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Ready for some good news? Maintaining a clean home doesn't have to harm the environment!
With global warming on the rise, it's more important than ever to go green. While it may be tempting to reach for that heavy-duty cleaner (you know, the one full of dangerous chemicals?), you have other options.
Here are five ways to go green with your home cleaning routine.
1. Come up with a game plan
The best place to start is by doing a little planning. Planning ahead ensures that every room will get cleaned in an environmentally friendly manner. It also helps keep you organized!
You'll need to consider the following: What rooms need to be cleaned? Can you use an energy-efficient vacuum cleaner? Are there products in your cupboards that are harmful?
Go from room to room and write down a brainstorming list. This will help you come up with a solid plan ... and find some simple ways to start making changes.
2. Try DIY cleaning recipes
One essential way you can go green? Change the type of cleaner you use. There are organic cleaning products on the market right now, but they can be more expensive than your everyday, run-of-the-mill cleaning solution.
Fortunately, you can make your own cleaner at home. There are tons of easy DIY recipes to clean the entire house.. Find the ones you like best and get cleaning!
3. Aim for a no-waste clean
Have you ever heard of a no-waste clean? The premise is simple: after you've cleaned your house, you should have no waste left over. Just think about it: It's not very eco-friendly to reach for a green cleaner if you end up using an entire roll of paper towels as well!
Use washable cloths instead. This will get your home spotless without harming the environment.
4. Find creative solutions
It is possible to improve your home and be eco-friendly. The key is to find creative solutions. For instance, if you want to clean your wooden shutters or window treatment, try a mixture of lemon juice and olive oil.
This solution will polish the area and get rid of any built-up dirt or grease. For other solutions, simply take a look around your home. You're sure to find some creative (and green!) ways to change up your cleaning routine.
5. Reduce your clutter
If you want to cut down on your cleaning time and minimize the amount of junk in your home, just reduce the clutter. Many of us have things lying around that we will never use. Rather than be wasteful, donate them instead. This will allow others to use these items; plus, it will save you from cleaning them! Going green has never been so easy.
You can get the best surface cleaning tips and services by spending some time reviewing your options online. The Web is a great place to find the best way to clean your tricky surfaces and avoid making amateur mistakes when maintaining floors, counters, walls, and other areas where dirt can build up.
Below are four key tips for attacking those dirty surfaces in your home.
1. Study your surface
Look up your surface material online. This may sound like a strange way to begin, but it's a necessity when cleaning some of the more delicate surfaces around your home or business.
Wood will not respond well to the wrong cleaners; you may end up damaging the stain or protective coating. Carpets need to be cleaned with the proper agents or you risk staining them. Stone like marble can prove especially delicate and needs to be cleaned carefully to avoid damaging it.
By looking up your surface before you begin, you'll learn which cleaners and cleaning tools to use, which will save valuable time and avoid any damaging mistakes.
2. Find the right cleaning agent ... at a low price
When you've finished researching the material, it's time to buy your cleaning agent. Once again the Internet is a great place to start; you can hunt up a variety of great deals on chemicals and cleaners that will save you money.
If you prefer to save money and help out the environment, visit Seventh Generation or Simple Green to order more eco-friendly products in bulk. If you're tackling a smaller project and prefer to make your own cleaners, look up environmentally friendly recipes on natural cleaning blogs and sites. You can do a lot with a little vinegar, if you have a good recipe to work with.
3. Buy or lease handy power tools
For larger cleaning jobs, especially outdoor jobs, spend some time on the Web looking for tools you can buy or lease to make the job easier. A pressure washer can make cleaning patios and outside walls incredibly simple.
The same is true of carpet cleaners if you have a large indoor carpet to tackle. Polishers and similar tools can help with tiles and stone. Look up local cleaner rental companies in your area if you don't want to buy a cleaner outright.
4. For big projects, look for professional services
If you have a serious cleaning project, such as an entire store or office building, go online to find professional cleaning services and contact businesses to set a cleaning date. You can find out a lot about a cleaning service's quality and specialties by reviewing their website.
We all have a responsibility to do our part to take care of the planet. While that sounds like a huge undertaking, there are lots of small, easy changes you can make around the house that add up to make a big difference.
Protect the planet and your home with these ten green tips.
1. Start with the outside
The average lawn can be a huge water waster, but the cost of maintaining a green lawn doesn't have to occur at the expense of the environment or your wallet. Adopt eco-friendly lawn care techniques to keep the outside of your home looking great without the shame of wasted water.
