I’ve gone through the major elements in a good green cleaning toolkit over the past few weeks:
and figured I’d add the remainder to this post, because they’re not used as often as the four major ones above.
Find it in the laundry aisle at the supermarket.
Laundry: Use it in your homemade laundry detergent.
Laundry Brightener: When washing with castile soap, I add a couple of tablespoons of washing soda for all loads except darks. It helps brighten and soften the clothes and I think they smell fresher.
Regular, household salt.
Laundry: Add 1/3 cup to your dark laundry loads to preserve the black in your garments.
General Cleaning: Combined with castile soap, water or lemon juice, salt makes a really effective soft scrub for sinks, basins and benchtops that need a good, deep clean. (I generally tend to use bicarb and vinegar for this though, but it’s a good alternative.)Various Essential Oils
Make sure to purchase essential oils, rather than scented oils, as the latter can be almost as harmful to your health as the chemical cleaners you’re trying to avoid. It’s also worth checking that you don’t have an adverse reaction to any particular oil before using it all over the house. Additionally, pregnant ladies need to be cautious around essential oils as some can stimulate labour.
Laundry: Add 10 drops to your rinse cycle for beautiful smelling clothes. Plus some oils, like tea-tree and lavender, have antibacterial qualities, making them great to wash things like fabric nappies.
General Cleaning: Add a few drops to your homemade cleaners for a nice change.
General Cleaning: Add 20 drops to a spray bottle and use as a room freshener.
Dusting: A damp microfibre cloth sprinkled with a few drops of lavender oil makes the whole room smell lovely. Lame, but true.Equipment
Washable Chux cloths: Generally once they’re done in the kitchen, I wash them and add them to the cleaning cupboard. They’re reusable and do a good job of tackling most tasks.
Microfibre Cloths: $3 for a pack of four at the Reject Shop. Get some. I use a damp cloth to do all my dusting, plus they clean glass and make rinsing and wiping out basins, vanities, baths and showers super easy. They are brilliant. Plus you just throw them in the wash and use them time and time again.
Spend a little bit extra and get the good spray bottles from Bunnings or somewhere similar. The cheapies are fine for mild cleaners, but I found that when I put vinegar in them, the spray mechanism would stop working after a week or two. I bought some Oates ones about a year ago and haven’t had any issues since.
There really isn’t much involved in getting your green cleaning toolkit together, and it becomes second nature really very quickly.
Let me know if you have any specific questions or things you use in your green cleaning. I’d love to get some more ideas!