A NEW TAKE ON THE GOOD OLD FASHIONED SPRING CLEAN
Spring has well and truly sprung so there are no excuses not to roll up your sleeves and get to work on the old ‘Spring Clean’. Yes, it’s time to look at what needs cleaning – and perhaps what you can get away with – hint: you can’t fudge the bathroom but you can fudge the spare bedroom. Just close the door!
While bathrooms can be seen as havens of relaxation and respite, in reality they pose a challenge. The damp environment plays host to mould and mildew while pathogens originating from toilet bowls can spread around the air and settle on surfaces.
There is also much to be done in a bathroom for presentation reasons – toilets and basins need regular cleaning while shower screens and bathtubs are notorious for grime build-up and require special attention.
So get to work – but also look at what you are cleaning with. Look for bathroom cleaners that do their job on problem areas, such as hard water spots and soap scum, and also dissolving mineral deposits (and without too much elbow grease, thank you) but which are also free from bleach, phosphates and ammonias – the chemicals found in many bathroom cleaners.
Allergies are now so common place as result of household cleaners that some local government councils are carrying information on their websites warning residents to reduce the number of chemicals kept around their homes and recommending safer cleaning products.
At the very least before you start your spring clean, always read the ingredients list on any cleaning bottles that you have. Do you know what each ingredient is? What is the warning on the label? Are they safe? Are they necessary?
Why use natural cleaning agents?
Eliminating or reducing toxic chemicals from your home can have a positive impact on your health and make your home a safer place to live.
Environmental degradation – The use of common household cleaners is responsible for placing many hundreds of chemicals into our immediate living environment.
Health – More people are developing allergic reactions, chemical sensitivites, and just plain toxic overload, than ever before. Chemicals tend to linger in the air and get into our lungs, and are absorbed through direct contact with chemicals such as cleaning agents. Clean air results in better health, whether you suffer from respiratory allergies or not.
To reduce the impact of allergies, it may be advisable to:
- Increase the number of indoor plants.
- Dust with a damp cloth.
- Vacuum floors and furnishings regularly.
- Reduce / avoid the use of toxic chemical cleaning products.
You can look for less toxic cleaners in your local supermarket or hardware store – Bunnings for instance. One brand that passes the test is Simple Green’s new non-toxic and biodegradable Bathroom Cleaner (and other cleaners form their range) – they contain no bleach, phosphates or ammonias plus they dissolve easily into the environment without destroying nature and are safe for you and your family including young children.
You can also look at natural cleaning methods. Here are a few that have been tried and tested:
- BAKING SODA (sodium bicarbonate): An all-purpose, non-toxic cleaner. Cleans, deodorises, removes stains and softens fabrics.
- BORAX (sodium borate): A natural mineral that kills mold and bacteria. An alternative to bleach, it deodorises, removes stains and boosts the cleaning power of soap.
- CORNSTARCH: Starches clothes, absorbs oil and grease.
- HERBS and ESSENTIAL OILS: Great for disinfecting and fragrance.
- LEMON JUICE: Cuts through grease. A bleach alternative.
Written by Fiona Andry