2. Replace insulation
Save money on your heating bills by making sure the insulation in your home is plentiful and sealing up cracks in doors and windows.
3. Turn down the water heater
The water heater is one of those appliances that uses a lot of energy without your realizing it. If you turn down the temperature by 5-10 degrees, you'll save electricity without even noticing a change in your hot water.
4. Use the oven less
Use a microwave when you can, and make sure that the fridge isn't up against the oven. The added heat will force the fridge to do more work than it should.
5. Choose recycled materials
Whether you're replacing the curtains or the countertops, reusing building materials keeps trash out of landfills, and they work -- and look -- as good as new materials.
6. Shop at thrift stores and antique shops
The more you can buy used items for your home, the better. Plus, when you shop at second-hand stores you'll save money and wind up with something completely unique.
7. Use power strips
Putting a power strip at each outlet and plugging electronics into that makes it easier to turn things off all at once when they're not being used.
8. Shop green
Going green can start right in the grocery store by choosing green cleaning products, cold-water laundry soap, and even energy-saving light bulbs and appliances.
9. Keep your roof and gutters in good shape
It's easy to forget about the roof, but it's important to clean and maintain the gutters and the roof itself. If you're looking to replace your residential roofing, there are tons of green options for upgrades. A good local roofing company will tell you what your options are for green cleaning and replacing.
10. As always: reduce, reuse, and recycle
It might seem trivial, but recycling and composting actually do make a big difference, and once you get into the habit of sorting that stuff out, it's an easy practice.
We should keep it green, even if it's one home at a time! In order to protect the environment, starting at the home is an easy and direct way to get on the program.
There are so many ways to "go green" at home. If you really use your brain, you can find at least five ways to make your home more eco-friendly. Below are some ways to keep it green in your own castle.
1. Change your light bulbs
Instead of using the regular old incandescent bulbs that everyone has purchased for ages, opt for fluorescent bulbs instead. These bulbs use less energy and last much longer than the traditional version. It's an easy win-win solution.
2. Get proper insulation
Make sure your home is properly insulated and reduce potentially significant air leaks. This can be a fun and very easy process. If your home is not secured tightly, then warm air leaks out. This in turn makes heating your home more difficult and costly.
Controlling airflow to the outdoors can also serve you when you need to cool your home, as well. Repair all compromises to your house structure, and you'll save money as well as reduce the strain on the environment. This can be done easily with a caulking gun and other simple tools.
3. Give eco-friendly paints a try
When you're repainting a room, opt for eco-friendly paints. These products do not contain volatile organic compounds that can damage the environment and even pose a danger for humans when they release particles into the air. With the more eco-friendly paints, you can get others to join in on painting to improve the environment.
4. Improve your selection of home appliances
If you can, replace as many of your home appliances as possible with energy efficient ones. This equipment is different because it's ergonomically or eco-sensitively designed. The machines may be more expensive to start, but their efficiency will help them pay for themselves over time.
5. Proper air and heating maintenance
One of the overlooked areas for keeping a home eco-friendly is to maintain heating and cooling systems. This includes replacing or cleaning filters and various hoses attached to the appliances. With proper heating and cooling, your home can conserve astonishing amounts of energy and cut down on air pollution.
Keeping your home eco-friendly is a start to improving our world. If we just do our part at being green, then others will follow suit. Use these tips to get started changing the way you run your home.
There are many other ways to keep the home eco-friendly. Ask around and learn more ways to save energy and protect the environment. Keep it green, one home at a time!
Cleaning your house is necessary, but it's dangerous. Certain household cleansers contain chemicals that can have negative effects on your health if not handled with care.
Unfortunately, many people are unsure which cleansers are harmful, so they neglect to handle them properly. It might surprise you to learn that even some of the most common cleansers are hazardous.
Home maintenance items
Paint is highly dangerous if it's not cared for properly. For example, while it's not used in paint anymore, lead-based paints were in common use several decades ago. This paint is still present in many old buildings and homes, which means your family could become sick if the paint is present and not removed with care.
Household cleaning products
You know to be careful when handling bleach and ammonia, but you might not use correct precautions when doing so. While you might be exceptionally careful to avoid contact with your skin, you should consider wearing rubber gloves when handling bleach and ammonia.
Aside from rubber gloves, wearing a mask is also a good idea when handling these everyday household cleansers. The fumes from both can cause a number of health problems, and even death if you happen to inhale or ingest too much.
Health and beauty products
What might really surprise you is to realize that some of the products you use in the bathroom to make yourself even more gorgeous are potentially hazardous. For instance, that hairspray you use to ensure your hair looks great all day long is flammable.
