One of the easiest and most impactful ways to go green within the walls of your own home is to integrate earth-friendly cleaning supplies. Further, buying or making natural cleaning solutions is not only beneficial to the earth and your health, but it can also be great for your budget! We’ve rounded up some of the best green cleaning tips, tricks, coupons and shopping solutions so you can easily make the switch and get started with green cleaning today!
Why Go Green?
Cleaning supplies are certainly life essentials that keep our homes and workplaces clean, beautiful, and germ- and dirt free. However, repeated exposure to these chemicals can cause adverse health reactions in humans and animals such as skin and eye irritations and breathing problems. Further, when some chemicals evaporate into the air, wash down the drain, or flush down the toilet, they can cause pollution and damage to the atmosphere, water bodies, earth, and wildlife.
Whether you make them yourself or you buy eco-friendly products, shifting to green cleaning products can make a large impact on the environment. Green cleaning products include a variety of characteristics, such as “biodegradability, low toxicity, low volatile organic compound (VOC) content, reduced packaging, and low life cycle energy use” (Source: Environmental Protection Agency). These qualities not only reduce human exposure to harmful chemicals, improve air quality, and decrease pollution, but can also essentially decrease waste and energy when eco-friendly manufacturing, packaging, and disposal methods are employed.
What to Look for in Green Cleaning Products
The “green” moniker has seemingly made its way onto a variety of products these days. To ensure what you are buying and using is truly good for your home and the environment, the EPA suggests you look for these characteristics when placing items into your cart.
Things you don’t want in your green cleaning supplies:
- Known harmful chemicals such as corrosive or irritating substances, human carcinogens or reproductive toxicants, ozone-depleting compounds, or regulated hazardous materials
- High VOC content
- Highly flammable materials
Things you do want in your green cleaning supplies:
- Use of renewable resources (citrus, seed, vegetable, and pine oils)
- Use of biodegradable products and methods
- Low toxicity to aquatic life
- Recycled/recyclable packaging
- Refillable bottles
- Pump sprays versus aerosols
- Clear labeling
- Mention of research/product testing
Knowing what you are looking for can make navigating all the various green cleaners on your store shelves a bit easier. Here are some brands to keep your eye out for:
Method Home uses 100% recycled plastic for bottles and renewable, plant-based materials to create an array of pet- and human-friendly cleaning products.
Check for Method Coupons
Seventh Generation is one of the leading green cleaning product companies. These products are easy to find and are composed of certified, non-toxic materials. In addition to their products, this company is leading the way in creating and supporting sustainability and environmental policy change.
Check for Seventh Generation Coupons
Other products and companies to look for include Options for Life, Shaklee, Biokleen, Attitude, Mrs. Myers, Fruits and Passion, Eco Concepts, Vaska, and Greenworks.
DIY Green Cleaning Products
One of the best ways to ensure harmful chemicals aren’t in your household cleaners, you are using renewable resources, and your bottles and containers are recyclable/refillable, is to make your own cleaning supplies. While it may seem overwhelming at first, with just a short shopping list of basic and inexpensive supplies, you can whip up an array of effective cleaners safe for your home and the environment. Make an entire homemade batch every couple of months, or keep these items on hand to mix as you need them. Either way, your household and pocket will reap the benefits!
Source: A Bowl Full of Lemons
Green Cleaning Tool Box
- Vinegar. The hardest hitter of all natural cleaning products, it eliminates grease, mildew, odors, stains and build-up. See all our smart vinegar uses here!
- Baking Soda. Used alone or combined with other products on this list, it can clean, deodorize, scour and soften water. See more ideas for how to use baking soda.
- Lemon Juice. Not only does the scent help tame the more potent smells of vinegar and other natural cleaners, but the acidity is powerful in eliminating bacteria. More ideas for cleaning with lemons.
- Olive Oil. Not just a cooking powerhouse, it cleans pans and stainless steel and can repair scratches in leather and wood furniture. It can also be combined with other ingredients to make furniture and metal polish.
- Distilled Water. Tap water works great for making many household cleaners, but when using water to make window and screen/electronics cleaners, use distilled water for streak-free results.
- Salt. Not only does salt make a powerful abrasive for scouring pans, ovens, and more, but combined with other items on this list it can remove metal tarnishes, lift yellowing from white tubs and toilets, and remove coffee and tea stains from dishes. Get more of our ideas for using salt around the home here!
- Borax. This can be combined with water and other ingredients to make powerful cleaners for almost any area of your home, including your laundry!
- Castile Soap. An all-natural soap made of olive oil, water and lye, it works as a surfactant to lift away dirt and grime from surfaces including laundry and dishes.
- Essential Oils/Citrus. Essential oils aren’t necessary for cleaning, but can give your homemade products a fresh, yummy scent.
Try some of these recipes from I Heart Organizing for your next batch of green cleaning products.
Source: I Heart Organizing
With an arsenal of safe and environmentally-friendly products, you’re just steps away from a cleaning caddie full of supplies ready to get your house sparkling clean! Use these recipes for making simple and ineffective cleaners for every single spot in your home!