If you’re anything like me, you wouldn’t consider cleaning a hobby. Luckily, I came to realize that there were many green cleaning tools available that were not just better choices for the planet but also saved me hours of cleaning time and money!
When I started learning about green cleaning I was so overwhelmed by the recommendations and ideas online that I couldn’t focus on anything other than figuring out safe ingredients and effective recipes.
Luckily, I was already slowly transitioning away from plastic as much as possible and it was only a matter of time before I decided to look into my cleaning tools too.
It’s safe to say that I am very excited to share my discoveries with you!
What is Green Cleaning?
Simply put, green cleaning means using cleaning products and practices that are safe for us, our loved ones, and our planet.
Although many people would think of green cleaning ingredients first, most of us are still using cleaning tools that either prevent us from using natural cleaners effectively or are made from materials that are taxing on our environment.
I started asking myself the following questions:
How many cleaning tools do I own and really need that are made from plastic or unsustainable materials? Can I find better alternatives?
If you haven’t yet, read my Beginners Guide to Green Cleaning, where I explain everything you need to know about green cleaning.
Why Use Green Cleaning Tools?
Plastic poses a direct and hazardous threat to our environment and our choice of cleaning tools is an opportunity to reduce our own plastic pollution.
It has been estimated that very little of our plastic waste is actually recycled and most ends up in landfills where it can take up to 500 years to decompose and potentially leak pollutants into the soil and water.
We are currently responsible for a destructive amount of plastic floating around in the oceans threatening the health of marine life and our own. And millions of tons continue to enter the ocean each year…
I’d say it’s time to make a change!
We can’t tackle this problem overnight but by slowly making better choices in your daily life will have a big impact over time.
Green Cleaning Effectively
Using effective green cleaning tools in combination with eco-friendly and effective cleaners will ensure a squeaky clean home in no time!
Homemade green cleaners can be the greenest option because you can control the ingredients to ensure they are safe and eco-friendly, while also being cost-effective and time-efficient!
But most green cleaners fail because they use the wrong ingredients for the task or the wrong combinations.
Some mixtures combine ingredients that neutralize their cleaning effect while others create chemicals reactions that make an even bigger mess or become dangerous.
To Green Clean Effectively You Need To Know:
- Which eco-friendly cleaning tools will make your life easier (see below!)
- Which ingredients are safe and eco-friendly
- How to use natural cleaning ingredients
- Which ingredient combinations to NEVER mix
- Which cleaning combinations are effective for certain tasks
If you want to start off on the right foot, grab my FREE Ebook that I wish I’d had when I was a green cleaning beginner!
The Best Green Cleaning Products To Clean Your Entire Home
It is not my intention for you to go on an eco-purge and throw out everything that is potentially unsustainable. Waste as little as possible and use the tools you have up until you need replacement. When you do, choose smart multi-functional and sustainable products like the ones below.
Green Cleaning Tool #1:
Reusable Paper Towels
One of the cleaning tools we used more than anything was paper towels. I’ve now swapped these for the microfiber cloths below because they work like magic.
But for those of you who have a hard time giving these up (I feel you!) and want to make a better choice, here is a great alternative!
Green Cleaning Tool #2:
Microfiber cloths make cleaning easy while minimizing the need for harsh chemicals! Use them dry to dust surfaces or remove streaks and grease from stainless steel.
When used wet, together with an all-purpose cleaner or bathroom cleaner, it will make disinfecting and scrubbing quick and easy. They’re also inexpensive, reusable and long-lasting if you refrain from washing them with fabric softener or chlorine bleach.
Green Cleaning Tool #3:
You now know how much I love using microfiber to clean. I used to despise mopping because it would take me so much effort and time.
This E-Cloth mop uses the same anti-bacterial microfiber technology that breaks up and holds grease and dirt using JUST WATER while saving me time, money and energy. Yaaaas!!
Green Cleaning Tool #4:
Glass (Spray) Bottles
You’ll need a few glass spray bottles to DIY a few effective cleaners. Although this picture doesn’t do them justice, in addition to being durable and eco-friendly, these from Kuishi are gorgeous too!
I also own a few dispenser bottles that I use for my homemade foaming hand soap and natural body wash. Storage bottles or mason jars are super convenient for safekeeping dry products like natural carpet deodorizer or even natural dry shampoo.