Which means that if you don't handle hairspray with caution, it could catch on fire. This means keeping candles out of the bathroom. It also means either tying your hair back or wearing something over your hair in the kitchen. All it takes is a second too long of leaning over a hot burner when you're turning off the stove for the hairspray in your hair to ignite.
Always read product labels
Prior to handling dangerous products, always read the warnings on the labels. It can be exceptionally dangerous to overlook this precaution. Look for words such as toxic, flammable, poison, and combustible. If you see those warnings, use extra care. And as always, keep all chemicals and cleansers out of the reach of small children.
Taking every precaution to protect your family from the dangers of household products is vital. Even if you keep your chemicals out of reach and use them with all essential safety precautions, you should check to make sure your older home does not contain lead paint. You should also wear gloves when using cleansers.
With summer comes BBQs and fun in the sun ... and plenty of ketchup stains, spilled sodas, and dripping popsicles. If you've got some tough stains, don't despair. There are plenty of ways to get any kind of stain out of furniture, clothes, and carpets at home without emptying your wallet.
Here's three basic ways to get stains out the first time.
1. All-natural, at-home solutions
Depending on the stain, you might get lucky by using an at-home treatment on your laundry, carpet, or furniture. If you can clean the stain out right away, there are plenty of stain removers you can make at home at almost no cost.
A solution of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle works well. You can also try sprinkling baking soda onto a dirty carpet and letting it sit for about 20 minutes before vacuuming it up to remove both stains and odors.
Everyone is always looking for solutions to red-wine spills; try pouring white wine on the red-wine stain and then blot away all the liquid with a damp cloth. It might seem counter-intuitive, but white wine can loosen the spill of red and break it up so it can be wiped away.
2. Store-bought cleaning products
For tougher stains, you'll probably need more intense cleaners. Any store is likely to have an array of products to choose from, all boasting perfect performance and promising to be the solution you need, but it's hard to know which one will actually get the job done.
Often, the cheapest option won't work as well, but some products might work better on certain kinds of stains or on different surfaces than others. Checking the labels and even looking at reviews, as well as using the right sponge, brush, or towel will are most likely to identify a product that will do the job and not ruin your carpet, clothes, or furniture.
3. Professional carpet and upholstery cleaners
In some cases, you might have to bring in a professional carpet cleaner or rent the equipment and do it yourself.
While this might be overkill for a single stain, it's a great thing to do toward the end of the summer to get your house back to normal after a season of heavy use, or in a special circumstance like when you're getting ready to move out. Whatever the occasion, your carpet and furniture will look as close to brand-new as possible after a professional cleaning.
Maintaining a clean space doesn't mean you have to depend on the use of toxic substances. The majority of mainstream household cleaners contain ingredients that can be harmful to your health, and they can poison young children or pets that come in contact with these substances.
There are healthier, affordable alternatives to these common household cleaning agents on the market, and they will keep your family safe. Take a look at these four products you should avoid as you shop for cleaners.
The fumes that rise from bleach can exacerbate existing respiratory problems, such as asthma. One of the main dangers of using bleach to clean things around the house is that it can be deadly when combined with other chemicals.
For example, a tiny bit of ammonia can produce nitrogen trichloride fumes, which are extremely poisonous. If you are trying to clean mold, try healthier alternatives, such as white vinegar, which can be quite effective at killing mold spores.
2. Oven cleaners
Many oven-cleaning products contain caustic ingredients, such as lye, that can cause severe chemical burns, corrode surfaces, and damage your respiratory system. The use of these products in the household should be severely limited. Safer alternatives, such as lemon juice and vinegar, can be used to clean an oven and combat bad oven odors.
Many general-purpose cleaners contain ammonia, a chemical with fumes that can lead to breathing difficulties.
This can progress to headaches, excessive coughing, and wheezing. If ammonia comes in contact with your skin, you can be severely burned. Many eco-friendly general-purpose cleaners can be found at grocery stores, and serve as an alternative to products that contain this extremely dangerous cleaning ingredient.
4. Spray deodorizers
Many stationary air fresheners and spray deodorizers can actually be a risk to children and pets, since they contain a chemical called formaldehyde. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has noted that this chemical may cause cancer in humans. Some people who are exposed to formaldehyde may experience dizziness, nausea, skin irritation, or difficulty breathing.
