Greening the cleaning

Here’s how (and why) we keep our cleaning as green as we can, and with as few chemicals as possible getting into Devon’s streams and rivers.
It’s time to buy some more cleaner. To be honest I can’t remember when I last bought any, and that’s with 5 houses to clean.

We generally use Ecover because of it’s claim to break down fast in aquatic environments. And that’s what it’s about. All those chemicals end up going down the drain. Even here, where we’re on private drainage, anything that goes down the sink eventually ends up in ditches and then streams and rivers.

Up to half the water in some UK rivers is effluent from waste water treatment plants – ie it’s already been round the system at least once. And it carries with it countless tiny chemical traces that add up to a cocktail that can disrupt fish hormone systems and may even now be affecting human male fertility (here’s a link to more about that research).

So we try to keep them out in the first place!

It sounds, and is, really obvious. But it’s good for the environment and cuts costs too.

So here are our top tips (shh, don’t tell the cleaning company marketing department):

Ignore all that ridiculous advertising trying to persuade you that dousing your home with ‘antibacterial’ cleaners will keep you healthy. It won’t. And not all bacteria are bad anyway – about 1000 different species probably live on your own skin! We do use it on toilet seats and flush handles between bookings, but no-where else.

Obviously you’ve got to do some cleaning… So put the cleaner on the cloth not the thing you’re cleaning – you’ll find you use so much less.

And have two cloths – one to get soapy and one to rinse off. Otherwise you’re always rinsing those expensive cleaners down the sink, then spraying on more.

That’s it really, other than to resist the seductive call of all that packaging. We only use one multipurpose cleaner rather than lots of different products with their additional packagaing and distribution costs.

It works for us, clean accommodation is the most important thing our holiday makers look for. But it doesn’t have to cost the Earth.