Benefits of Green, Clean Spaces
There are many publications out there highlighting the benefits of a clean home (increased productivity, reduced stress and anxiety, sense of accomplishment, etc.) but what about a home that is mindfully cleaned?
Our home is our sanctuary, which is why it’s no surprise that what goes on there has an effect on the rest of our lives. To clean a space mindfully, you are doing it in a way that is intentionally good for you, those who enter the home, and the ground on which the home stands. In today’s climate, that requires conscious green cleaning.
- Protects your health by reducing your exposure to toxic chemicals.
- Decreases the risk of small children or pets being poisoned.
- Saves money: Natural cleaning products are competitively priced with toxic counterparts. If you choose to DIY, you’ll have lots of savings to put towards other investments.
- Helps your community: most, if not all, green companies give back to community projects to further their positive impact.
- Helps the planet: truly green products are manufactured using sustainable practices, ethical sources, and biodegradable ingredients.
Most people like a clean and organized workspace before they start a new task. The purpose of the Lime Maids blog is to help introduce sustainability into your home. That is why it seems fitting to start this journey with a guide on how to get your home consciously cleaned.
Keep in mind, if it is worth doing, it’s worth doing well.
The Home Cleaning Essentials
When you open your cleaning cabinet, this is what you want to see. There is no need to run out to the store and buy every item on this list. Instead, acquire your cleaning tool kit over time. Buying what you need over what you want.
There are also some great DIY mixtures included at the end of this piece.
This type of cleaner works on most countertops, sinks and stovetops. For granite and marble, stick to warm water and dish soap or a product made specifically for those materials.
Opt for a streak-free formula to clean your mirrors, windows and other glass surfaces without too much effort.
An acid-based, scrub-free solution works best on bathtub and shower tile, as well as toilets. You will want something mild for your tile floors, though, as acid can eat away at the tile itself and grout.
In most situations, warm water and mild dish soap will serve as an effective solution for cleaning wood.
- Gloves, choose a reusable, ethically sourced option
- Microfiber Cloths
- Scrub Sponge/Brush
- Mop, check out this super innovative creation
- Extendable Duster
Brands Doing Good Things
These brands go beyond the greenwashing. They are low on waste, nasty chemicals, and plastics. Just like us, they make sustainability the easy option.
The best move when buying new products is to buy from a local store. If you are having trouble finding products that you support, you should either buy directly from the source or recommend the brands to your local provider. Do your best to cut out big box stores in person and especially online.
Clean Cult is a carbon-neutral company that provides cleaning solutions right to your doorstep. The company was born from frustration over the nasty chemicals in traditional cleaning solutions, and ineffectiveness/plastic usage of “green” products.
Clean Cult solutions are coconut oil based. The few other ingredients they use are listed and thoroughly explained on their website.
Your first order from Clean Cult comes in a glass bottle. After that, your refills will be in milk cartons and sent with paper mailers. They’ve significantly reduced plastic throughout the entire shipping process.
Grove Collaborative is a B Corp that creates customized home cleaning boxes for your needs. They exclusively offer products that are non-toxic, effective, sustainable, and cruelty-free.
The company is also working to remove plastic from the cleaning industry. Any plastic shipped from Grove is measured and offset through Plastic Bank. They are also working on new packaging solutions with the brands they carry.
Rebel Greene is an extensive line of home cleaning products that are:
“Specifically designed to minimize waste and motivate a fundamental shift in thinking about the planet we share.”
There are no yucky toxins in their products and the company is also a B Corp. Rebel Greene gives back through supporting clean air, clean food, and clean water initiatives.
This is a great brand to go with for those products that are a bit difficult to DIY.
Reel Paper Co
Reel Paper Co only does toilet paper, but it’s so good we’re putting them on this list.
Reel is made from tree-free, 100% bamboo paper. There is no plastic packaging, even the tape.
The beauty of the bamboo is that it grows quickly, takes up 30% less water than hardwood trees, and creates a much softer product. Bamboo also puts out 35% more oxygen than hardwood trees
Reel partners with SOIL, a non profit dedicated to transforming Haiti’s waste into useful resources.
Package Free Shop
Package Free Shop is a Zero Waste lifestyle shop in NYC and online globally. A portion of their shop is dedicated to thoughtfully designed home cleaning tools.
They only sell and send products in packaging if the packaging is 100% recyclable, compostable, or legally necessary. Package Free, ships everything 100% plastic free in a post-consumer cardboard box.
