Spring cleaning tips – how to be more green when you clean

Posted by Charlotte Salter, on March 3, 2020.

Freshen up your spring cleaning routine with these eco-friendly cleaning ideas

Getting ready for the big spring clean? The experts at Cleansmart have the lowdown the small changes everyone can make at home to green their cleaning routine.

Fortunately, doing your bit for sustainable cleaning is easy… and it’ll save you money!

When you’re shopping, look for concentrated products that pack lots of washes into small packets or bottles. As well as reducing the amount of packaging per wash, and saving on transport, concentrated products look to minimise the use of ingredients per wash too.

Your really critical contribution comes when you’re actually doing the washing and cleaning.

Whatever the task, the golden rules to think about are:

  • use the correct dose – too much is wasteful, too little could mean poor results, re-washing, increased wear and poor hygiene
  • use low temperatures where possible
  • recycle packaging or use refills
  • Look for the Charter for Sustainable Cleaning logos, which are there to highlight products that have good sustainability profiles and come from manufacturers who are doing their bit.

How can I make sure I use appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines in an eco-friendly way?

  • When buying kitchen appliances, look for ones with an A efficiency rating.
  • To save water and energy, only run the washing machine and dishwasher when full.
  • Did you know? Turning the dial on your washing machine down to 30 degrees can save enough electricity in a year to make 2500 cups of tea!
  • Dry your clothes outside when possible.

Do I need to avoid chemicals or choose a ‘natural’ cleaning product?

People often think that natural products are safer for them and the environment and more sustainable than man-made things, but that’s a misconception. Everything on the planet is made of the same 90-odd chemical elements, so dividing things into “natural” and “chemical” can be seriously misleading.

Man-made often performs better 

Synthetic ingredients frequently have the edge in terms of performance – that’s why they were developed – and performance is vital for sustainability. Some are simply modified versions of natural molecules re-designed to perform better. 

Should I choose a ‘green’ or ‘eco’ brand to clean safely? 

No – you can clean perfectly safely without making special choices. The law requires products to be safe and manufacturers risk assess their products to make sure they will not harm people or the eco-system.

Normal use of products is safe

Unfortunately, some green brands have tried to set themselves apart from other products by suggesting that most other cleaning products on the shelves do cause harm to health and damage the environment when used normally. They also often claim to be better because they avoid the use of various ingredients which they claim shouldn’t be used.

Such suggestions and claims aren’t supported by the scientific evidence. If they were, offending products would be taken off the market.

Looking for more cleaning information? There’s a wealth of information on the UKCPI website, visit our green cleaning section for more details from the experts.

Contact the UKCPI on ukcpi@ukcpi.org or call 07843 199397.