Being a busy mum with very busy kids, our house definitely bears the brunt of being lived in! Whether it’s endless piles of washing, muddy footprints or general wear and tear I am CONSTANTLY doing housework! Over the last year I’ve been making a few switches, when it comes to cleaning and laundry products. I want to make as little impact of the environment as I can and the cleaning products I choose are a little way that I can be more conscious.
My family produce A LOT of laundry! On an average day the kids get through a set of pyjamas, PE kit, school uniform, sports clothes from activities and every couple of days towels and weekly bedding. Between the four of us it piles up very quickly. I do a couple of loads pretty much every day. So this is definitely an area that I wanted to make as green as possible.
Product Swap – Method washing liquid and fabric conditioner
I started by replacing my usual detergents for Method ones. Method use natural ingredients and are non toxic, so far kinder to the environment. They also smell absolutely divine. Each bottle will do around 40 washes, so it usually lasts me a few weeks. Method products can be a little pricey, so I usually look online and find which supermarkets have them reduced and then pick them up there.
Saving water and energy – Full loads
I have a large load washing machine that accommodates 9 kilos of washing. It also has an energy rating of A. This means I can do more washing using less energy. I’ll often wait until I have a lot of washing in one colour so I can fill the whole machine, or wash both girls bed sheets at once. I also find Colour Catchers really helpful so I can do mixed loads and maximise my wash.
Saving electricity – Hanging to dry rather than using the tumble dryer
As convenient as it would be to just shove everything in the dryer, I now only use it to dry my towels. For everything else I hang it up to dry and this saves absolutely loads of electricity and it makes the clothes last much longer, so definitely a win-win situation!
Product Swap – Spray mop and method floor cleaner
To clean my floors I use my trusty Vileda spray mop, which I switched to a couple of years ago. It makes getting the floors clean an absolute doddle and is very speedy and mess free. I don’t use loads of water and I just pop the microfibre cloth in the washing machine with my towels and use it again and again. I used to use Zoflora in my spray mop, but in an attempt to use fewer harmful chemicals, I’ve switched to Method floor cleaner, which smells lovely and does an amazing job at getting the floor clean. It’s also a safer option for pet owners, which is great in a house with two cats.
Product Swap – Method Bathroom Cleaner
Another method product that I’ve switched to is their bathroom cleaner. I absolutely adore the smell and I’ve found it to clean just as well as the harsher products I used to use. It leaves the whole bathroom, including the taps looking super shiny and the fresh minty smell is lovely too.
Product Swap – Ecover Toilet Cleaner
I made this switch by accident, I was pretty happy with the product I was already using. Rob bought this one when my usual one wasn’t in stock and I was so impressed that I haven’t looked back since. This is every bit as good as harsher products and I’d definitely recommend this switch.
Product Swap – Ecover washing up liquid
I’ve never been loyal to a particular brand of washing up liquid, so when I decided to switch to greener products I chose this one purely because I liked the fragrance. I have a dishwasher so I only wash up certain things, but I do use this almost every day in a small way. It lathers up great and gets everything really clean, but mostly it just smells absolutely great.
Sustainable Option – Cloths not wipes
I have to admit that in the past I’ve loved the convenience of cleaning wipes. It’s definitely easier to just grab a wipe from a packet, use it to clean and then throw it away afterwards. However it’s also pretty wasteful. I now have a stack of micro fibre cloths which I use for pretty much everything and these just go in my towel wash. Because I clean the house every day I get through loads, but they also last for years. I’m also planning to cut up my old towels and turn them into cleaning cloths too. Watch this space for a blog post on that one.
Product Swap – Method Multi Surface Cleaner
This is my absolute go-to product for so many jobs. I use it several times a day to clean the kitchen sides and table. I also use it all round the house to clean surfaces, clean the kids rooms and pretty much any place in the house that needs wiping down. My favourite part is the gorgeous small. My favourite is lavender, but there are a couple of other fragrance choices which are equally lovely.
Looking after my appliances
Product Swap – Vinegar to clean appliances
I use my dishwasher a lot and I’ve always been in the habit of running through a dishwasher cleaner about once a month, to keep it in tip-top condition. About a year ago I switched to cleaning it with vinegar instead. I basically just put a bowl of vinegar in and run it empty on the hottest setting. This didn’t just work as well as a normal dishwasher cleaner, it actually worked better. The dishwasher looks brand new and so shiny. Vinegar is the best! I also do the same thing with my washing machine and it works a treat. All the better if it prolongs the life of my appliances too. Vinegar is also great for cleaning mirrors and windows and for clearing drains.
Natural cleaning – Lemon and water in the microwave
One thing that I’ve been doing for years is freshening and cleaning my microwave with simple lemon and water. I just put a small cup of water with some lemon in it and turning on my microwave for 5 minutes. This loosens the dirt first so you can just wipe it away and it smells amazing.
Product Swap – Hand Soap Refills
We get through a lot of hand soap in our house, which obviously uses lots of plastic. A while ago I started buying refills, which contain enough to refill 4 bottles. This isn’t a perfect solution, but it does massively cut back on unnecessary plastic use.
Ideally I’d love to find even greener options and hopefully sooner or later there will be more re-fill opportunities for cleaning products so that I don’t need to put as much plastic in the recycling and can use the packaging again and again. But for now I am doing my best! I’m looking forward to discovering more green cleaning options, so look for an updated post in a few months.
What are your favourite easy swaps for greener cleaning? Do you have any home made cleaning products that you love?
Ways to follow Vintage Frills