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It’s that time of the week (ahem, month) when you take a big sigh and succumb to the realisation that you really need to do a big clean. There’s a veil of dust across the TV, your taps are looking far from sparkly and the carpets – well, let’s not even go there.
Your cleaning products of choice? When things get bad, chances are, there’ll be the chemically-laden go-to brands of most. You know the ones that leave a bit of a kick at the back of your throat and you flying a little high.
Stop. Right. There.
According to researchers at the University of Bergen in Norway, using such cleaning products could be doing you more harm than they are your home good. The study, published in the American Thoracic Society’s American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine found that women using cleaning sprays on a regular basis had comparable lung function to a “20-pack-years” smoker (FYI: one pack year is the equivalent of 20 cigarettes smoked daily for one year).
Not good news.
The culprit? All those chemical particles that you accidentally inhale while getting your scrub on, irritate the mucus membranes of your airways and play havoc with your lungs.
The takeaway is simple: switch to cleaning products that can’t be inhaled (or wipe them; not spritz them) or go back to nature. Read on for the items you should be using. #spoileralert, some of them will already be in your kitchen cupboards.
THE ECO-CLEANING HOME ESSENTIALS
Don’t just add a slice to your G&T, lemons have antiseptic and antibacterial properties, don’t you know – and, because they’re so high in acid – they’re also a natural deodoriser. Use them to bring back the shine to past-their-best taps and draining boards; mix some of the juice with baking soda to clean up plastic food containers; or steep the peel with vinegar for a home-brew eco-cleaning product.
2. BAKING SODA
Got a stubborn mark that just won’t budge? This ingredient may work wonders in your buns, but it also has a role to play in your cleaning habits, too. Mix it up with a little bit of water to create a thick paste that can be left to set on those non-movers, or water it down and dab it around as an excellent natural grease-remover.
We mean the white stuff – unless you want your house to smell like the nearby Chippie. Pour it down your toilet to brighten the bowl, use it to target grease, simmer it with water and lemon peel to get rid of nasty smells and add it to some water in your kettle as the ultimate eco-cleaning de-scaler. It even works well on windows, tiles and mirrors. Mix it 50:50 and get wiping. Fancy some fragrance? Add citrus peel and sprigs of your favourite herbs.
THE ECO-CLEANING PRODUCTS TO BUY IN
5. METHOD ANTI-BAC BATHROOM CLEANER
It’s the brand that prides itself on its naturally-derived formulas, which is why you won’t find any surprising nasties in these bottles – or in each spray. The minty scent of this product will leave your home feeling – and smelling – extra fresh.
2. EARTH FRIENDLY PARSLEY PLUS CLEANER
Purified water, parsley essence and a couple of other plant-based ingredients; when it comes to eco-cleaning products, it doesn’t come much simpler than that. Best bit? It actually works.
3. KINN KITCHEN CLEANER
This eco-cleaning product uses lavender and rosemary organic essential oils to cut through grease, disinfect and, most important, smell great. Free from harsh chemicals, pH neutral and made in Britain. Tick. Tick. Tick.
4. PURACY DISH SOAP
Not only does this product look great – so you won’t want to hide it away – it uses plant-based moisturising cleansers and Himalayan Pink Sea Salt to fight grease and soften your hands at the same time. Who’s turn is it to do the washing up?
5. BIO D MULTI-SURFACE SANITISER
If you’re obsessed with all things coconut, say hello to your new best friend. This vegan-friendly eco-cleaning product is based on a blend of coconut and amara oil, with a hint of citrus.
Ready to detox your skincare, too? These natural beauty products should do the trick.