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  • Writer's pictureAndy Mason

Sustainable Cleaning Tips

Updated: Apr 23

In recent years, the move towards sustainability has touched every corner of our lives, including commercial cleaning in Rochdale, and cleaning is no exception. Sustainable cleaning involves using methods and products that have minimal environmental impact, promoting health and safety without sacrificing cleanliness. Traditional cleaning products often contain chemicals that can harm both the environment and our health. As awareness grows, more people in Rochdale and beyond are seeking alternatives that align with a greener lifestyle.

 


Understanding Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products

When it comes to choosing cleaning products, the term 'eco-friendly' can seem broad. Essentially, a product is considered eco-friendly if it contains natural ingredients, has biodegradable packaging, and is produced by companies committed to ethical environmental practices. These products lessen our ecological footprint by reducing pollution and conserving resources.


What Makes a Product eco-friendly?

Eco-friendly cleaning products typically avoid harsh chemicals, opting instead for ingredients derived from plants and other natural sources. These ingredients are not only safer for the environment but also for households, particularly those with children and pets. Additionally, the packaging is often designed to be recyclable or compostable to minimise waste.


Deciphering Labels

Understanding product labels is crucial in distinguishing genuinely sustainable products from those that are merely marketed as 'green'. Look for certifications like EcoCert or the EU Ecolabel, which indicate stringent environmental standards. Avoid products with vague terms such as 'natural' or 'green' without certification or clear ingredient lists, as these can be misleading.


DIY Natural Cleaning Solutions

Simple Recipes for Everyday Cleaning

One of the most effective ways to ensure the sustainability of your cleaning regime is to make your own cleaning products. Homemade cleaners can be just as effective as their commercial counterparts and come with the added benefit of being cost-effective. You can create a variety of effective cleaners using everyday items such as vinegar, which works well for descaling, and baking soda, which is great for scrubbing. For a simple all-purpose cleaner, mix equal parts water and vinegar in a spray bottle and use it on surfaces like countertops and glass. Adding a few drops of essential oils like lavender or lemon can enhance the cleaner's effectiveness and leave a pleasant scent.


Safety and Storage of DIY Products

While homemade cleaning solutions are generally safe, it’s crucial to use and store them with the utmost responsibility to ensure they do not pose any risk. Always keep these products out of reach of children and pets, as natural does not always mean non-toxic. For instance, essential oils, which are often used to enhance the cleaning power and fragrance of homemade solutions, can be particularly harmful if ingested by children or animals.


Reducing Waste in Cleaning Practices

Embracing Reusables

Adopting sustainable cleaning practices isn’t just about choosing or making the right products; it’s also about reducing waste wherever possible. Instead of relying on disposable items like paper towels and synthetic sponges, opt for durable, washable cloths made of microfiber or cotton. These materials are not only more absorbent but can be reused hundreds of times, significantly reducing waste. Additionally, consider using refillable bottles for your cleaning solutions, which can cut down on plastic waste.


Minimising Plastic Waste

Many cleaning products come in single-use plastic containers that contribute to environmental pollution. By choosing products with recyclable packaging or refilling your existing containers at local zero-waste stores, you can help reduce this impact. Also, participate in recycling programmes that accept and repurpose plastic containers.


Water Conservation Techniques

Efficient Use of Water

Conserving water is an essential part of sustainable living, particularly in cleaning practices where large amounts of water are often used unnecessarily. By adopting more mindful water usage habits, not only do we save on utility bills, but we also contribute to a crucial environmental cause. Start by adjusting how much water you use for routine cleaning tasks. For example, when washing dishes by hand, avoid leaving the tap running. Instead, fill one basin with soapy water for washing and another with clean water for rinsing. For those with dishwashers, ensure that you’re running full loads to maximise water efficiency.


Fixing Leaks and water-saving Devices

A small drip from a leaky tap can waste an astonishing amount of water over time—as much as several thousand litres a year. Regularly check your taps, showerheads, and the hoses connected to your appliances for leaks and repair them promptly to prevent water wastage. Consider installing water-saving devices such as low-flow taps, showerheads, and dual-flush toilet mechanisms. These devices can significantly reduce water usage without impacting the effectiveness of your cleaning.


Energy-Efficient Cleaning

Selecting energy-efficient Appliances

The energy consumption associated with cleaning can be surprisingly high, especially when using appliances like washing machines, dryers, and dishwashers. However, there are several ways to minimise this impact. When it’s time to replace or upgrade your cleaning appliances, look for those that are rated highly for energy efficiency. Appliances with an Energy Star rating are designed to reduce environmental impact while providing the same level of performance.


Maintenance for Maximum Efficiency

Keeping your appliances in good working order is key to ensuring they operate efficiently. Regular maintenance, such as cleaning filters, checking for leaks, and servicing your machines, can help reduce their energy use and extend their lifespan.


Smart Usage Tips

Maximise the efficiency of your appliances with smart usage strategies. Use cooler wash settings on washing machines and dishwashers to cut down on energy used to heat water. Additionally, air-drying laundry and dishes can save a significant amount of energy typically used during the drying cycle.


Building a Sustainable Cleaning Routine

Daily Practices

Creating a sustainable cleaning routine is about integrating eco-friendly practices into your daily life. It’s not just about a one-off change but about adopting a series of habits that collectively contribute to a greener home. Incorporate simple sustainable habits into your daily routine, like using cloth napkins instead of paper towels, cleaning with eco-friendly products, and promptly fixing any leaks in your home.


Weekly and Monthly Actions

Planning your cleaning tasks to incorporate sustainable practices, especially for less frequent, more intensive jobs, can significantly enhance your home’s overall eco-friendliness. For example, instead of using traditional methods that often consume a lot of water and chemical-based products, consider alternatives like waterless car washes. These waterless solutions use innovative, eco-friendly formulas that lift dirt from the vehicle’s surface without the need for rinsing, effectively saving gallons of water with each wash.


In conclusion, adopting sustainable cleaning practices is not just about making small changes—it's about transforming our daily habits to create a healthier environment both inside and outside our homes. From choosing eco-friendly cleaning products and making your own natural solutions to reducing waste and conserving water and energy, each step towards sustainability makes a significant difference. By integrating these practices into your cleaning routine, you contribute to a more sustainable planet while ensuring a safe and clean living space. Embrace these changes gradually, and let your eco-friendly cleaning journey positively impact your lifestyle and the world around you.

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