Greening your cleaning routine can help save you money, save your household from harsh chemicals—and save the planet at the same time. If you’ve resolved to adopt a more natural approach to cleaning, the good news is that it’s fairly easy to do. To put together your handy green-cleaning kit, all you need to do is assemble the right set of eco-friendly cleaning tools and create a few DIY natural cleaning products using common household ingredients.
In your kit, plan to include:
- Reusable microfiber cleaning supplies
- Brushes and tools for specific areas
- A squeegee for windows and mirrors
- Homemade natural cleaning products
- An all-natural room deodorizer
Here’s how to put together a cleaning kit that will keep your house in tip-top shape all year:
Gather the Best Eco Friendly Cleaning Tools
To really green your clean, start limiting your use of one-time-only paper towels, disposable cleaning heads or wipes— and put together a set of reliable, reusable cleaning tools.
Microfiber is ideal since you can wash and reuse it over and over again. Look for a microfiber duster with telescoping poles that make it easy to reach dust that gathers on your ceiling fan or top shelves. This microfiber mop has a bottle you can fill up with your own cleaning solution, plus a built-in scrubber for tough spots. You’ll also want to grab some handy microfiber cloths—enough that you can manage the day-to-day cleaning and spills, while still having a few in the wash.
A squeegee can help you keep your windows, mirrors and shower doors squeaky clean without a mountain of towels.
You’ll also want to assemble a few specialized brushes to help you deal with dust, grime and pet hair on tough-to-clean surfaces. Scrub brushes make quick work of dirty sinks and tiles, attacking caked-on grime and leaving the area sparklingly clean and shiny. Grab a few, and designate one for the kitchen sink, another for the toilet, and one or more for tiled floors or any other spots that need a regular scrubbing.
Grout brushes are effective for scrubbing away the dirt that collects around faucets and bath fixtures, between tiles, in the sliding door tracks of your shower, and in other moisture-prone areas around the house. And for parts of the tub or shower that are too high to reach, a tile scrubber with an extendable handle and a replaceable head makes the job fast and nearly effortless (especially if you clean those tiles while you’re taking a shower).
As for the pet hair, fuzz and other stubborn debris that collects on upholstery, furniture brushes get rid of it quickly and easily.
For your home electronics and any devices you carry around, a compact electronics cleaning brush is a useful take-everywhere tool for eliminating dirt and grime from laptops to smartphones, tablets, cameras and gaming consoles.
Create Your Go-To Cleaner
Start by grabbing a bottle of white vinegar: It’s the ideal base for homemade cleaning product recipes. Studies show that scrubbing a surface first then using a vinegar-based cleaner on it has an effective antibacterial effect, and gets the job done without the potentially harmful chemicals of commercial products.
Begin by mixing equal parts white vinegar and water, then add in your favorite scents to freshen up your household. You can use essential oils—try citrus oils, like orange or lemon, or add tea tree oil to amp up the antibacterial properties of your homemade cleaner. Or you can simply steep citrus peels or sprigs of rosemary or lavender in your vinegar-water mixture to give it a pleasant scent. Keep the solution in a reusable spray or squeeze bottle to help you easily clean up messes on tile, glass, porcelain, stainless steel appliances or other surfaces.
Make a Scrub for Deep Stains
Keep a box of baking soda in your kit. You can sprinkle the powder over hard-to-clean stovetops and surfaces, then spray it with your go-to vinegar solution (see above). Let the mixture sit for 15 minutes before you use a microfiber cloth or scrub brush to clean away the grime.
Mix Up a Gentle Cleanser for Stone Counters
Skip the lemon and vinegar for your stone countertops, as they can etch and damage granite and marble. Instead, mix 2 drops of dishwashing liquid soap with 2 cups of warm water in a spray or squirt bottle. Wipe down the counters with the cleanser using a microfiber cloth, then use another cloth soaked in plain water to rinse.
Make Over Your Shower Cleaning Routine
To freshen up your shower, a spray of your go-to cleaner—followed by a quick brush with the grout brush or swipe of the squeegee—should do the trick for everyday cleaning. But for set-in stains, use a grout brush to scrub in a paste of baking soda and water, then follow it up with a shot of your go-to vinegar solution to boost its cleaning power. For the worst mildew and mold build-up, use a paste of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to really give the shower a good clean.
Give Your House a Fresh Scent
Skip the deodorizing sprays, and simply put a pot of water on the stove with any combination of wonderfully scented items—try slicing an orange, and adding in a few cinnamon sticks and a teaspoon of cloves—then simmer to help your home smell warm and inviting.
Discover more ways to use and reuse handy household items with these cleaning hacks.