Natural & Eco-Friendly Cleaning For The Conscious Home
By Greer Krige
As we welcome in the new season, it's the perfect time to freshen up your home. You may think your house is clean, but think again- there are some commonly overlooked places that will surprise you. Some should be cleaned every week, but others can be done once a month or even once a year.
In this day and age, we are more and more aware of the danger chemical-based cleaning agents hold for us and our environment- but there are alternatives that work just as well- if not better. It is time to reassess the cleaning products we use and how they affect people and our planet.
Research has shown that a lot of the ingredients in mainstream cleaning products are harmful to our skin, eyes, and nervous system. They contain chemicals toxic to humans and animals, and the environment too. Eco-friendly cleaning products are free from nasties such as dyes, petrochemical solvents, ammonia, caustics, phosphates, bleach, sodium lauryl sulphate, chlorine and non-sustainable Palm Oil-derived ingredients.
It's frightening to think that of the over 8 billion tonnes of virgin plastic produced worldwide only 9% has ever been recycled, the rest ends up in landfills. Green Bee Biodegradables: bottle their cleaning products in glass- a much more eco-friendly option to plastic. They have a selection of amazing products for household cleaning- all are biodegradable, use non-toxic, probiotic formulas and renewable plant-based sources.
Light switches, remote controls and doorknobs: are frequently touched- but seldom cleaned, and harbour a host of germs and grubby marks from dirty hands.
Walls: especially those with a textured, stippled finish-dust clings to the tiny nodes and grooves and gives a dirty tinge.
The tops of cabinets, the fridge, doors and picture frames: Wipe them down – you'll be surprised how quickly dirt can gather. Green Bee's multi-purpose cleaner has a fresh citrus scent and can be used on a multitude of different surfaces, such as these commonly overlooked finishes and fittings.
Dish brushes and sponges: The kitchen, the heart of the home, is also full of microbiological hot spots.
It's here that baddies causing food borne illnesses, like E Coli, Listeria and salmonella, lurk on your old kitchen sponge, dish brush and smelly rubbish bin. In general, dish brushes are considered a more hygienic option than dishcloths and sponges as the bristles don’t leave many places for germs to hide. It is important to replace sponges, cloths and brushes regularly and leave them to dry properly overnight. Top tip: put your sponge in the dishwasher amongst your regular load, for an easy clean.
Computer keyboard, mouse and remote controls: use a lint-free cloth or biodegradable disinfecting wipe-be sure to squeeze out the moisture beforehand. These items are touched every day, multiple times, and grease and grime build up quickly.
Yoga and workout space: Few people consider the cleanliness of their yoga and gym equipment. But if you think about it - these are germ havens, especially after a sweaty workout. Mare and Itis have formulated an anti-bacterial, non-toxic yoga mat + equipment cleaner - which is just perfect for a pre and post-workout wipe down - keeping your zen zone clean and fresh!
Lighting fixtures, vents and ceiling fans: dust and pollen collect here as well as insect debris…yuck - A duster with an extendable handle is your best tool for reaching hard to reach places.
Window sills: give them a good wipe down with a damp cloth with a spritz of non-toxic detergent, so you're not just flicking the dust elsewhere.
The places you don’t know exist:
The underside of furniture pieces: Take the time to look at the actual underside of the furniture, like chairs and bed frames. They are the perfect hiding place for spider webs and dust bunnies!
Skirting boards: While you are down there, pay attention to skirting boards, an amazing amount of dust can collect on those tiny ledges.
Under the sink: dust and grime can collect in the nooks and crannies of the pipes inside the cabinets beneath the sink. Prevent that musty, damp smell by cleaning and wiping down frequently, which also makes it easier to identify leaks. Green Bee Biodegradables has a fantastic product- The Descaler and Rust Cleaner- that works magic on grouting, concrete and metals such as copper and aluminium- gets them clean and looking like new in no time at all. While you are at the sink - if your sink needs deodorising we recommend using 1 scoop of Green Bee Oxygen Bleach directly into the sink. Leave for 20 minutes, then pour 1 liter of boiling water. Works like a charm!
The underside of the fridge: is hard to reach, but make an effort to pull it out and clean behind and beneath it – you may discover a long-forgotten pea- now fossilised! And a number of other nasties and mystery substances. Mare and Itis' Zesty Kitchen Cleaner- has all-natural ingredients and is infused with lemongrass essential oil – it cuts through grease and leaves a refreshing scent. The trigger spray makes it easy to operate in hard-to-reach spaces.
Behind the toilet - obscure grime of unknown origin collects there- glove up and spray down with disinfectant.
We need to start making better choices to safeguard our planet’s future for generations to come. So don the gloves, stock up on non-toxic, all-natural cleaning aids and conduct a deep clean to start the new season on the right foot!