7 simple steps to go green with your cleaning routine

Whether you want to save money, reduce the amount of chemicals in your home or cut down on household waste, there are a host of ways to help you adopt a greener cleaning routine. Here are some easy steps you can take to make your household cleaning habits more eco-friendly.

1 - Invest in reusable cleaning cloths
Reusable cleaning cloths can be tossed into the washing machine after use and are a great substitute for paper towels or single-use disposable wipes. You can use old t-shirts cut up into rags too, perfect for cleaning bathrooms or living spaces. Microfiber cloths are a good option for dusting and polishing surfaces, such as shelves or bookcases. Pop in the washing machine and use them again and again.

2 - Green up your laundry
Start by switching to an eco-friendly laundry detergent that is free from artificial dyes and fragrances. Watch out for chemicals in detergent such as formaldehyde, phosphates and dioxane. Skip fabric softener and fabric softener sheets (the kind you use in the dryer) and air-dry your washing whenever possible to save on energy and money. (Line-dried sheets always smell amazing).

Line drying bed sheetsKryvenok Anastasiia via Shutterstock

3 - Skip the fragrances
When purchasing cleaning products at the supermarket, one handy way to reduce chemical use is to simply opt for fragrance-free products in cleaning sprays, detergents and air fresheners. Introduce lemon juice or essential oils into your cleaning routine as an alternative.

4 - Re-use your old toothbrushes
If you’ve switched to bamboo toothbrushes already, good for you! If not, considering investing in them, as they can be composted after use. Don’t toss out the old plastic ones though – use them to clean those hard-to-reach areas in your home, like the corners of your shower, the soles of shoes or small stains on carpet. Just make sure you store them with your cleaning products so they don’t accidentally get used on teeth!

Cleaning basin with old toothbrushFrezi Gate via Shutterstock

5 - Make your own cleaning products
Pretty much every cleaning product in your home can be replaced with simple household ingredients such as bi-carb soda, lemon and vinegar. Mix ¼ cup baking soda with 1 cup of water and decant into a spray bottle for a cheap and effective shower cleaner. To clean hardwood floors, mix warm water, vinegar and a few drops of your favorite essential oil, your home will smell incredible too.

6 - Switch to using natural sponges
Store-bought synthetic sponges don’t last very long and get tossed in the bin after a few weeks of use. Instead switch to sponges made from natural materials such as sea sponges, cotton or coconut fibers or cellulose. They work just as well and most can be cut up into pieces and placed in the compost when they’re past their best.

Natural sea sponges used for cleaningLanKS via Shutterstock

7 - Buy glass instead of plastic
Another simple way to green up your cleaning routine is to choose cleaning products that come in glass containers as opposed to plastic ones. This helps and can also save you some money over time as refills are less expensive.