Dusting is one of those chores you just cannot neglect. You might have realized this fact when you stopped dusting for a few days. You just have to plod on and keep cleaning, as dust will never ever disappear miraculously. And if you are susceptible to allergies and have respiratory problems like asthma, you have to make sure that you are in a dust free environment. Regularly dusting means you have to spend less time every day, as dust will not build-up. Here are some tips on how you can keep your home free from dust, and do it in an ecofriendly house cleaning way:
Check the hot spots
- There are certain spots in the house which are great dust magnets.Ceilings and walls are big storehouses of accumulated dirt. We are used to dusting furniture and even the ceilings, but mostly we ignore the walls. You can dust them quickly by swiping them with your microfiber duster.
- Check things brought from outside, especially footwear. Entrance mats can help in capturing the dirt on your footwear. They ensure that you bring in less dirt indoors. With their help, your cleaning job becomes much easier.
- HVAC systems also trap dust. Using filters on a HVAC system’s vents would trap the debris before it enters your living space. Keep changing the filters frequently to keep the indoor air fresh and healthy for better ecofriendly house cleaning.
- All electronic items such as TV, computer, refrigerator and other appliances are reservoirs of dust. Cleaning the vents and coils regularly, removing dust bunnies and hairballs behind and under them can help in maintaining a dust free environment.
- Fabrics such as drapes, upholstery, pillows, bedding, and in fact, even your clothes are covered with dust. Vacuum everything you can, shake them out to remove the dust.
How to prevent dust from building up
- Dust includes hair, skin cells, pet dander and minute fibers. You can vacuum using your soft bristle attachment on the vacuum cleaner to vacuum curtains, drapes and other fabric from time to time to get rid of dirt and fibers.
- Use tools which do not push dust around. Brushes and mops using microfibers can be of help in effectively trapping the dust, and you don’t even have to use any harmful chemicals.
- Vacuum carpets regularly to remove any dust which might build up. Groom your pet in order to reduce pet dander and hair.
- Keep your bedding clean so that it is free from any dust particles and dust mites.
How to dust effectively and ecofriendly house cleaning tips
- If the surfaces of your home have a thick dust build up, then you can remove it with the help of thick microfiber cloths. After that, you can use a microfiber duster. Doing this daily will prevent dust build up in the future.
- Don’t leave any surface in any room, from the kitchen, living room to the bedrooms. You should be particular about dusting the kid’s bedrooms, as they have a habit of exploring all the dust-filled corners of the house. Make sure that you prevent the same dust from getting their lungs.
- Leave footwear at the door. This will avoid dirt from entering your home. Sweep/vacuum and mop your floors regularly to get rid of dust.
- Vacuum with a machine which has HEPA filters. Invest in a good vacuum cleaner that covers large areas and also has attachments that can get into crannies, nooks, and tight corners.
Use homemade, chemical free dusting sprays
- Ditch the commercial dusting solutions which are loaded with chemicals. Make your own ecofriendly house cleaning homemade spray with materials right from your home.
- What you need: White vinegar 1 cup, olive oil ½ teaspoon, water 3 cups. Pour all the ingredients into a spray bottle, and shake well. This mixture is now ready to use. Use this to clean furniture and see how your furniture shines.
- For a refreshing, natural scent, don’t use air fresheners. Just chop up a lemon and put it in some simmering water, put in some sprigs of rosemary as well, to give a fresh smell to your home.
5 Sustainable ecofriendly house cleaning tips to clean your house
It is becoming important, now more than ever, to use environmentally friendly cleaning products and equipment and to get rid of all the toxic ones to contribute towards a greener and cleaner home environment and fresher, non-toxic air. Clean air is an essential component in keeping us healthy and rejuvenated. A toxic-free home goes a long way in our well-being, they improve sleep and concentration and is also good for the babies. For more information, check out the expert pest control resources on House Method. Also take a look at 5 ways of reducing the toxic burden on the environment from your household:
1. The Poison under the kitchen sink
Remove those toxic products from under the kitchen sink. We all have them – the wasp sprays, waxes and polishes, all those things that display the words poison, warning and danger. The leakages from these bottles contribute to the slow household poisonings. They are also one of the major threats to the health of children.
2. Hazardous waste pick up day
We have a tendency of pouring anything and everything down the drain. Some hazardous materials are not supposed to be sent down the drain or thrown in the trash, they cause serious pollution problems down in the waste stream. Instead, call the local recycling centre or the city or town hall. Most communities generally have one Hazardous Waste Pickup day.
