A beginner’s guide to green cleaning

CLEANING! Whether you love it or you hate it, sadly it’s just got to be done. Now, you may have noticed that the subject of green cleaning is getting a whole load of airtime right now and for very good reason. 

Because, in a world that is growing more toxic by the day, due to the high levels of chemicals that we continue to pump into our air, flush into our waterways and dump into our oceans (not to mention plastic waste too!), it will come as no surprise, that our poor planet is suffering, badly. 

But, whilst the air quality outside has been monitored for years, it’s only more recently that we have started to measure the air quality within our homes, offices and schools too, highlighting the sad effect that modern life is having not just on our environment, but on our health too.

According to the Environments Protection Agency:

“Today, we spend, on average, 90% of our time indoors, where the concentration of some pollutants are often 2 to 5 times higher than typical outdoor concentrations”

Unsurprisingly, commercial cleaning products contribute significantly to indoor air pollution, with approximately 4000 chemicals, many of which can be detrimental to our health, currently being used to scent products.  But, don’t expect to see them listed on any labels, except as a ‘Fragrance’. Fragrance formulation being considered a “trade secret” and therefore protected from disclosure.    

But, whilst over the years we’ve been led to believe that we need these products to make our bathroom sparkle and to ‘freshen’ the air in our home, the reality is, we just don’t need them at all.

Time to take some action and go back to basics and green cleaning is a great place to start, whether you’re taking your first steps, or looking to expand knowledge, it’s time to go green!

But what is green cleaning?

Whilst green cleaning can be defined in so many ways, the main aim is to ditch the harmful chemicals, instead using some simple, safe and natural cleaning methods, which are highly effective, but can save you money too.

In summary, we’re talking about cleaning as it was 50 years ago, using a few very basic and affordable household ingredients, which are bio-degradable and non-toxic.  Add a little light elbow grease and you’re away!

Getting start with green cleaning

To get started, you’ll need to pick up some glass spray bottles and stock up on a few key items:

WHITE VINEGAR – Highly acidic and helps loosen limescale, rust and dissolve soap scum too.

SODIUM BICARBONATE – A mild abrasive, scouring agent and deodoriser.  Dissolves dirt and grime.

CITRIC ACID – Kills bacteria, mold and mildew. Can help to remove limescale, rust and soap scum.

SALT (SODIUM CHLORIDE) – Natural abrasive and scouring agent for pans and sinks. 

CASTILE SOAP – A vegetable soap, which helps to lift dirt, cut through grease and tackle germs.

ESSENTIAL OILSNatural and biodegradable, many of which contain antiseptic, antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties, that make them a must for your green cleaning.

Top 5 essential oils for green cleaning

When it comes to using essential oils for green cleaning, it’s important to use oils that are 100% pure, therapeutic grade and sourced through a natural, rather than chemical processes.

It is the purity and potency of the oils, that will impact just how powerfully effective they are with helping to blitz those germs in your home, whether you’re using them within your green cleaning products, to sanitise your work surfaces, or in a cold mist diffuser, to cleanse and purify the air of airborne bacteria or viruses.  Either way, in today’s current climate, having confidence in your cleaning products is an absolute must for complete peace of mind.

Here are my top 5 essential oils and the perfect, highly effective, green cleaning partners.

LEMON OIL: Highly cleansing and an excellent oil to cut through grease and grime, whilst also uplifting the mood too.

*Lemon oil Fridge Deodoriser – Add 6 drops of Lemon oil to 1 cup of sodium bicarbonate. Leave it in your fridge to absorb any unpleasant odours.

MELALEUCA (TEA TREE):  Exceptional purifying properties. Add Melaleuca to your DIY bathroom cleaning spray, with some lemon oil for additional freshness, to protect you and your family against seasonal and environmental threats.

*Melaleuca & Lemon oil Bathroom Spray – add 250 ml white vinegar, 250 ml distilled water, 10 drops Melaleuca & 10 drops Lemon oil to a 500ml glass spray bottle, shake and spray.

LAVENDERLavender is the perfect oil to add to your green cleaning recipe being highly cleansing, but extremely calming too. Use it in DIY your linen spray, to support sleep.

*Lavender oil Linen Spray – Add 250 ml of distilled water, 15 drops of Lavender oil and 1 tsp of Epsom Salts, to a 250ml glass spray bottle.  Shake and spray.

LEMONGRASS – With excellent cleansing and purifying properties, Lemongrass will cleanse your air, when diffused and is beautiful when used in a DIY cleaning spray, or natural floor cleaner.

*Lemongrass oil Floor Cleaner – add 2 tbsp of castile soap to a large bucket of hot water.  Add 10 drops of Lemongrass oil. Mix and mop.

WILD ORANGE – WILD ORANGE – As with all citrus oils, Wild Orange helps cut through grease and is the perfect partner for any green cleaning recipe.

*Wild Orange Wood Polish – ¼ cup White Vinegar, ¼ cup Olive oil, 10 drops Wild Orange.  Place in a glass spray bottle, shake and spray.

So, the next time you reach for the bleach, or a brightly coloured, branded bottle in the supermarket, think twice and instead, take that first step to creating a safe home environment for you and your family, by going green.

For more information on the best essential oils to use in your green cleaning and to receive your free green cleaning oil samples pack and e-book, email Kate Parker at  kateparker.doterra@gmail.com and connect on Facebook. You can also read Kate’s self-care tips for busy mums here.

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