Green Cleaning Tool #8:
Reusable Rubber Gloves
Even when using the best natural green cleaning products for your home, they can still be abrasive or irritating to your skin (like washing soda or hydrogen peroxide).
Use a pair of pretty reusable rubber gloves to keep your skin happy!
Green Cleaning Tool #9:
Cleaning Caddy or Basket
One of the advantages of cleaning naturally is that you won’t have that many supplies but a good organization is half the battle!
Green Cleaning Tool #10:
A good Vacuum
Sure you could use a broom and dustpan combination for everything for the rest of your life, but to me, a good quality vacuum is pretty much non-negotiable. A build-up of dust is incredibly unhealthy and frankly gross and I don’t want myself or my loved ones breathing that in.
I haven’t bought it myself yet but once my current vacuum gives out I’m going to get this super versatile stick-style vacuum. It has AMAZING reviews and is perfect for people with limited storage space, and easy to use regularly for floors, furniture and even for places above your head because it’s lightweight.
Green Cleaning Tool #11:
Green Cleaning Products
In addition to needing handy cleaning tools, you’ll also need a few healthy and eco-friendly cleaning products that are versatile and super effective. To get started quick and easy, you’ll need a few effective and eco-friendly cleaners.
I’ve compiled my top 3 in my free green cleaning Ebook in case you want to have those.
How To Care For Your Cleaning Tools
When using microfiber all you need to do is rinse them in hot water from your faucet or throw them in your washing machine. They dry quickly and are ready to use straight after.
Every couple weeks, soak small cleaning brushes in a solution of 1 part water 1 part distilled white vinegar and a few drops of melaleuca and lemon essential oil. You should not see mold on the wood or in the bristles, and if you do a replacement might be in order.
If you need to do a deep clean of your brush, go ahead and sanitize it in the dishwasher. I do not recommend this because this kind of cleaning pressure is not good for the material, but it should not hurt if you do it every now and again.
FAQ Green Cleaning
What difference does one person make?
Most people don’t realize that we as consumers hold a lot of power. Our purchases determine where we go as a society. Notice how our grocery stores have changed drastically in past years? So whether you were aware of it or not, you contribute to what we will see more of in the future. Choose wisely.
What’s wrong with conventional cleaning tools?
Many of the conventional cleaning tools are made from plastic or other unsustainable materials and methods. Once we’re done with them they end up in landfills and contribute to the devastating plastic pollution we’re currently facing.
On top of that, did you know that many of the ingredients used in store-bought cleaning products (even the most natural) have been found to be carcinogenic, endocrine disruptors and even trigger asthma, allergies, and skin irritations to name just a few?
On top of that, much like plastic pollution, countless ingredients in these products are very harmful to our planet. After we use them they end up down our drains and into our ocean causing harm to our ecosystem including marine animals and other wildlife.
Are green cleaning products better?
Definitely not! Terms like ‘natural’ and ‘green’ conjure up happy feelings for eco-oriented consumers but companies do not have to back these claims up because it is not strictly regulated.
A 2011 study found that fragranced green cleaning products contained pretty much the same levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as traditional products, which have been linked to all sorts of health problems from eye irritation all the way to liver damage.
There are certain companies that say they stay away from ‘dirty ingredients’ or those that are suspected of causing any health or environmental risks such as chlorine bleach, triclosan, parabens, and phthalates. This is a great thing but unfortunately, after being independently reviewed, even many of these ‘green’ products have been found to be unhealthy choices.
Why is my (DIY) green cleaner not working?
Unfortunately, I’ve found that many of the green cleaning DIYs you’ll find are ineffective at cleaning or even hazardous! I don’t consider cleaning a hobby so I prefer to not waste time and keep things super simple and easy for myself.
Grab my green cleaning crash course to start off on the right foot with some effective green cleaners that are easy to make.
The Last Thing You Need to Know about Green Cleaning Products
Green cleaning is one of the best decisions you can make for yourself and the environment.
Green cleaning does not have to be any harder than cleaning with harmful chemicals. In fact, with safe and effective ingredients and the right green cleaning tools, you’ll be able to save not only time but also money.
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Will You Try Green Cleaning? Do You Have Any Tips?
I am always learning and would love to hear from you. Please share in the comments below!
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