4 Tips to Green Cleaning Your Home in the New Year
Whether you’ve made a resolution to declutter in the new year or are just looking to freshen up your home in a wholly nontoxic way, green cleaning your abode is easier than ever, thanks to readily available ingredients, sustainable home goods and a daily dose of Mother Nature. Read on for four tips to green cleaning your home in the new year, and get ready to breathe easier—and healthier—in 2019.
1 . Create a Green Cleaning Kit
Green cleaning your home is easier when you have everything you need on hand—and since many nontoxic items can be repurposed for different cleaning needs, assembling a “green cleaning kit” is a sound, long-term investment in your eco-conscious home. Though we’ve been conditioned to think otherwise by marketers and big brands, we don’t need a different cleaning product for every room in our house, advises Ashlee Piper, author of Give a Sh*t: Do Good. Live Better. Save the Planet. Ashlee suggests upcycling items you already have in your house. For instance, white vinegar (the miracle worker!) and essential oils (or citrus peels) blended in a mason jar creates an instant, nontoxic surface cleaner you can use for up to a month.
2. Buy (More) Plants
Consider this tip permission to indulge your burgeoning inner botanist. Houseplants act as nature’s air filters, and they also bring the calming elements of nature indoors—a win win for anyone interested in green cleaning their home. Ashlee suggests checking Craig’s List for “rehoming listings” for second-hand plants, and she lists peace lilies, snake plants and English ivy among some of the easier-to-care-for plants that will help you breathe easier.
3. Opt for an Organic Weave Rug
Cleaner air quality, safer spaces for bare feet and paws, sustainable production: Opting for an organic weave rug is a beautiful investment in green cleaning your home. “You know that new carpet smell?” asks Linda Alexanian, founder of Organic Weave. “It’s the smell of chemicals. There are chemicals used in cleaning the raw materials, dyeing the fibers, and in the cleaning/mothproofing finish of most rugs.”
Linda adds, “While ‘natural fiber’ wool and cotton rugs are readily available, the way they are marketed can be misleading: Though they are called ‘natural,’ there is no guarantee that they are free of harmful chemicals used in the production of these rugs. Certified organic rugs are guaranteed to be free of chemical additives found in conventional rugs, including chemical dyes, mothproofing chemicals, cleaning agents, stain treatments and more.”
If you’re looking to make the long-term investment in an organic weave rug, “Look for the GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) Certification,” Linda advises. This will ensure you can trust the raw materials, cleaning solutions and production of the rug—and that’s better for your home and your health.
4. Detox Your Laundry Routine
Green cleaning your pile of laundry while still getting your favorite shirt clean doesn’t have to be an overwhelming undertaking. Marilee Nelson, co-founder of Branch Basics, has tried-and-true formulas for tackling tough stains, boosting whites and keeping towels super soft and fresh.
For tough grease stains:
“Apply concentrated, unfragranced dish soap or Branch Basics Concentrate directly on the stain, rub it in, add hot water if fabric can bear it, agitate it to create suds, and let it soak in water to cover at least overnight or more,” Marilee advises. “Then wash in warm or hot water, according to the article of clothing.”
To freshen and soften towels:
“Add a cup of baking soda and a cup of vinegar to keep towels fresh and soft every few loads,” Marilee shares.
To brighten whites:
Marilee’s best tip? “Use Oxygen Boost + Laundry solution for a nontoxic clean that keeps your whites bright and your colors vibrant.”
Determined to do better in the new year? Discover these 5 resolutions that will stick.