3. Substitute those toxic products
The next step is to choose more non-toxic products and bio-degradable ones. It will help reduce the toxic burden on the environment from manufacturing, your home and the waste stream. Look for all the signal words like toxic, poison, danger and caution found on neurotoxic products and pesticides and try to replace them. They are primarily placed on the covers because of the potential harm they may cause to the environment. The words such as poison and danger are the most concerning ones. They are highly toxic and ingesting even tiny amounts can be extremely dangerous. Warning on the other hand may mean mildly toxic. There are other products which are highly corrosive to skin and mucous membranes.
4. The basics of non-toxic cleaning
It is important to know the basic ways of non-toxic cleaning and also to avoid using the valuable resources of the earth like petroleum products which are non-renewable sources of energy. If you care to delve a bit into the chemistry of how materials work, you can easily learn to clean from scratch by making your own home-made recipes. Try and keep all of the home-made recipes well-labelled and out of the toddler’s reach.
5. Sponges, mops, rags et al
To further reduce the use of non-renewable sources of energy, you can avoid products that are made of potentially harmful ingredients such as sponges with antibacterial ingredients in them and also try and reuse old clothes like shirts as rags instead of paper towels to save trees. And yes, also save some money. Such things like safer sponges and rags instead of paper towels and HEPA vacuums all work towards providing a toxic free environment. Even if you use paper use recycled and unbleached ones.
Vinegar, Baking Soda and Other Natural Ingredients that Kill Dust Mites
Dust mites are eight-legged pests which can cause allergies in you or your family members. These tiny mites cannot be seen with naked eyes, and stay hidden in the mattresses or bedding. They are present in other areas of your home as well, especially in the humid areas. In some people, they trigger allergies with extremely unpleasant symptoms. Even if you or anyone in your family is not allergic to the microscopic mites, you should get rid of the mites, to maintain proper hygiene. There are chemical solutions available to destroy dust mites, but natural ingredients are the best choice. Take a look at a few ways kill dust mites naturally:
What are dust mites?
Before you kill dust mites, you should know a little bit about them, so that you can keep your home mite free. The food of dust mites is the skin flakes which we shed. Since we shed skin flakes all over the house, dust mites can thrive in the whole house; and, they breed most in humid places. But, the most amount of skin is shed on the bed, which is why dust mites are found in huge numbers on mattresses/bedding and pillows.
Dust mites secrete enzymes in feces, and some people are allergic to the enzymes. Dust mites do not burrow into the skin, but they burrow into fabric and multiply. The symptoms of dust mite allergy are coughing, wheezing, watery eyes and sneezing.
Natural ingredients to kill dust mites:
You can deter using vinegar, as it harmless for humans. The acidity of vinegar deters dust mites and other pests. It’s best to use white vinegar or apple cider vinegar, as the acidity level is 4-10%. But white vinegar is better as it is cheap and effective.
Though vinegar cannot kill dust mites, it can keep them away from the surfaces which have the scent of vinegar, such as mattresses and other surfaces in your home. You can spray your mattress/bedding with vinegar. Vinegar is effective as it breaks down the enzymes which cause allergies in us, by the process of denaturation.
You can use vinegar to clean the house by wiping down the surfaces with it or using it in the machine to wash clothes. Distilled vinegar can be used to mop floors, kitchen counters and bathrooms. All you have to do is wipe with a cloth or sponge soaked in vinegar and allow it to sit for a few minutes. Then rinse it with water to avoid stain marks.
- Add a cup of white and distilled vinegar to your wash with water which is 54 degrees Celsius or 130-degree Fahrenheit or more.
- Spritz vinegar on stuffed toys and delicate fabrics and put them in the dryer to get rid of dust mites.
· Do not mix bleach and vinegar, ever, as the mix produces dangerous chlorine gas which might cause breathing problems and you might get hospitalized too.
· Do not mix hydrogen peroxide with vinegar too, as it creates a solution which is corrosive and irritates the skin.
2. Baking soda
Baking soda is another natural ingredient used to get rid of dust mites but it won’t kill dust mites on its own. You have to sprinkle some baking soda on your mattress, after mixing it with essential oil like eucalyptus oil or tea tree oil. Then vacuum all the baking soda with a HEPA vacuum cleaner. This will suck all the mites from your bedding.
- Do not sprinkle on a memory foam or latex mattress/pillow. This method works best on mattresses which have fabric surface.
3. Rubbing Alcohol
Rubbing alcohol is used to kill bed bugs, so it would kill dust mites too. It does not have any odor, unlike vinegar so you can use this instead of vinegar. It is cheap and acts as a disinfectant which kills bacteria.
Add two tablespoons of rubbing alcohol to the wash while washing clothes, sheets and pillows.
