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Eco-Friendly Cleaning: How to Go Green in Your Home Routine
DIY All-Purpose Cleaner
Create your all-purpose cleaner using ingredients like white vinegar, baking soda, and essential oils. This eliminates the need for store-bought cleaners with harsh chemicals. Make sure you perform research before mixing your own chemicals. We test and research all of our eco friendly products before we use them in homes.
Reusable Cleaning Cloths
Instead of disposable paper towels, opt for reusable cleaning cloths made from microfiber or natural fibers. They are washable, reducing waste.
Switch to Green Cleaning Products
Choose environmentally friendly cleaning products with biodegradable and plant-based ingredients. Look for products labeled as non-toxic and free from harsh chemicals.
Reduce Single-Use Plastics
Invest in refillable cleaning product containers to reduce single-use plastic waste. Many eco-friendly brands offer refill options.
Use Lemons for Cleaning: Lemons have natural antibacterial and antiseptic properties. Use lemon juice to clean surfaces, deodorize, and remove stains.
DIY Air Fresheners
Create your air fresheners using natural ingredients like essential oils and baking soda. This eliminates the need for synthetic air fresheners with harmful chemicals.
Composting Kitchen Waste
Instead of throwing away kitchen scraps, start a compost bin. Composting reduces landfill waste and creates nutrient-rich soil for plants.
When it's time to replace cleaning appliances, opt for energy-efficient models. They consume less energy, reducing your carbon footprint.
Cold Water Laundry
Wash laundry in cold water to save energy and preserve the colors of your clothes. Consider line-drying instead of using a clothes dryer when possible.
Bamboo Cleaning Tools
Choose cleaning tools made from sustainable materials like bamboo. Bamboo is renewable and biodegradable, making it an eco-friendly alternative to plastic.
Natural Pest Control
Use natural pest control methods, such as planting pest-repelling plants or using essential oils, instead of chemical insecticides.
Rainwater for Plants
Collect rainwater to water your plants. This reduces reliance on tap water and saves energy associated with water treatment.
Recycle Cleaning Containers: Ensure that containers from cleaning products are recycled appropriately. Many cleaning product bottles and packaging are recyclable.
Choose an energy-efficient vacuum cleaner with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter to improve indoor air quality.
Open Windows for Ventilation
Increase natural ventilation by opening windows when cleaning. This reduces the need for artificial air fresheners and improves indoor air quality.
By incorporating these eco-friendly cleaning tips into your routine, you can create a cleaner and greener living space while minimizing your environmental impact.
REDFIN FEATURE: Love-infused Living: 16 Ways to Bring Love Into Your Home
As we navigate the spaces we call home, there’s an inherent desire to create a living space that feels warm, comfortable, and connected. In this Redfin article that we are featured in, we will look into 16 creative and meaningful ways to bring love into your home. From thoughtfully chosen decor and aromatic additions to personal touches that resonate with cherished memories, these suggestions aim to transform your living space into a haven of love. So whether you’re looking to bring love into your home in Medford, MA, or apartment in Portland, ME, embark on this journey to discover how simple, intentional choices can significantly enhance the love-filled ambiance within the walls of your home. Be sure to check out Love-infused Living: 16 Ways to Bring Love Into Your Home.
How to keep your house clean and organized?
Sometimes cleaning and tidying the house looks like a very big task. If you do not have the right equipment by your side, it definitely is the biggest task.
Let us first make a list of things you have to do to keep your home clean and tidy. It could be a long list on certain days and a very short one on others. So before you start cleaning and organizing things, make a list of things that you need to do in order to have a clean house.
Fast House Cleaning Tips
1. Set a Timer
Challenge yourself to a quick cleaning sprint by setting a timer for 10-15 minutes. Focus on a specific area, and you'll be surprised at how much you can accomplish in a short time.
2. Gather Cleaning Supplies
Before starting, gather all your cleaning supplies in a caddy. This prevents you from running back and forth, saving valuable time during your cleaning session.
3. Tackle High-Priority Areas
Identify the most visible or frequently used areas in your home and give them a quick once-over. This could be the living room, kitchen, or bathroom areas that guests are likely to see.
3. Invest in a Handheld Vacuum
For a speedy clean-up, keep a handheld vacuum on hand. These compact and portable devices are perfect for quickly tackling crumbs, pet hair, and surface debris. They're especially useful for high-traffic areas and smaller spaces where a full-sized vacuum may be impractical. A handheld vacuum allows you to address messes promptly, maintaining a tidier home in minutes.
4. Delegate Tasks
If you have family members or housemates, delegate tasks to speed up the cleaning process. Everyone can tackle a specific area or task, making the job faster and more efficient.
5. Declutter Flat Surfaces
Clear off clutter from countertops, tables, and other flat surfaces. A clutter-free space creates the illusion of cleanliness, even if you haven't deep-cleaned every corner.
