If you really want to green your cleaning, it’s not enough to just switch to environmentally-friendly cleaning products – you must look at your cleaning tools as well. In fact, in many cases, swapping to a specially-designed eco-friendly cleaning tool can help you abandon the need for harsh chemicals and cleaning agents.
Start by looking at the usual cleaning tools – such as mops, brushes, dusters, etc – and trying to find versions made of recycled or natural, sustainable materials. For example, some eco-friendly mops and brooms have bamboo handles and mop heads made from cotton or microfiber. Other small wares, such as scrub brushes and dish brushes, also come in eco-friendly versions made of bamboo, with the bristles on the scrub brushes made from natural, sustainable plant fibres. Alternatively, there are now also several versions of mops, brooms, dusters and others made from a resin formulation of recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic and ground wood chips, and bristles from recycled PET plastic.
New Tools – The Micro-Fibre Cleaning Cloth
One of the revolutionary products in the development of eco-friendly cleaning is the mircofibre cloth. These cloths are composed of millions of tiny, specially-designed fibres which provide such superior cleaning ability that no detergents, soaps or other cleaning chemicals are needed – simply water. The tiny fibres trap the particles of dust and dirt when dry and when moistened with water, will also clean grease from a surface without smearing.
The cloths can be washed and reused again and again and can be used on a variety of hard surfaces, with impressive results. They are particularly effective on stainless steel, glass, chrome and plastic and also especially good to use when cleaning appliances.
Microfibre cloths will last for years, if used correctly and maintenance instructions are followed. Most importantly, microfiber cloths should be washed regularly (up to 300 times) in order to perform correctly – simply by putting them in a wash bag and add to the normal laundry on a hot wash. However, don’t use any fabric softner or bleach – the former will remove the static effect necessary for dusting and dry use and the latter will destroy the micro fibres. Alternatively, these cloths can also be cleaned by boiling them in water on the stove. Dry them by hanging up to air dry or tumble drying.
Despite their superior cleaning ability, microfiber cloths are not impregnated with any chemicals and no cleaning products are needed to be used in conjunction with these cloths, unless there is a severe build-up of ingrained dirt. Under normal conditions, microfiber cloths actually produce “a better clean” – the natural positive charge effect when it is dragged across a surface dry ensures that all dust particles stick to the cloth and are removed. And by removing dirt particles so thoroughly, bacteria have less places to grow – so microfibre cloths also improve your home hygiene. This ability to clean with just water makes microfiber cloths one of the most eco-friendly cleaning tools around, as well as being incredibly cost effective: you simply invest in a few cloths for different areas/surfaces around the house and there is no regular expense on cleaning products for different cleaning jobs.