There’s never been a more critical time to be environmentally conscious. With a skyrocketing global population, rising temperatures, and increased pollution, every small step towards reversing our carbon footprint counts. There are a lot of ways to integrate a more earth friendly approach into daily life, like recycling your shredded junk mail, refilling your water bottle instead of just tossing it in the trash and getting a new one, and turning the water off when you brush your teeth.
“Green Cleaning” is hardly a new trend. It focuses on using products that are better for you and the environment and employs eco-friendly cleaning practices. So, how can we turn floor care green? Let’s look at some options.
Eco-Friendly Floor Cleaning Tips
Ditch the Dyes
Artificial colors in your floor cleaners don’t serve any actual purpose other than to make it look prettier in the bottle. Do you really need your floor cleaner to match your crown molding? I didn’t think so.
Take a Tea Break
Not only is tea delicious, refreshing, and nutritious, it also carries huge cultural significance across the globe. From rize in Turkey to masala chai in the Indian subcontinent to South African rooibos and Irish breakfast blend, tea is a hug in a cup no matter where you go. But, since this is a flooring blog, we’re going to talk about using tea to…you guessed it, clean your floors!
As always, be sure to do a spot test if you’re unsure about a new cleaning method.
Bid Farewell to Fragrance
Artificial fragrances are unnecessary. All too often their attempts to mimic soothing scents like lavender and fresh laundry go awry, resulting in a harsh, cloying facsimile that’s far from the real thing. In addition to being unpleasant, artificial fragrances in your floor cleaners can act as irritants for those with allergies or chemical sensitivity. Be on the lookout for labels that are marked ‘unscented,’ as they may contain artificial masking fragrances to conceal the smell of other ingredients. Likewise, labels marked ‘natural fragrance,’ or ‘natural scent’ are no guarantee that a product does not contain artificial scents.
Viva La Vinegar
Who here loves a vinaigrette? *raises hand* Who here enjoys vinegar on their French fries? *raises hand* Who here knows some of the wondrous ways vinegar can clean your home? No one? Well, friends, you came to the right place!
Vinegar is one of nature’s ultimate multi-taskers. Not only is it organic, non-toxic, and safe for use around kids and pets, it’s also a natural antibacterial that makes an excellent combatant in the fight against mold and bacteria. In addition to keeping your floors clean, both distilled white vinegar and apple cider vinegar have a myriad of other uses around the house:
• Once a month, run a half-and-half mixture of white vinegar and water through your coffee pot. I have a 12-cup maker, so I use 6 cups of vinegar and 6 cups of water. I let the mixture run all the way through, then I brew clean water until the vinegar smell is gone. Works like a charm.
• Add ¼ cup of white vinegar to 1 cup of water and heat in the microwave until boiling. This is great for loosening spatters and stuck-on food particles.
• Wipe down your wooden cutting boards with non-diluted white vinegar for a quick, non-toxic disinfectant.
What about floors? Why yes, vinegar can be used to clean your floors too!
There’s a bit of debate floating around the Internet about exactly how much vinegar should be used in homemade cleaning solutions, so it’s advisable to do a spot test in an out of sight area like inside a closet or under a throw rug. Here are some recipes we’ve found from across the web:
What are some of your favorite green cleaning tips, friends? Share them with us in the comments!