Popular cleaning agents create a minefield for home safety, because so many of the ingredients can be poisonous and cause illness. You should replace these items with eco-friendly alternatives or at the very least place them safely away from children and pets. If your child has special needs, make sure to invest in a caretaking service to make sure he or she is properly monitored at home. Increased supervision can go a long way toward making your home a safer place.
Everyone wants a house that looks sparkling and pristine, but not everyone has the time or energy to make it happen. Perhaps there's too much work, or housecleaning isn't really your thing. Fortunately, there are trained professionals out there who know what they're doing, and can make your house look good as new. But with so many companies offering their services, choosing one can be a challenge. Here are five essential things to consider when you hire a cleaning service.
1. Custom cleaning
Some companies specialize in the types of cleaning they perform: for example, one that does basic dusting and vacuuming might not shampoo carpets or do yard work. Other companies might do laundry as part of their service, and still others are willing to do windows. Before making a phone call, decide what precisely which types of cleaning you need done. This will help you narrow your choices and find a service that's right for you.
When it comes to letting people into your home, research is your most powerful ally. Use the Internet and word of mouth to determine which housecleaning services in your region are the most reliable. Any record of complaints about shoddy work, missed appointments, or stolen property is a red flag that should eliminate some companies from your list immediately.
3. Insured cleaning
A trustworthy cleaning service offers insurance. You'll have to pay extra for it, but it guarantees that if your property goes missing or gets damaged during the cleaning, the company will pay for it. You will also want to make sure their employee’s are covered under a worker’s compensation policy. If they were to slip and fall in your home, you do not want to be liable for anything. A company (or private cleaner) that does not offer insurance or worker’s comp leaves the responsibility at your feet, even when their staff is clearly to blame. Use this knowledge to decide which cleaning service to use, and which to avoid.
4. Background checks
Legitimate housecleaning companies will perform background checks on their employees. You are letting strangers into your home, after all, and you have a right to know how long these people have been employed by the company, whether they have criminal records, or even if they are legally allowed to work in the U.S. If you know the types of people employed by the cleaning service, it will make the decision process easier.
5. Green vs. Chemicals
Cleaning chemicals are potent and increase the toxicity levels of the air quality in your home. Understand what chemicals will be used during your cleaning and whether you are comfortable with them using them inside your home. A cleaning company that advertises that they are eco-friendly, will not attempt to cut corners by using toxic materials. Get as many details from them as you can about what they use to clean, and do some research on your own to find out if those substances are all right for you and your house. You can always trust that Welcome Home Maids never uses any chemicals that are harmful to you and your home. We make certain all of our products are 100% biodegradable and the manufacturers disclose all their ingredients.
I don't know anyone who enjoys cleaning, but it's a necessary chore for most of us. It's pretty easy; most of the job is just about putting things in their proper place, spraying some disinfectant cleaner, and wiping down with a sponge or paper towels.
Of course, there are specialty sprays for everything in the home: toilet bowl cleaners, automatic shower cleaners, all kinds of special add-ons for the dishwasher. There are super-concentrated "green" cleaners and pre-portioned laundry packs.
The point? Companies are making things as easy and convenient as possible to clean the house. However, a few jobs still need extra special effort to clean.
1. Inside the oven
There's nothing like taking a bubbling, yummy casserole coated in melted cheese out of the oven ... but the mess it leaves behind is not as appetizing. A lot of ovens have self-cleaners, but some of us are still in the Stone Age when it comes to oven cleaner.
A simple solution? Mix baking soda and a touch of diswashing liquid into a paste, smear it on the inside of the oven, wait 15 minutes, and wipe it out with warm water. Obviously, make sure that the oven is completely cool before touching the interior.
It seems like no matter what covers the floor, it's difficult to keep clean. Tile gets dirty grout and is always sticky, and carpet attracts dirt and pet hair like nobody's business. Use a squeegie to pull up pet hair from the carpet, and clean grout with the oven-cleaning mixture described above.
If you live in an area that's particularly muddy, designate a catch-all area near the door for muddy shoes and everything. Once or twice a year, get a shampooer from the local Lowe's or grocery store and deep clean those carpets.
This is good advice even if you live in an apartment. It will help keep dirt down and increase your chances of getting back the security deposit.
Most of us change out our air filters, but imagine all the stuff that gets trapped in the ducts that circulate air around the house. Unless you are abnormally small and not claustrophic, these can be pretty difficult to clean.
One way to circumvent this problem is to invest in ductless heating pumps. Not only are they easier to clean, they are more environmentally friendly. This might not be an option if you're renting, but for those lucky enough to own their own homes, it's definitely an option to consider.