How to make your spring cleaning green and sustainable

Laura Jackson, founder of homeware emporium Glassette, explores toxin-free ways to clean your home

laura jackson portrait at home london

I would certainly never claim to be a naturally tidy person. I do, however, like things to be clean. It’s a bit of a cliché, but I really do feel that when everything is in order the result is not just a happy house, but a happy mind.

The next natural step for me this spring is to be more careful about the cleaning products I use. Since having children, I’ve been giving the issue some thought, seeking out greener, less toxic options. But, because of those same kids (not to mention the dog!), I need to be sure that any new buys will actually work on dirt and stains.

A while ago, I asked my followers on Instagram to recommend some planet-friendly but effective cleaning products, and I received loads of great answers. I was drawn to Seep’s plastic-free, compostable sponges made from wood pulp, and I like Purdy & Figg’s refillable essential oil-infused multi-surface sprays.

Eco Friendly Geranium Leaf All-purpose Cleaner

I have been eyeing up Daylesford’s low-chemical range too, while Colt & Willow’s plant-based, all-purpose cleaner also impressed me – I bought its ‘Geranium Leaf’ version and it smells absolutely gorgeous. One brand that came up a lot in people’s comments was an ‘eco-effective’ company called Smol. I’ve heard from friends that its dishwashing tablets (which get regularly posted through your letterbox) are excellent.

Eco Sponge With Scourer (4 Pack Of Sponges)

This was all a step in the right direction, but recently I’ve been inspired to take my green-cleaning adventures to the next level. I read an article in the Financial Times by former ELLE Decoration Editor-in-Chief Michelle Ogundehin, where she discussed how she had successfully substituted her normal toxin-heavy cleaning products for some simple, eco-friendly, do-it-yourself essentials. Her words struck a chord.

I started thinking more and more about regaining autonomy over the chemicals I’m introducing into my home by making my own alternatives to my usual products. Galvanised, I went online and ordered some citric acid, which can be used as a limescale buster for everything from taps to kettles, as well as some liquid soap, white wine vinegar and citrus peel that can be combined to make a simple surface cleaning spray.

I’m now saving used bottles to put my own tinctures into – I feel like I’m back at the science lab in school!

Lavender Laundry Liquid 1 Litre

To begin my new regime, I spent about £30 on ingredients. It felt like a lot at the time, but when you think about it as cost per spray, it actually works out cheaper than what I usually buy – so it’s better for the planet and better for the pocket. Plus, having a clean house that doesn’t smell at all like chemicals makes for a nice change.

I’m very much at the beginning of my green-cleaning journey but, so far, it’s all positive. If anyone has any top tips for other swaps I can make, or any ‘recipes’ they want to share with me, please drop me a line on Instagram, as I’d love to add to my new spring-cleaning arsenal. Making these little changes under the sink is only a small step to help the environment, but at least this spring I can feel like I am doing myself, and my home, proud.

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