7 things you should never clean with white vinegar
These are the things you should never (ever!) clean with white vinegar
If you look up any cleaning hack, you’re bound to see white vinegar as one of the magic ingredients. From removing stubborn stains to getting rid of grime and deodorizing, white vinegar seems to be the solution to every problem when knowing how to clean every room of your home.
What’s more, white vinegar is a natural product that can easily be found in our kitchen cupboards, saving us the hassle of buying chemical-laden cleaning products. And together with baking soda (its partner in crime), these household items make the ideal cleaning combo to tackle our chores.
- When you clean with bleach, don’t make this mistake
- I tried this TikTok hack to deodorize a drain — and it actually works
But did you know that there are certain things you should never clean with white vinegar? In fact, these need to be avoided as white vinegar will cause more damage than good (on this occasion!)
Despite its cleaning powers, white vinegar is highly acidic, which doesn’t bode well with certain surfaces. To avoid damage (and costs), these are the top things experts warn you to never clean with white vinegar. Just don’t even think about it!
1. Marble and granite countertops/tiles
The acidity of vinegar can etch or wear away at natural stone surfaces. This can cause discoloration to the finish, and ruin its smooth and shiny appearance. What’s more, marble, granite or any other natural stone are expensive materials, so repairing any damage can be costly.
The best way to keep your marble and granite tops sparkling is to use dish soap and warm water. You can’t go wrong!
2. Waxed furniture
Similarly, if you often use white vinegar to clean waxed or varnished furniture, it will wear away the shiny surface. Although many cleaning hacks suggest vinegar to clean furniture and dining tables, just be mindful of the type of surface. If in doubt, you can buy a formulated wood cleaner like this Therapy Furniture Polish & Wood Cleaner Kit ($16, Amazon) to get your furniture in top form.
3. Hardwood floors
The acidity in white vinegar can cause damage to hardwood floors, and strip the shiny surface. Instead, use a gentle cleaner like warm soapy water to maintain your beautiful hardwood flooring. Remember not to soak the floor or leave too much moisture on hardwood as this can warp the floor over time. Alternatively, use a specific hardwood floor cleaner such as Rejuvenate Professional Wood Floor Restorer and Polish ($21, Amazon) to protect your flooring. If you don't want to do the work yourself, check out our picks for the best robot mops.
4. Kitchen knives
If you have stains on your fancy set of knives, avoid using white vinegar to clean them. The acidic content can corrode the metal blades and dull knife edges. The best way to maintain your kitchen knives is to simply wash with soap and warm water before thoroughly drying.
5. Egg stains
Although white vinegar is given much credit for removing tough stains, egg stains isn’t one of them. The acidity of the vinegar will only stiffen the egg (much like adding vinegar to water to poach eggs), making it more difficult to remove.
The best way to safely remove an egg stain is to mix a solution of two teaspoons of liquid dish soap in two cups of cool water. Then, dip a sponge, white cloth or soft-bristled brush in the solution and work into the stain. Once the stain is lifted out, blot with a clean, damp cloth or paper towel.
6. Computer and phone screens
While it may be tempting to use white vinegar to get a shiny and mark-free screen, it’s a bad idea. Vinegar will only strip off the protective coating of the screen and should not be used on electronic devices. Instead, use microfiber cloths to wipe away any dust particles or dirt. You can also buy specially formulated cleaners such as Eveo Screen Cleaner Spray ($20, Amazon) for spotless screens.
7. Rubber items
Whether it’s the rubber found inside your washing machine, fridge or any other item, avoid cleaning with white vinegar. The strong acidity of white vinegar can wear down the rubber, causing the material to degrade over time. Instead, the safest way to deep clean or deodorize rubber is simply soapy water or a solution of warm water and baking soda.
If any of this surprises you, here are 10 things you didn’t know you could clean with baking soda for a spotless home.
15 Ways to Clean Your House like a Pro
Household cleaning is such an exciting thing to do—said no one, ever. It’s essential, though, for keeping a home tidy and healthy, and it can be a lot easier than you might think. By adopting the same techniques used by professional cleaning companies, not only will you finish the chores more quickly, the house will reach a whole new level of clean. It’s all about organization and better cleaning techniques.
1. Gather Your Gear+
You can waste a lot of time bringing a single cleaning them, such as a dusting cloth, to a room to dust and then putting it away and fetching window cleaner. Rather than running back and forth, the pros shorten cleaning time by carrying a caddy filled with all the products they’ll be using, such as furniture polish, microfiber cloths, all-purpose spray cleaner, disinfectant, sponges and scrub brushes, so they don’t have to leave the room every time they need a different item. Bring a vacuum along as well.
2. Use Products First+
Tasks such as scrubbing toilets, removing hard water deposits, or cleaning away burnt-on oven spills require the use of cleaners that take time to dissolve the stains and gunk. By applying cleaners to these areas first—before you tackle other cleaning tasks—the chemicals will have a chance to soften and break down the stains. Just apply, and then go about your other cleaning chores. When you get back, the stains will wipe off easily and you won’t have to spend time scrubbing.
