There’s something about giving the house a good declutter and a thorough scrub that banishes the winter blues and helps you look forward to warmer months ahead.
But, many of the practices and products commonly used in our annual spring cleans can adversely affect the environment and leave a deep carbon footprint, as well as pull on the purse strings.
Here are our top tips for a greener clean that don’t cost the Earth – in more ways than one!
Search your cupboards for non-toxic cleaning solutions
Cleaning your home should involve letting the toxins out, not inviting more in.
If you’re concerned about the toxicity of your household cleaning products, before you reach for the bleach, search your cupboards! Many common household ingredients can help you clean your home without the need for harmful chemicals.
Vinegar is great for cutting through grease on a range of surfaces. Dipping a scrunched-up piece of paper and rubbing in circular motions will result in streak-free windows. A paste of vinegar, salt and flour will bring tarnished copper, brass and pewter back to life, while blocked showerheads submerged in vinegar overnight will be free-flowing by morning.
This versatile natural cleaner can be used to spruce up many items in your home. If you live in a hard water area, spraying lemon juice on taps, shower screens and showerheads can remove pesky mineral deposits. Mixed with vinegar and water, lemon juice can also make a fantastic floor cleaner. It can even clean your microwave – simply add lemon juice to a bowl of water, microwave on high for three minutes, leave to stand for a couple more and wipe down the inside with a dry cloth.
Bicarbonate of soda
If you enjoy baking, you probably have this household staple tucked away somewhere. Mix it with water to clean stainless steel, hobs, and watermarked surfaces. Use a cloth and it will remove baked-on foods from your dishes. Sprinkle it on a damp sponge and gently scrub to say goodbye to marks on walls and mildew on shower curtains. Even mix it with vinegar and pour down plugholes to clear clogged drains!
Let the air in
Regularly pumping out the synthetic chemicals found in many air fresheners can be harmful to you, as well as your air quality.
The simplest and most cost-effective way to freshen your home is to open your windows and doors.
If your home’s aroma still needs a little boost, why not add a few drops of your favourite organic essential oils to read diffusers? Plus, if you put cloths soaked in lavender oil near your open windows and doors, uninvited bugs will stay away. They hate the smell.
Add some air-purifying plants
Spring is a time for new growth, green grass, budding trees and beautiful flowers. Why not take inspiration from nature to help keep your house clean and fresh for months to come?
Indoor plants, such as the Bird’s Nest Fern, a Spider Plant, Aloe Vera or a Peace Lily, not only clean the air but also brighten up your home. Plants can also increase oxygen levels and help improve your overall mood.
While doing your spring cleaning, make sure to be wary about your water use. Don’t leave the water running while you clean and only run your dishwasher and washing machine when you have full loads. Fill up buckets as and when necessary and use your dirty water to water your plants.
Not only will you be acting responsibly towards the environment but you’ll also be saving a pretty penny in the process.
Check the efficiency of your equipment
As you go around your home, take the time to check that your equipment and appliances are doing their bit to help the planet.
Install or adjust automatic timers to turn on outdoor lighting, lawn sprinklers and heating to ensure that you’re not wasting energy and racking up bills unnecessarily.
Ensure you empty your vacuum cleaner regularly so it continues to run as efficiently as possible. Unclogging radiators and the vents on tumble dryers will also help them to run better.
Reuse old clothes
Clothes that are stained or too old to be donated, as well as old sheets and towels, can find a new life as cleaning cloths. There is no need to use unsustainable paper towels or cleaning wipes when you have a collection of highly effective cloths just waiting in your wardrobe!
Handy hint – Worn-out and holey socks make excellent cleaning gloves!
Donate or sell your unused items
Decluttering is a fantastic way to kickstart your spring clean, but what do you do with all the items you no longer need?
Avoid sending your clothes, appliances, tools or knick-knacks to landfill by donating them to a local charity. Depending on the value of an item, you may like to sell them through a reputable online site, or see if friends or family would like to give your no-longer-used things a new home.
FastKlean recognises that we have a responsibility to do all that we can to protect our planet. We strive to find the most sustainable approach to the work we do. That’s why we make a commitment to use eco-friendly cleaning practices, products and solutions wherever possible while also providing the highest quality service to our clients.