4. Eucalyptus oil
Essential oils are used to kill dust mites and deter them. As they are very strong, you should always dilute them with water. Eucalyptus oil is very effective and can eliminate upto 99% of dust mites from clothes and sheets.
All you have to do is add Eucalyptus oil to some 6 tsp Eucalyptus oil of 0.4% concentration in one bucket of water, and 1.5 tsp detergent. Soak the clothes, sheets and pillow covers for one hour in this solution.
After an hour, rinse off with water. You can also use Tea Tree Oil instead of Eucalyptus oil.
5. Homemade Essential Oil Repellent
To repulse dust mites, you can make your own repellent and spray it on your bed. Rosemary, Lavender, Clove, Lemongrass, Basil and Peppermint oils are aromatic and very effective. Mix some drops of an essential oil or a few essential oils with water in a spray bottle. Mist the bed and allow it to dry. This easy solution will keep the dust mites away from your bed.
Homemade eco-friendly multipurpose home cleaners for ecofriendly house cleaning
It is a no-brainer that you need good cleaners to keep your house clean, fresh, and hygienic. But instead of buying home cleaners, have you thought about making them yourself? By opting to make your own home cleaners, you will save money and time, as they are super easy to make. You might already have the products needed to make your own home cleaners that are eco-friendly and do their job effectively. Here are different types of home cleaners that you can make:
1. All-purpose surface cleaner
This all-purpose cleaner can be used to clean all kinds of surfaces and will get rid of dirt and grease easily. To make your own all-purpose cleaner, you will need-
- ½ cup of white vinegar
- 2 Tbsp of baking soda
- 10 drops of tea tree, lavender, or lemon essential oil.
To make the cleaner, put the vinegar, essential oil in a bottle and mix the two ingredients together using some water. Next, add baking soda and fill the bottle with water. Mix the concoction by shaking the bottle and it’s ready to use.
2. Glass cleaner
You can get rid of dirt accumulated on your mirrors and windows easily using the glass cleaner that can be made using these ingredients-
- 2 cups of water
- ½ cup of white vinegar
- ¼ cup of rubbing alcohol (70% concentration)
- 1-2 drops of orange essential oil (for fragrance)
Simply put the ingredients together in a bottle and shake well to make your very own glass cleaner. Spray some of it on a piece of cloth and wipe the dirt right away from the glass.
3. Oven cleaner
Cleaning an oven is quite a task but it can be made easy using the homemade oven cleaner that uses just three ingredients-
- ½ cup of baking soda
- 2 – 3 Tbsp of water
- ½ cup of White vinegar
To clean your oven, you will need to follow a two-step procedure. First, mix baking soda in little water and stir it. Apply the paste to the dirty surface of the oven and scrub it. Let it sit overnight.
The next morning, take some vinegar in a spray bottle and spray it on the area that is covered with baking soda. It will create foam that you need to clean using a damp cloth.
If you are tired of looking at your rusty taps or stains on your enamel bathtub and sink, you will be surprised at how much this scrub can help you. To make the scrub, you will need-
- ½ lemon
- ½ cup borax
All you have to do is dab the lemon in borax and scrub it on the affected area till the stain comes off.
5. Clogged drain cleaner
Clogged drains are absolutely annoying and gross. They are not hard to deal with if you use this homemade drain cleaner that will clear up the clogged drains effectively. To make your drain cleaner, here is the list of ingredients that you will need-
- ¼ – ½ cup of baking soda
- ¼ cup of white vinegar
To unclog your drain or to get rid of the foul odor, simply sprinkle some baking soda and pour white vinegar on it. Let the mixture bubble for an hour and so.
Later, boil some water and pour it steaming hot down the drain. It should get off the smell and unclog your drain. If you still think that there is a need for more, repeat the process till your drain is clean.
6. Carpet cleaner
A dull, grimy carpet does not only look bad but can also become a nestling house for fleas and bacteria that is extremely unhygienic. Cleaning your carpet is not really difficult if you follow the simple process that requires just three ingredients namely-
- 2 cups of Borax
- 1 cup of baking soda
- 10 drops of essential oil
Simply mix the ingredients together and spray it all over your carpet. Let the mixture do its work for half an hour. Next, vacuum the carpet and you are good to go. The cleaner will kill bacteria, fleas, and will keep rodents at bay.
5 ecofriendly house cleaning products for your green home
Cleaning and cleaning products have become a part of our life. We need it almost everywhere to keep our immediate surroundings and environment clean. However, the cleaning products that you choose are hazardous to you as well as the environment. Green cleaning techniques and products use non-toxic products that are bio degradable and environment friendly. These products are equally powerful and beneficial in all types of cleaning as compared to the toxic cleaning products. These are safer on the environment as well as humans and animals. Choosing “green” cleaning products goes a long way in protecting the environment and your home.
