Go Green With a Fall Clean

As the weather starts to cool down and it’s finally time to give the AC a break, many revel in the idea of opening up the windows and letting the fresh air waft through their home. Unfortunately, fresh air also brings with it dirt and dust. Everybody feels the pull to do a thorough cleaning job during the spring, but why not use fall as an excuse to give the home a new interior shine?
In this day and age with so many environmentally friendly options available, there is no reason not to make your fall clean green. Not sure where to start? Here are some tips.

1. Buy green cleaning products. Green is no longer a fad, and almost every store has alternative options for all of your cleaning products. However, read each label carefully, because many products will claim to be green when in truth it is just a marketing ploy. Don’t be fooled by fancy bottles, read the label and look at the ingredients and take note of certifications. It’s always a good sign when the bottle is recycled, and a Green Seal approval is a reliable source.

2. Carefully dispose of your old cleaning products. Now that you have new green-friendly products for the task at hand, be sure to properly dispose of your old cleaning products. Some items are OK to go down the drain, but others need more attention. Visit www.epa.state.il.us for information on where you can dispose of your cleaning products, or call them at (217) 785-860 to see if there is a Household Hazardous Waste Event scheduled for the North Shore any time soon. You can also take a short drive to the Household Chemicals and Computer Recycling Facility on Goose Island any time during the year. Some specific items that you will need to save for collection are drain cleaner, furniture polish, oven cleaner, and metal cleaner.

3. Avoid paper products and use a rag. It is tempting to reach for a paper towel every time you want to clean a counter or other surface, but a better idea is to use a dishtowel or sponge. If it’s a dirtier job, then use an old rag that you can dispose of. Remember that shirt from college shoved into a drawer that you’re never going to wear again? Tear it apart and use it to avoid going the paper route.

4. Use a bucket, but don’t fill it all the way up. When you’re running from room to room, don’t waste water by leaving every faucet you encounter running. Instead, fill a bucket with water and carry it around with you. No need to waste water by filling the bucket to the rim (not to mention that’ll get heavy!), just fill it up enough for you to get the job done.

5. Use natural air fresheners. No time to clean but you want your home to smell fresh? Avoid purchasing store-bought air fresheners filled with chemicals and use a natural solution instead. Try fresh flowers from your garden or lighting an eco-friendly candle to create pleasing aromas without harming the environment or affecting the indoor air quality of your home.

6. Hire a green cleaning service. Let’s be honest, not many people really enjoy cleaning their home in the spring or the fall. If you’d rather hire a service, there are plenty of green-friendly solutions available in Wilmette, Winnetka and the rest of the North Shore. For example, both Eco Clean North Shore and Kulas Maids offer a green-friendly house cleaning experience.

By Zipporah Porton