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If you’re stuck for a New Year’s resolution and, as you watch January slip away, fear that it’s too late to begin to make one then don’t worry! A thorough cleaning in the new year is a great way to get your house into tip-top condition after a joyous December. Combine this with being more eco-friendly and you’ve got the perfect resolution for January – a New Year’s green  clean!

Why green housecleaning is a good idea

As a nation we’ve become obsessed with cleanliness and whilst personal and food hygiene are incredibly important to prevent illness, some of the cleaning products stocked in our cupboards could be doing more harm than good – for both our health and the environment.

Some powerful household cleaning products can also pose health risks for family members due to the toxic chemicals they contain. Some detergents and cleansers are responsible for allergies, skin reactions, headaches, chronic fatigue, chest pains, dizziness and asthma. Not to mention the damage that can be done if a young child accidentally consumes a toxic product.

It’s not just human health which is endangered by regular household cleaning products. Wildlife has been suffering as the hazardous chemicals contaminate fresh water such as rivers, lakes and oceans. Fish and other aquatic wildlife have been poisoned due to the toxic chemicals which have taken over their habitats. In some areas the water has been described as a “dead zone” as it contains so little oxygen that fish and sea creatures can no longer live there.

Beginning Green Housecleaning

If you now feel horrified by the cleaning chemicals in your cupboard, then it’s time to action on your New Year’s resolution. There are many ways in which you can substitute these toxic chemicals for more natural cleaning solutions and still get the same clean, gleaming results.

There are many eco-friendly websites which retail green cleaning and laundry detergents. You can however, make your own homemade ecological cleaning solutions with some simple household items.

Here are a few products to help you in your green cleaning quest:

Lemon – One of the most acidic foods and works effectively as an anti-bacterial product.

Baking soda – An incredibly popular green cleaning product, it has the ability to deodorise, unblock drains and scours tougher stains and grease.

Washing soda – This is an incredibly versatile mineral which has the ability to remove stains and cut through grease. It’s popular for bathroom cleaning as it can be used on tiles, sinks and baths.

White Vinegar – Can cut through grease and wax build-up. It’s also effective at neutralising odours and can be used in the bathroom to eliminate mould and mildew.

Soap – Unscented soap which doesn’t contain petroleum distillates can be used for cleaning a wide range of surfaces and items in the home and is biodegradable.

Cornstarch – Aside from making tasty treats, cornstarch can be used to clean windows and shampoo rugs and carpets.

Aside from protecting the environment and safeguarding your family, eco-friendly cleaning solutions can actually save you some money. A little of the solution will often go a long way for cleaning and you may already stock them in your kitchen cupboards!

Stephanie Staszko wrote this article on behalf of Solar Choice and Solvis who both install solar panels and free solar panels as a renewable energy option for homeowners. You can add her on Twitter @StephStaz for more home improvement and eco-friendly posts.

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Stephanie Staszko

Stephanie Staszko is a home improvement writing junkie who loves to think of new ways to renovate without breaking the bank. She blames her mother for her eagerness for interiors, as she spends so much time in home improvement shops that she’s rumoured to have shares in them.