3. Declutter, then Clean+
It’s virtually impossible to dust and vacuum effectively when toys, books, and other items are strewn on coffee tables and floors. Pros know that the quickest—and most efficient—way to clean is to pick up and put away all items that belong somewhere else first. After that, you’ll have a clear path for cleaning, but trying to do both at once will have you running in circles.
4. Establish a Pattern+
If you’ve ever walked into a room and didn’t know where to start cleaning, you may find it's easier if you establish a regular cleaning pattern. Because gravity works its magic on dust, crumbs, and other debris, try starting at the top of the room and working downward. At the same time, work from left to right. This is a great timesaving and organizational technique for kitchens and bathrooms and it will help you tackle showers, sinks, counters, tubs, and finally—floors.
5. Skip the Mop in the Bathroom+
Most bathrooms are relatively small and it can be difficult—if not impossible—to maneuver a mop head behind the commode or between the tub and cabinet. For the cleanest bathroom floor, consider wiping it down with a rag. While this wouldn’t work on a larger kitchen floor, it’s the simplest way to get the bathroom floor really sparkling, and if kneeling is hard on your knees, invest in a good set of knee pads for cleaning day.
6. Dust First, Vacuum Last+
The last thing professional cleaners do in a home is vacuum—usually on their way out the door. That way, the first thing the homeowner sees upon arriving home is the just-vacuumed lines left behind in the carpet. If you vacuum before dusting and straightening up, dust and other debris can fall to the floor and you’ll have to vacuum a second time.
7. Vacuum Furniture+
Crumbs, pet fur, and candy wrappers have a tendency to work their way behind sofa and chair cushions, and the best way to give upholstered furniture a thorough cleaning is to remove the cushions and vacuum beneath them every time you clean. You’ll also want to use the upholstery attachment to vacuum the surface of the fabric—this will remove dust that could otherwise leave your furniture looking dingy and dusty.
8. Use Microfiber on Stainless+
Many of today’s appliances are stainless steel, and nothing makes a kitchen sparkle and shine more than when these metallic surfaces are. The problem is that wiping down the appliances with a kitchen rag, followed by a dry towel, can leave unsightly streaks. To get stainless steel sparkling, use a wet microfiber cloth to wipe away stains and then follow-up immediately with a clean, dry microfiber cloth for a streak-free finish.
9. Watch the Grain on Hardwood+
Today’s hardwood floor cleaning and polishing products can help make your floor shine, but you’ll get the best results if you mop or polish with strokes that go in the same direction as the grain. This will prevent unsightly cross grain marks that are noticeable when the floor cleaner dries. In addition, use cleaner sparingly on wood floors and wipe up any excess that pools between planks with a clean rag.
10. Bring a Trash Bag+
You’ll need somewhere to throw away trash while you’re cleaning, and before you leave a room, you’ll want to empty its waste can. The simplest solution is to carry a large trash bag with you and dump each room's trash can into your bag as you go. The only exception here is the kitchen garbage, which should be bagged and taken out separately.
11. Vacuum the Kitchen+
You already know a vacuum is great for picking up crumbs and dirt from floors, but it can do double-duty in the kitchen if you use a wand attachment. For the best results, vacuum those spots in kitchen drawers and cabinets where crumbs tend to settle, such as the silverware drawer and the dry cereal shelf. Don’t forget the shelves in the door of the refrigerator while you’re at it, and before long you’ll have a super-clean kitchen.
12. Scrape for the Best Sparkle+
Cleaning windows can be tedious and some house-cleaning companies won’t tackle them, but it doesn’t have to be that difficult. Professional window cleaners have perfected their craft by spraying on a quality window cleaner, such as Sparkle Glass Cleaner, and while the window is wet, using a razor blade scraper to remove stuck-on gunk. After that, use newspapers to dry the glass, and your windows will be as clean and clear as when they were first installed.
13. Disinfect Sinks with Bleach+
inks, especially kitchen sinks, collect all sorts of stuck-on gunk and residue that can leave germs and bacteria behind, even after wiping down. To get sinks their cleanest, fill the sink with cool water when you start cleaning and then add liquid laundry bleach at the rate of 1 cup per 5 gallons of water. Let the water stand while you’re cleaning elsewhere and then drain it before using all-purpose cleaner on the sink. The bleach water will help clean drain pipes as well.
14. Triple-Line Trash Cans+
You’ll save time the next time you need to carry out the trash if you triple-line the trash cans. Then, when it’s time to dump the trash, just remove the outermost liner and you’ll still have two more liners in the can. Alternately, just fold up a few extra liners and put them at the bottom of the trash can where they’ll be handy when you next dump the trash.
15. Squeegee the Shower-
If you’ve ever finished cleaning a shower only to find hard water spots on the tile walls or a glass door after it dries, borrow a tip from the pros. After spraying a cleaning product on the walls, use a sponge to wipe away any visible stains or gunk and then rinse the walls with clear water. While the tile is still wet, use a handheld rubber squeegee to wipe off the droplets using firm vertical strokes from the top of the wall to the bottom.
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