1. Bissell Multipurpose Deep Cleaner
Bissell Multipurpose deep cleaner is effective, fast and Eco-friendly cleaning equipment. You can use this little machine on almost any carpeted surface. It comes with a powerful suction sot with a 2-3/4 amp motor that does not let the stubborn stains and spots to sink into the carpet. It uses a safe cleaning mechanism that is devoid of toxic chemicals, metals or brighteners. It is completely Eco-friendly since the parts of this equipment is also made from 100 percent recycled plastic. It is easy to set up this unit and ready for use within five minutes. Use the inbuilt hot water heater for better results. This compact cleaner is convenient and effective for small as well as large cleaning tasks.
2. Cleanwave Sanitizing Vacuum
This cleaning equipment is an anti-allergenic vacuum that efficiently eradicates dust mites, flea eggs, bacteria and host of other allergens. It completely disinfects and cleans your bed and upholstery. You can also use it on almost all the surfaces such as mattresses, carpets, rugs, pet areas and drapery. A strong suction capacity with a powerful 400 watt motor reaches and removes dirt from places that are hard to reach. You can safely eliminate bacteria, germs and viruses naturally with three 15 minute treatments using Cleanwave UV-C sanitizing vacuum. The UV-C light is powerful in eliminating most of the household bacteria and germs. It comes with a hand held vacuum, dirt container, base unit with UV-C bulb, brush and nozzle attachment. It has a 15 âpower cord and weighs 5 lbs. It has a bag less container that is easier to empty and prevent re-accumulation of germs.
3. MicroPlus Floor Mop
Contrary to the conventional floor mops, MicroPlus Floor Mop comes with long life and thick microfiber. You can wash the covers after each use. It has a swivel head and the long handle makes it easier to clean on surfaces that are hard to reach. You can use it for washing, scrubbing and dusting of walls and floors. This single, lightweight tool is an efficient cleaner.
4. ChemFree Toilet Cleaner
This toilet cleaner uses special mineral magnets to kill the bacteria in the tank. It contains a non-toxic fiber called Bact-O-Bane that kills the bacteria by interrupting its metabolic function which kills them instantaneously. It also prevents growth of fungus, stains and mildew. You can use it up to 5 years, which means 50,000 flushes. You should scrub the tank first and then drop ChemFree into the tank. It is chemical free that helps in increasing the life of the tank and its parts. It effectively removes bacteria and is safe on children, pets and environment. In case you have hard water, you may require two units instead of one for an effective cleaning. It is also found to be safe on septic systems.
5. Electrolux’s Vacs from the Sea
As a wonderful initiative to create awareness about plastic pollution, Electrolux has unveiled 5 vacuum cleaners that are made of the plastic waste found in the oceans. It collects the plastic debris found in Indian, Pacific, Atlantic, Mediterranean, Baltic and the North Sea. This helps to balance the shortage of plastic that is required to build sustainable home appliances. It is currently planning to produce a limited number of vacuum cleaners out of it. This cleaner not only helps to clean the debris of the ocean but also of your home.
Other ways to control dust mites
- Buy dust mite pillow and mattress covers which will stop the mites from burrowing into pillows and mattresses and multiplying.
- Invest in latex mattresses and pillows, especially if you or anyone in your family is allergic to dust mites. Latex is dust mite resistant so mattresses and pillows made from this material are supposed to be the best choice for bedding. Besides, they provide the right support for the body.
- Installing a humidifier/s in your home can keep the humidity below 40-50%. Dust mites thrive in humidity levels more than 40-50% and controlling humidity is one of the harmless ways to control the spread of dust mites and to kill dust mites.
- Steam cleaning carpets can reduce dust mites by up to 87%.
- Direct sunlight also kills these mites. Keeping blinds and curtains open would help to kill the pests.
- The things which cannot be washed with vinegar or rubbing alcohol can be kept in the freezer for at least 24 hours. This will kill the dust mites. Any remnants can be disposed off by shaking the objects.
- Always use ‘Hot’ setting while washing bed sheets and pillows as water with temp higher than 130 or more can kill dust mites effectively.
Summery on ecofriendly house cleaning
Clean floors, scrubbed countertop and impeccably polished mirrors fail to matter when there is a layer of dust on the furniture. All eyes are drawn to the dust, which makes your home look ugly and you a sloppy housekeeper. These natural ways of killing dust mites are effective and inexpensive. They can be used without much effort to keep the allergy causing mites away for good.Dusting everyday is the best way of cleaning your home and of making it look as good as it should.