Through their blog, Trash is for Tossers, Package Free continues to promote the value of sustainability
How to Make Your Own Planet Friendly Cleaning Products
Taking the DIY route for cleaning products is a great choice for the planet and your wallet. Not to mention, you’ll know exactly what ingredients you’re spraying into your home.
Start by making small tester batches to prevent waste while you experiment.
For storing, you can find reusable spray bottles at your local grocer or drug store. Extras can also be saved in glass mason jars as long as they are kept from extreme temperatures.
Infused Vinegar is the key to these recipes.
Vinegar is an amazing chemical-free, household cleaner. Within vinegar, is the organic compound, acetic acid. This is also an ingredient found in many store-bought cleaning products. The acidic nature of vinegar is strong enough to kill bacteria while also dissolving mineral deposits, dirt, grease, and grime.
Simultaneously, acetic acid is responsible for vinegar’s sour taste and pungent smell. A smell a little, too pungent for your clean house. That is where infused vinegar comes in.
We want to use white distilled vinegar because it does not stain surfaces.
You will also need:
- Infusion ingredients (citrus fruit, herbs, essential oils)
- A towel
- A jar with a lid
- A piece of cloth to place under the lid (optional)
- If you are using herbs or citrus rinds to infuse, wash these items and let them dry on a towel.
- Fill your jar to the top with the dry items or 20 drops of essential oils (you can mix and match) for an average-sized mason jar.
- Then, fill the jar with the white distilled vinegar, making sure to cover the infusion ingredients.
- Place a lid on the jar, and store in a cool dark place for 2 weeks (or longer if you prefer a more fragrant vinegar) You can also place a piece of cloth under the lid if you plan to let your vinegar sit for longer than 2-3 weeks. This helps prevent corrosion.
- After your vinegar has sat for a few weeks, strain the infusion ingredients out of the jar and your vinegar will be ready to be used. This step is not necessary if you used essential oils.
Combine equal parts infused vinegar with distilled or cooled boiled water.
We recommend using cool boiled water because there is no packaging waste to worry about and the boiling kills off any bacteria from the tap.
Once mixed, store in a reusable spray bottle.
Castile All-Purpose Cleaner
Mix 1/4 cup Castile soap + 4 cups cooled boiled water. Store in a reusable spray bottle when you’ve finished.
This type of cleaner is safe for wood and is recommended instead of the infused vinegar spray. Vinegar and alcohol tend to damage wood over time.
Take 1/4 cup of infused or plain white vinegar, 1/4 cup of rubbing alcohol, 1 tablespoon of corn starch, and 2 cups distilled water.
Mix or shake really well so that the corn starch does not get stuck at the bottom.
For super grimy windows you make want to take some soap and water to the glass first and then follow with this spray.
Toilet Bowl Cleaner
1 cup baking soda, 1/2 cup citric acid, and 10 drops essential oil. Mix in a bowl, allow it dry, then store it in a glass jar. Sprinkle a Tbsp in the toilet and scrub.
Follow up with the all-purpose spray to ensure no rings in the bowl.
You can find citric acid at grocery, natural food, or home brewing supply stores.
Combine lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of baking soda, and 1/2 cup of vinegar. You can add more baking soda for a paste consistency to be used on the tub with a scrub brush. By adding cool, boiled water you can use the mixture in a spray bottle for the shower. Leave on tile mildew for 10 minutes.
This solution does foam and bubble up so use a very large bowl for mixing and then transfer to the spray bottle once it has settled.
Air Freshener/Linen Spray
In a small glass bottle, add 2 Tbsp of witch hazel, which acts as a preservative, and 15-20 drops of any combination of essential oils
We love a peppermint, lavender combo.
Fill the rest of the bottle with cooled, boiled water. Shake up and spray.
Enjoy Your Clean Home
At Lime Maids, we believe education is key in creating a more mindful planet.
You have been equipped with the knowledge of what you need to clean your home and how to do it in a sustainable fashion. You know how to buy, how to do it on your own, and if you feel overwhelmed by any of it, you know there is a conscious cleaning platform that’s got your back.
We’re here to help you, whether that’s teaching you to reduce toxins in your home or connecting you to a cleaner that will do it for you.
Regardless, we’re excited for you to enjoy a clean space that’s good for you and the environment.
Want to easily access our cleaning checklist and DIY recipes? You can download our Home Cleaning Essentials PDF below.
*The cover image of this blog was provided by @cleancult