We all want a clean and fresh home, but many do not want to use harsh chemicals to achieve this. There are many ways to keep our homes clean while also keeping our carbon footprint small. These are cleaning methods that can be used every time and not just once in a while because they are effective.
Dishes are something that have to be done every day. Dishwashers are huge water hogs. Just do them by hand. It does not take much longer " in fact it generally takes less time " and it saves gallons of water. You can also choose to use an organic dishwashing liquid or make your own.
Stoves and countertops get dirty quickly because we are preparing food and we set things on them. Vinegar is not the best smelling, but it is very effective in cleaning just about everything in the kitchen. Afterward, you can take one part lemon juice and two parts water, spray it on what you just cleaned and then just wipe it away. This will help take away the vinegar smell and give your kitchen a nice citrus scent.
You can use vinegar and then follow up with lemon juice in this room as well. The vinegar can be used to clean your bathtub, sink, toilet and any other surfaces. For mirrors, look into an organic window cleaner or make your own.
The Living Room
If you have carpeting, you will still need to vacuum, but you can do this with an Energy Star rated vacuum. This will save energy as you get the carpets clean. To dust, you can often find organic soft waxes to do this with. First, wipe off surfaces to clear off the majority of the dust. Then, come back with the soft wax to wipe the surfaces to take care of the rest of the dust and then shine up the wood. If you have glass tables, look into an organic glass cleaner. For pillows and throws rugs, just take them outside and beat them a bit like they did back in the days before vacuums. This will get out dust and debris and ensure they are clean.
The Dining Room
This room likely has a lot of wooden furniture, so you will use the same dusting technique that you used in the living room. You will dry dust and then come back with an organic soft wax. Glass pieces and mirrors can be cleaned with an organic glass cleaner. Floors can be swept or vacuumed, depending on your flooring. If you have a wood floor, after sweeping, go back and simply dry dust it.
You will dust and clean glass like you did in other rooms. You will also clean the floors in the same fashion. The bed comes next. You will be changing bedding and this requires washing it. When you put it in the washer, be sure to add in other things so that you have a full load. The fewer loads you do, the less water you will use. If the weather is warm, you can dry sheets and blankets outside to avoid using extra energy from the dryer.
The laundry room can be wiped down with the vinegar and then followed up with lemon juice for a fresh scent. When you are doing loads of laundry, always do a full load. This ensures that fewer loads are done which means less water used. If the weather is warm, consider drying some items outside on a line. Make sure that your appliances are Energy Star to ensure that they are using as little energy as possible.
Karen Miller writes is passionate about living a green lifestyle and has been writing on the topic for over a decade for companies like Terminix. When she is not writing, she can be found training for her upcoming triathlon.