How to make this year’s spring clean green and sustainable

·3-min read
Photo credit: TARAN WILKHU
Photo credit: TARAN WILKHU

I would certainly never claim to be a naturally tidy person. I do, however, like things to be clean. It’s a bit of a cliché, but I really do feel that when everything is in order the result is not just a happy house, but a happy mind.

The next natural step for me this spring is to be more careful about the cleaning products I use. Since having children, I’ve been giving the issue some thought, seeking out greener, less toxic options. But, because of those same kids (not to mention the dog!), I need to be sure that any new buys will actually work on dirt and stains.

A while ago, I asked my followers on Instagram to recommend some planet-friendly but effective cleaning products, and I received loads of great answers. I was drawn to Seep’s plastic-free, compostable sponges made from wood pulp, and I like Purdy & Figg’s refillable essential oil-infused multi-surface sprays.

I have been eyeing up Daylesford’s low-chemical range too, while Colt & Willow’s plant-based, all-purpose cleaner also impressed me – I bought its ‘Geranium Leaf’ version and it smells absolutely gorgeous. One brand that came up a lot in people’s comments was an ‘eco-effective’ company called Smol. I’ve heard from friends that its dishwashing tablets (which get regularly posted through your letterbox) are excellent.

This was all a step in the right direction, but recently I’ve been inspired to take my green-cleaning adventures to the next level. I read an article in the Financial Times by former ELLE Decoration Editor-in-Chief Michelle Ogundehin, where she discussed how she had successfully substituted her normal toxin-heavy cleaning products for some simple, eco-friendly, do-it-yourself essentials. Her words struck a chord.

I started thinking more and more about regaining autonomy over the chemicals I’m introducing into my home by making my own alternatives to my usual products. Galvanised, I went online and ordered some citric acid, which can be used as a limescale buster for everything from taps to kettles, as well as some liquid soap, white wine vinegar and citrus peel that can be combined to make a simple surface cleaning spray.

I’m now saving used bottles to put my own tinctures into – I feel like I’m back at the science lab in school!

To begin my new regime, I spent about £30 on ingredients. It felt like a lot at the time, but when you think about it as cost per spray, it actually works out cheaper than what I usually buy – so it’s better for the planet and better for the pocket. Plus, having a clean house that doesn’t smell at all like chemicals makes for a nice change.

I’m very much at the beginning of my green-cleaning journey but, so far, it’s all positive. If anyone has any top tips for other swaps I can make, or any ‘recipes’ they want to share with me, please drop me a line on Instagram, as I’d love to add to my new spring-cleaning arsenal. Making these little changes under the sink is only a small step to help the environment, but at least this spring I can feel like I am doing myself, and my home, proud.

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