Cleaning. I’m not a fan. I know some people don’t mind it and the rare few even like it (come over to my house any time). But there are ways to make it simpler, less expensive, and better for the environment. Three-headed frogs set aside, knowing kiddos are rolling around in the grass and that I’m eating foods that absorb nutrients from soil and water as they grow makes me want to be on top of my eco-game reducing waste in landfills and run-off into nature. Let’s keep Kermit green and keep the green in our wallets!
Here are a few of my wallet- and planet-friendly cleaning tips:
- Re-usable floor dusters and mops: there are many Swiffer-like substitutes out there from Bona to Rubbermaid to Norwex that have washable Velcro-attaching pads that can be used to dry dust or wet mop your floors. I bought one “mop-stick” and several of the mop pads so I could clean more before needing to wash them (mine get dirty quickly with our dog’s fur).
- Natural floor cleaner: warm water, white vinegar, and lemon essential oil (optional, but it covers up the vinegar smell). I typically mix between 1:1 and 2:1 ratio of water and vinegar in a bucket then add 3-5 drops of lemon essential oil (I use Young Living). I dunk the mop pad and wring it out, repeating the re-wetting process when the pad looks to be drying up. You could also mix this in a spray bottle and spray the floor then run the pad over it. I add more vinegar (1:1) and lemon oil and dunk when I need a deeper clean and use less vinegar (2:1) and lemon oil and spray for quicker, lighter cleaning. Feel free to vary those combinations to suite your needs.
- Natural everything cleaner: same as above, again dunking my cloth and using a heavier vinegar ratio for deeper cleaning and a spray bottle for quicker cleaning. Great for bathrooms, kitchens, dusty seasonal storage, etc.
- Re-usable cleaning wipes: cheap, bulk washcloths work great. I buy a darker color so they don’t look as gross after a few uses. Easily washable, and much more durable than paper towels or bleach wipes.
- Foaming hand soap: buy a glass or metal foaming hand soap container (I love these). Use any larger soap refill to save on plastic bottles going into landfills, and save money two ways: bulk is less expensive and you only fill foaming soap containers 1/5th of the way with soap then add water so your soap lasts 5 times longer! If you forget to add water your soap will be too thick to pump.
- Natural hand soap: use castile soap. You can use unscented castile soap and add your own essential oils for a personal scent or usage or buy pre-scented. (I use this kind).
Which earth-saving, money-saving tricks do you use to clean? Share them in the comments below!
*NOTE: Never mix bleach and vinegar! Together they create a dangerous gas. Pick one and err toward vinegar for most cleaning, only using bleach when necessary (if it ever is).