One Simple Green Cleaner for Nearly Everything
One thing I think is REALLY important is that we lose the preoccupation with having to use a specific cleaning product for every single different specific job. Part of the whole frugal living and environmentally aware lifestyle people are moving towards, should be the multi-use of whatever we do consume. Why buy ten products when a larger quantity of one simple green cleaner will do?
Is the dirt really so different in the kitchen and bathroom? I don’t think so! Of course I wouldn’t use the same cloth to clean the toilet seat as I would to clean the counter tops. But the actual cleaning product? I want both places to end up clean so why do I need two cleaners?
I find it convenient to have a bottle of my favourite Eco cleaning product in every room I clean often. So the laundry room, kitchen and bathroom all have their own bottle of often-used cleaner. But, they all contain the same thing, my favorite simple green cleaner. An effective multi-purpose cleaner is what I need for 80% of my cleaning chores, so that’s what I use just about everywhere.
My multi-purpose Eco cleaning product is a mixture of either a mild detergent (such as hand dish washing detergent) or liquid soap (Castille soap) and water. Soap is an excellent degreaser and all round safe household cleaner. That is all I need for most of my cleaning. I find it baffling that so many people have the best all round multi-purpose cleaner at the side of the sink, but they fail to use it to its full potential.
If you try cleaning throughout your home with a hand dish washing detergent you will see what I mean. If you think about it, its safe to use on your crockery, mild on your hands and it works really well or we wouldn’t all buy it in such vast quantities.
Of all the detergents in our homes the hand dishwashing one is likely to be the mildest. But, it is still a detergent, not soap. So, though it is a safe cleaning product and as guilt free as most Eco cleaning products for the bathroom, it is not an all natural cleaning product. Hand dishwashing detergents are generally very mild and pretty harmless to the environment. They have to be mild solutions as our hands come into such prolonged contact with them. I always opt for a mild dishwashing detergent. Many are fully biodegradable, but obviously check the small print if you are looking for an Eco-cleaning product, which will not harm the planet.
For me, the main negative with using a hand dish washing detergent compared to a Natural Vegetable Oil Liquid Soap, is simply that they are nearly always petrol-derived detergents. The petroleum industry is one I try to avoid supporting where practical so it would be ‘nicer’ to use a coconut oil based product, rather than a petrol based one.
But, I am a (car driving) realist! Ordinary petrol derived hand dish washing detergents are amongst the safest conventional cleaning products in the average home. If you are thinking of switching one product to an Eco cleaning product, make it something else! Switch one of the more dangerous, more polluting cleaning products first if you want to actually have an impact and really make your cleaning Eco friendly. I am afraid I feel many of us simply switch the dish washing liquid to a green cleaner, because it’s the one everyone sees on our kitchen counter! But what about all the other, truly scary stuff hidden away?
In an ideal world I would ask you to responsibly dispose of all your chemical cleaners and replace them all with Eco cleaners. But in my more practical approach I ask you to stop buying any more chemical cleaners. As you come to a new cleaning job see if one of the other greener cleaners in your store will tackle the job for you.
First up would be the hand dish-washing detergent. You can use that one to replace floor cleaners, multi-surface cleaners, window cleaner, stain remover, laundry hand-washing liquid. Generally, if it needs cleaning the chances are you could use ordinary (or green) hand dish-washing detergent to do the job. It is probably the single most environmentally friendly cleaning product you already own, so use it!
The great thing (and perhaps its downfall) is you only need a tiny amount of dish-washing liquid detergent to carry out all those other jobs. If you use too much, sure you will get lots of lovely, sudsy bubbles but you will then have to spend lots more time rinsing. So only use a drop!
Hand Dish-washing Detergent – A Simple Green Cleaner
- Green Spot Remover – simply squirt a drop on stained laundry, rub in and wash as normal.
- Green Laundry Hand-washing Detergent – a few drops are all you need in a sink full of warm water to wash all those delicates.
- Green Window Cleaner – a quick squirt in a bucket of water, sponge on and wash as normal.
- Green Multipurpose Surface Cleaner – Fill an old spray bottle with water and add a few drops of hand dish washing detergent. Then spray the cleaner wherever you like and wipe clean. I keep this under the kitchen sink and in the bathroom closet for most cleaning chores.
- Green Floor Cleaner – a quick squirt in a bucket of water, mop and rinse as normal.
Ordinary conventional dish washing detergent is the toughest safe multipurpose cleaner. But, environmentally friendly hand dish washing detergent and simple liquid soap will all achieve great results as all round cleaners in the home. That, saves you lots of pennies than simply swapping each standard cleaner for a more expensive, specific task Eco Cleaning Product.
Less packaging, few concoctions made (natural or otherwise), less transport, more room at home. Safe detergent is definitely the future of green cleaning in my home. Using fewer products and relying on one simple green cleaner will really help make your cleaning Eco friendly.