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Eco-Friendly Cleaning on Any Budget

March 5, 2024

Eco-Friendly Cleaning on Any Budget

I have always cared about the environment, but between work, family, and other responsibilities, it can be hard to find the time and money for eco-friendly living. However, keeping a clean home is a necessity, so I’ve learned how to clean in more earth-friendly ways without breaking the bank. Here’s what I’ve discovered about eco-friendly cleaning on a budget:

Reducing Chemicals

The first step I took was reducing harsh chemical cleaners, which can pollute waterways and the air in our homes. Here are some simple swaps I made:

  • Vinegar – this versatile staple can be used for cleaning windows, countertops, floors, and more. I keep jugs of white vinegar on hand to mix my own solutions.

  • Baking soda – sprinkle this mild abrasive on sinks, tubs, and other surfaces for scrubbing. For tougher jobs, make a paste with water. It also deodorizes.

  • Lemon juice – cuts through grease and freshens as it cleans. I use it straight or mix with vinegar.

  • Castile soap – just a few drops in water make an effective all-purpose cleaner. Dr. Bronner’s is a good brand.

  • Hydrogen peroxide – disinfects and whitens without harsh fumes. I use it in the bathroom and kitchen.

These simple ingredients save money compared to brand-name cleaners. I just mix and store them in reused containers from products I’ve finished.

Reducing Waste

I also tried to cut down on waste and single-use products:

  • Reusable rags – I cut up old t-shirts and towels into cleaning cloths. They can be washed and reused.

  • Microfiber cloths – the tiny fibers grab dust better than paper towels. I bought a pack ofgeneral purpose cloths.

  • Mason jars – I use these glass jars to mix up cleaning solutions. They have measurements marked on the side.

  • Cloth napkins/unpaper towels – to reduce paper waste, I made simple napkinsfrom scrap fabric.

With some reused containers and homemade substitutions, I’ve made a noticeable dent in the waste created by disposable cleaning supplies.

Eco-Friendly Equipment

While I stuck to homemade cleaners at first, I eventually bought some new gadgets and tools with the environment in mind:

  • Electric pressure washer – uses less water than a hose for cleaning patios, cars, and house siding. I look for an ENERGY STAR model.

  • Steam cleaners – no chemicals needed, just the power of steam. Great for kitchens, bathrooms. I found a reasonably priced handheld one.

  • HEPA vacuum – traps allergens and dust so they don’t get blownback into the air. I got a bagless model to reduce waste.

  • Microfiber mops and dusters – attracts and holds more dust and dirt than cotton. My new microfiber mop was cheaper than a Swiffer and reusable.

It took some research to find earth-friendly options, but the higher upfront cost of these items should pay off over time.

Eco-Friendly Habits

Along with products, changing a few cleaning habits also helped:

  • Focus on visible dirt – I don’t automatically wash everything top to bottom, butspot clean problem areas first. This takes less time and effort.

  • Open windows – I air out rooms as much as possible when cleaning instead of using chemicals to cover odors. Fresh air does wonders.

  • Clean as you go – wiping up spills and messes quickly keeps them from becoming bigger jobs. I keep rags handy.

  • Power down devices – turning off lights, fans, and other devices not in use conserves energy as I clean.

These little shifts in my mindset help streamline my process so I’m not over-cleaning. Less effort equals less waste.

Budget Savings

Going green with my home cleaning did require some upfront purchases, but here are the savings I’ve seen:

  • No longer buying conventional cleaning products, saving $20-30 per month

  • Reusable supplies like rags cutting down on paper waste

  • Making my own cleaners for just pennies per use

  • Energy-efficient cleaning devices costing less to operate

  • Less water usage overall

The simple changes quickly added up to real savings. And I have peace of mind knowing I’m keeping toxic chemicals out of the environment.

Even with a tight budget, eco-friendly cleaning is possible with some adjustments. Have you made any green swaps in your home? I’d love to hear your best tips!

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