Deep cleaning can be a dirty job. Not only does decluttering create large amounts of rubbish to dispose of, but cleaning products can sully your home in sneaky ways. If you want a cleaner home and a lighter environmental impact, apply these tips to your next deep cleaning.
Know your recycling rules
Don’t throw unwanted stuff away — recycle it. Recycling isn’t limited to what you can put in the curbside bin. These are some other recycling options available to Australians:
● Drop soft plastics, like plastic bags, in your local grocer’s REDcycle bin.
● Recycle large items, like furniture and kitchen appliances, on verge collection days
.● Drop off textiles, like unwearable clothing, at your nearest drop-off hub
.● Use TerraCycle to find recycling programs for miscellaneous items, like cosmetics containers and mailing satchels.
For more information on how to dispose of items around the house, check out Recycle Right’s A-Z of Recycling.
Locate donation centres
If an item still has life in it, reuse is better than recycling. The simplest way to donate is to find a secondhand shop that accepts a wide range of goods. That way, you can donate everything from appliances to clothing in one go. If you’re donating large items or have a lot of stuff, you may be eligible for free pick-up!
Stock up on green cleaning products
Conventional cleaning products may do a good job, but they’re not terribly safe. Many cleaners emit chemicals, known as volatile organic compounds or VOCs, that pollute the air in your home. They’re also dangerous if a child or pet gets a hold of them. You can buy green cleaners at the store, but if you prefer a low-budget solution, making your own is easy. Green Child Magazine has instructions to get you started.
Hiring a carpet cleaning machine sounds like a smart way to save money. However, rental machines not only do a poor job compared to professional carpet cleaners, they’re also more likely to leave chemical residues in your carpet. If clean carpets are important to you, save your time and pay for professional cleaning instead. A carpet cleaning service knows the right amount of detergent to use, and their high-powered machines rinse your carpet thoroughly for a truly deep clean. Of course, professional carpet cleaning isn’t something you want to pay for more often than you have to. Once the deep cleaning is complete, invest in a commercial vacuum. For a similar cost as a residential vacuum, you can buy a machine with far more suction power so your carpets stay cleaner for longer.
Dust hard-to-reach places
Dust works its way into every corner of your home. If you don’t address it, all that built-up dust affects indoor air quality and aggravates asthma and allergies. As you dust your home, clean neglected spaces like crown molding, ceiling fans, and the tops of cabinets. Don’t forget under and behind large appliances like the refrigerator and dryer! Dust in these areas affects your appliances’ functioning and can even create a fire risk.
You constantly have paper coming into your home in the form of junk mail, newspapers, and documents. Rather than letting paper clutter your home, put a stop to it. The Australian Postal Corporation has tips for stopping unwanted junk mail. If you like to keep up with the news, switch your paper delivery to an online subscription. You can also sign up for e-delivery of important documents like bills and banking notices so they go to your email rather than your mailbox (don’t forget to digitise your old documents too!). Not only will you reduce paper consumption, you’ll reduce the odds of losing important paperwork.
Traditional cleaning methods don’t eliminate mess — they merely transfer it. Tossing unwanted items in the garbage gets clutter out of your own home but fills the landfill, and conventional cleaning products eliminate unsightly messes but leave invisible toxins in their place. If a clean home and a clean environment are important to you, these tips will get you on the right track.
Image via Burst