Monday, 8 October 2018

Cleaning Without Chemicals - Reducing My Plastic Footprint

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Cleaning Without Chemicals - Reducing My Plastic Footprint 


Back in August I started my journey into reducing my plastic footprint. I'm commited to making a difference, who isn't after seeing those images on the TV?

I'm not a crusader, more a plodder. I think if I start with the easy stuff, then the trickier bits will just fall into place. So I ditched the plastic wrap (cling film) and it was so much easier than I thought, in fact I prefer the way I store food in my fridge now.

Then I was introduced to Mrs Hinch via her instagram account. For ages I didn't watch her stories, as I hate cleaning. Peer pressure and FOMO, (fear of missing out) made me watch.

Mrs Hinch - The inspiration

I was transfixed. Mrs Hinch cleans a perfectly spotless kitchen!

She names all her cleaning bits and bobs.

She uses so many chemicals. I could feel my breath shorten and my nose tingle just watching her pour copious amounts of cleaning fluid and disinfectants into sinks and toilet bowls.

She cleans her skirting boards with fabric conditioner. I was both fascinated and horrified.

I hate cleaning. I hate artificial scents - perfumed candles, plug in air fresheners and so on. I wouldn't be able to stay in her house due to all the fumes. Some people love it, (over 800k as I write this) but not me.

I did love her sparkling taps, and clean (oh so clean) kitchen, but how could I do this without all those chemicals in so many plastic bottles?

Cleaning Without Chemicals - Is it possible? 


It is possible to reduce the amount of chemicals used, but even "eco friendly" products, such as bicarb and vinegar are chemicals. They are also very messy, and I don't want my house smelling of vinegar. I also want it to be easy, I do not want to be scrubbing and polishing for hours every day.

I bought a set of micro fibre cloths from Amazon, they stated that they cleaned with water alone and removed 99.9% of harmful bacteria.

cleaning-without-chemicals-reducing-my-plastic-footprint-collage-of-microfibre-cloths
A cloth for every surface. Stainless steel; windows; kitchen; bathroom; general purpose; polishing; dusting
The set I bought had a cloth for every surface. Each is labelled clearly and are different colours so they are easy to identify.

Stainless steel
Windows
Kitchen
Bathroom
General purpose
Dusting
Polishing

I couldn't wait to try them out. So kitchen first. I had fried a couple of fish fingers and the glass induction hob was splattered with grease. This would be a test for the kitchen cloth.

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Left; before Right; after - all lovely and clean and shiny

It wiped it off with just water, and no streaks. I then gave it a little polish with the blue polishing cloth. It sparkled. I would usually use Method Spray to clean this. It degreases and leaves a lovely shine, but something this bad would need a few goes.

I was impressed so I cleaned the work tops - and the gloss cupboards. All shining and clean with just water.

I then tried the stainless steel cloth to clean my toaster and kettle. a quick polish and they sparkled. I was loving this. Just water, no effort. That's my sort of cleaning.


shiny-gloss-kitchen-unit-door

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You can see my reflection in the kettle! Very impressed

Upstairs I wiped and polished the sink and taps, the shower door and my bedside unit. I washed the windows. Everything sparkled.

shiny-sink-and-taps


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I couldn't bring myself to wipe the toilet with the cloth so used my usual disposable wipes.

I DO NOT put them down the toilet.

I DO NOT buy "flushable" wipes.

NO WIPES ARE FLUSHABLE - ignore the labels, they are blocking our sewers.

white-toilet-with-seat-down

I will change the way I clean the toilet, in time. I still use bleach or lime scale remover (not together as mixed they can give off dangerous fumes).


I use a swishy mop for my hard floors. I have laminate and wood. I also use floor wipes. I tried using an old microfibre cloth and it worked just as well, although it is slightly wetter so care needs to be taken.

I have textured vinyl in the kitchen and it is a pain to clean so I use Flash liquid in a Vax floor cleaner but have read apple cider vinegar is really good for cleaning floors so may try that.

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Microfibre cloths are not without their own issues. The are causing problems due to the fibres released when they are washed. In fact all synthetic fabrics lose fibres in this way especially the clothes we wear. Micro fibre cloths usually just need to be rinsed and air dried, and then the loss of fibres is greatly reduced.

I am on a journey, one step at a time. I think that every bit I do is a positive, rather than looking at all the bits I haven't done yet. So, onward with my miracle micro fibre cloths.

I haven't used any sprays for two weeks, everything looks clean and shiny. I am still using wipes for the toilet - I have a few packets left. I will eventually reduce their use too, I will take you on that journey too.

Tips For Cleaning Without Chemicals 


1. Declutter

It doesn't matter how you clean, if you want to make it easier then declutter first. I am doing this slowly, one bit at a time.

2. You do not need special microfibre wipes for every surface but having them colour coded is really useful.

3. Buy lots of the polishing cloths, once they get damp they do not polish as well.

4. Be prepared to get addicted, you will be wiping and polishing everything as it looks so good.


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Dave!

I haven't tried the duster that came in my set, it is claimed that microfibre has a negative charge so picks up dust easily.

I haven't used the microfibre duster as I have Dave haha!

I have had this duster for years and years. I have never named it but use it all the time. Mrs Hinch calls hers Dave, who am I to argue? #hincharmy

If you have any tips for cleaning without chemicals please leave them in the comments below.

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2 comments

  1. Oh wow!! I saw these cloths in tk maxx yesterday and was tempted but thought they sounded too good to be true, how wrong was I!!? Thanks for setting me straight

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  2. I use these too, they’re brilliant. I hate using chemicals too and avoid where I can. Also never seen the Mrs hunch videos but they really don’t sound like my kind of thing anyway haha!

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