Here at Modish Living, we love anything that helps the environment. With spring and spring cleaning just around the corner, we thought we would have a look at how we can ditch some of the chemical cleaning products we use every day and substitute with something a little more gentle on our planet. Opting for reclaimed wood furniture in your home, and especially the kitchen, is a great way to start as you don't have to use chemicals on it - all that is needed to wipe down your dining room furniture is a soft, dry cloth.
Start with non-toxic cleaning products. We are all so quick to grab a bottle of bleach or degreaser without thinking about the toxins they contain or the fact that most are in single-use plastic bottles. There are now some non-toxic cleaning product ranges available to buy, but there are many natural ingredients you already have around the home that you can use. The main ones are vinegar, lemon and bicarbonate of soda.
Vinegar is a great degreaser and descaler - immerse your shower head in white vinegar overnight and see the sparkling result in the morning. Vinegar is also a great thing to use to clean windows and mirrors, scrunch up some newspaper and dip into vinegar and you're good to get cleaning that winter grime off.
Lemon gives a fresh clean scent and is a natural cleanser. Combine white vinegar with lemon - leave for a couple of weeks to infuse and you will have a beautiful smelling spray cleaner. Using lemon is also a great way to create a scouring pad for metal, just cut it and sprinkle some salt on the exposed part for an eco-friendly scourer and cleaning preparation. To keep your home smelling fresh in-between cleans, rather than air fresheners use the natural fragrance of essential oils. Get a diffuser to stand on a small side table in the living room and blend your favourite smelling essential oils to give your home a pleasant aroma.
Ditch the disposable cleaning wipes and paper towels, it's all too easy to grab some disposable wipes along with the grocery shopping. But for a more planet-friendly option, swap these for reuseable cleaning cloths that you can throw in the machine with your normal clothes wash. Or create cleaning rags from old clothes. If you have a few old t-shirts in your wooden wardrobe that have seen better days, rather than binning them, cut them down and use as cloths.
Another easy eco swap is to sweep the floor. There's no need to grab the vacuum cleaner every day - you can easily sweep around floors - and to be honest, taking rugs out to beat them will most likely get them cleaner than vacuuming - they can also be left out for a bit to air and it's a bit of a workout too!
Finally, reuse glass jars. Now is the perfect time to clear out the kitchen cupboards and get rid of those out of date pickles! Instead of sending the glass jars to the recycling centre, wash them out and reuse them to store food in, instead of plastic containers, or keep a few handy and try making your own pickles or jams. Why not fill some with little posies of fresh or dried flowers to pop around the house? Tie a piece of ribbon or twine around the top for a little decoration - just the right size for on bedroom side tables, a rustic dining table or on a wooden sideboard in the living room.