In the current situation, hygiene and cleanliness have become a way of life. Hygiene practices are now being followed in every place diligently and with greater frequency. Also, many of us, especially those settled in urban areas and metropolitan cities, are becoming more aware of how our actions and choices affect the environment, which is why natural and organic cleaning products are increasingly gaining popularity.
So, when it came to kick-starting our green cleaning journey, we felt this festive season would be the best time to do so. What green cleaning essentially means is using methods and products which are environment friendly and don’t cause any pollution when used. Over time, we have come to believe that green cleaning is important for the planet as well as our own health.
One of the first changes we made as part of our green cleaning was to switch to natural cleaning products as we began thoroughly cleaning our house.
Natural cleaning products, in simple words, predominantly use natural ingredients and steer clear of harmful chemicals. We learnt that as these products are free of hazardous chemicals, they pose fewer health risks while getting rid of germs, dirt, and stains from the surfaces cleaned. Also, they do not contain chemicals responsible for air or water pollution and are often found in recyclable or reusable packaging – making it a win-win situation.
But, just switching to natural cleaning products wasn’t the only requirement of green cleaning. We also began following some environment-friendly methods for green cleaning at home. Read on to know how we did it!
1. Quit Using Paper Towels
Today, we don’t even realise how dependent we have become on paper towels. Reaching out for a paper napkin or towel to wipe a sticky mess or clean up the kitchen counter after preparing sweets for the upcoming festivals is always an easy option, but not when you have decided to adopt a more mindful pro-environment lifestyle.
The first step for us to get rid of this habit was to stop buying any paper towels. The second step was to make our own cloth towels at home. It was surprisingly easier than we thought. We collected old towels, t-shirts, sheets, and flannels and cut them up into 40-45 pieces. These became our easy, eco-friendly replacement for paper towels. You can also have a separate hamper for them and put the entire load of cloth dusters to wash once full.
2. Use a Natural Floor Cleaner
While adopting eco-friendly practices, we also wanted to use products that have natural ingredients and at the same time kill germs effectively, without leaving behind a foul smell. Hence, while choosing a floor and surface cleaner, Nature Protect Disinfectant Floor Cleaner was our obvious choice.
On reading its label, we found that Nature Protect Disinfectant Floor Cleaner has naturally derived ingredients like Neem. As we all know, neem has been used for its antibacterial and antiviral properties since ancient times. Thus, we could be sure that our floor would be germ-free, which was a huge relief as the kids spent a considerable part of their time playing on the floor with their toys.
We found that Nature Protect Disinfectant Floor Cleaner was not only great for disinfecting floors but also other surfaces like doorknobs, kids’ toys, bathroom taps etc. Before and after the elaborate meal preparations for the festive season, we even disinfected our kitchen countertops and sink with Nature Protect Disinfectant Floor Cleaner.
An added benefit was the refreshing, pleasant fragrance that lingered in our house long after using Nature Protect Disinfectant Floor Cleaner.
3. Use Plants to Get Rid of Pests
A cockroach scurrying across the floor of your living room when your friends and family are over to celebrate the festive season can be awkward. We all want to keep pests at bay, whether it is mosquitoes, ants or cockroaches. But, spraying an insecticide that is full of chemicals is not the only solution for that.
Did you know that certain kinds of plants can also help deter insects and bugs? We have found citronella and lemongrass plants to be very useful in repelling mosquitoes. The strong citrus smell emitted by both these plants is appealing to us but hated by bugs.
We have grown these plants near the doors and windows of our home, and they do a great job in keeping the flying bugs away. Basil and mint are also easy-to-grow plants with pest repelling properties. Pesky house flies, mosquitoes and fruit flies detest these pungent-smelling plants.
Marigold, chrysanthemum, sage, rosemary etc., are other plants that you can consider keeping in your home to keep these pests away naturally.
4. Repurpose Old items to Prevent Wastage
It’s easy to throw away that plastic bag or old ketchup bottle after use. But, have you ever thought that this is just adding to the enormous pool of trash that is burdening the fragile ecosystem? We did our bit by repurposing various old items in the house, which could also help us in our process of green cleaning.
We found our old toothbrushes extremely useful as we thoroughly cleaned our bathrooms to get them festive ready. We could easily scrub hard to reach places like grout underneath the faucet and other fixtures with these old toothbrushes.
We transformed old shoe boxes into organiser boxes for jewellery and other odds and ends as we cleaned our bedrooms. Before hanging up the colourful lights on our windows, we put our old newspapers to good use. We used old newspapers as a cleaning aid by simply dipping crumpled newspaper in water mixed with a dash of vinegar for wiping down the windows.
5. Fight Mould with Tea Tree Oil and Vinegar
Since we go into deep cleaning mode during the festive season, it is common to discover some of the hidden problems in the household. This might include the presence of mould along the bathroom tiles or worse on the carpet. However, we have found a green remedy particularly effective in getting rid of the mould—prepare a solution of 2 teaspoons of tea tree oil with two cups of white vinegar.
Now saturate the mouldy areas with this solution for about 30 minutes. After the area is dry, we recommend scrubbing to get rid of all mould stains. Wipe the surface and remove any residual mould and spores with a cloth dipped in some tea tree cleaning solution.
We are sure this guide will definitely help in kick-starting your journey of using natural cleaning products and methods this festive season!