I am always looking for ways to make my housekeeping chores easier and greener, unfortunately, sometimes those two goals are mutually exclusive. I remember one three month period where the inside of my dishwasher became increasingly dingier and unsanitary looking. I also found myself constantly scraping gunk off of the silverware after it had gone through a wash cycle. I ended up doing so much re-washing that I was actually doing more harm than good with all of the wasted energy and water. It turned out that the super green dishwasher detergent I was using just didn’t work, in fact when I switched back to traditional dishwashing detergent, the whole interior of the washer turned back to white in just one wash.
On the other hand I have had great success with micro fiber washcloths, Mr. Clean Magic Erasers and my trusty steam mop. I find that I can clean most average household dirt with my micro fiber washcloths and vinegar or, for tough spots, baking soda. When I come across something that defeats the micro fiber, I switch to the Mr. Clean Magic Erasers. I love these erasers, they can clean absolutely anything with just water and elbow grease. I know that the production of the erasers is probably not at all green, so I reserve them for the messes that I just can’t get clean the natural way and I console myself with the thought that at least I am not introducing toxic chemicals into the house to clean with.
My other big household helper is the steam mop. For me, the steam does double duty because in addition to doing a great job of cleaning my tile floor, it has the added benefit of producing steam hot enough to kill dust mites (which I am allergic to) and most other germs. In fact, it works so well that I have been considering the purchase of a handheld version to clean the bathrooms. It would be a big expense but the unit should last for years, and I would feel good knowing that any germs or mold/mildew would be killed without the use of chemicals.
What do you do to “clean green”? I welcome any tips, tricks or advice you may have for me, please feel free to comment below.