If you’re making the choice to be more eco-conscious, a great place to start is with the little things you do every day at home. Chemical-rich home cleaning supplies are designed for ease of use and quick results, but often this is at the cost of the environment and even your health. Disposable wipes and artificial sponges pollute the environment both during their production and after use, as they’re made with microplastics and petroleum-based chemicals.
Kitchen cleaners need to work hard to remove grease and keep our food-prep areas clean and hygienic. But that doesn’t mean you need all the nasty ingredients of traditional products. Here is our guide to equipping your kitchen with effective and eco-friendly kitchen cleaners.
Check the company
With all the hype around moving toward sustainable living, the amount of green cleaning products filling the shelves of supermarkets has boomed in recent years. But unfortunately, not all of the cleaning products that look eco-friendly are as ethical or sustainable as they may appear. Greenwashing
is when a company exaggerates their efforts to reduce their carbon footprint, reduce unethical practices or lie about the sustainable properties of their products. Unfortunately, there are no regulations governing the use of terms such as ‘green’ or ‘eco’, meaning companies can use them without having to provide any proof or evidence to back up their claims.
The best way to ensure that the kitchen cleaners you buy are actually green is to take a quick look at the company and their credentials. If a company is known to test on animals and has a long history of unsustainable products, you’d be right to be dubious about a new eco-friendly product of theirs.
Make your own
You can make your own effective cleaning formulas
with just a few simple kitchen cupboard ingredients. Baking soda, white vinegar, citric juices and essential oils make very effective cleaners, with lemon, lavender eucalyptus and tea tree possessing antibacterial properties as well. The great thing about homemade cleaning products is that they are typically much cheaper than store-bought alternatives, and you can make up the right amount when you need it so you never run out.
Rather than buying dishcloths, why not cut up old or stained clothes destined for the bin into rags to repurpose the fabric and save both the environment and your pocket? Of course, even with natural ingredients, some people can have adverse skin reactions to the acidic or concentrated properties of citric acids, essential oils and rubbing alcohol, so it’s always best to wear gloves when cleaning.
Powerful natural ingredients
For heavy duty cleaning tasks, such as the oven or burnt pots and pans, it’s easy to think classic oven cleaners are the only option. But these products come with a long list of precautions and safety requirements, due to the strong chemicals inside them. Whilst wearing gloves protects your skin, even inhaling the fumes from these products is detrimental to your health, and they wreak havoc on the environment when you’re finished with them.
Lime juice and table salt form a powerful, natural combination that can be used to tackle stubborn stains and remove grease from the oven and your cookware. Mix the two together to form a thick paste and use a natural bristle pot cleaner or bamboo cloth to work the grime away. Alternatively, you can clean your oven using baking soda
by mixing it with a little water.
Small changes make big differences
However you make the move toward using more eco-friendly kitchen cleaning products, try not to feel pressured into changing everything at once. It takes a little time to get used to a new way of doing things, and changing your cleaning routine gradually will enable you to experiment with what scents and ingredients work best for you and your home.