of us are guilty of turning to harsh cleaning detergents when our old mops, brooms and dusters can’t seem to do the job.
Thankfully, there’s a new generation of microfibre products, like the Addis Eco Range, designed to trap and lift dirt, instead of pushing it around.
Sound too good to be true? Why not try the Addis Best of Both mop, which uses durable microfibre and absorbent cotton with looped yarns so it never unravels, or the Addis Dust Control Floor Cleaner, a flat mop which can be used wet or dry?
All the products in the Addis Eco Range use microfibre technology to pick up dust and dirt like magnets — without the need for chemical cleaners. And the refills can be easily popped into the washing machine and reused. Double points for eco-effectiveness!
5. Say goodbye to nasty odours the natural way
There’s nothing quite like a beautifully fragrant home to make you feel instantly relaxed, but be warned — scented candles and home air fresheners often contain hazardous substances which have been linked to lung damage, asthma and even cancer.
A far healthier way of scenting your home like a summer meadow is to burn natural essential oils in a ceramic burner. Or for a special occasion simmer some vanilla and cinnamon, or citrus and basil, in a bit of water on the stove. It’ll instantly make your whole home smell incredible!
And for those really unpleasant odours coming from your carpet or fridge? Sprinkle some baking soda, leave for a while, and then vacuum or wipe up. Voila — odours eliminated!
Do you have any genius green cleaning secrets to share? We’d love to hear them.