With a little bit of planning and some elbow grease, you will be able to clean your home without purchasing toxic cleaners or wasting water. Here are three green cleaning tips that you can use to keep your home spotless and fresh.

Minimize Water Waste

Many homeowners don’t realize just how much water they use every year, and quite a bit of that water could be going toward cleaning projects. According to Water Footprint Calculator, simply using the dishwasher and washing machine a few times a week could use up thousands of gallons of water per year. In order to conserve water, you should consider switching over to high-efficiency appliances. Upgrading to newer appliances is one of the easiest and most effective ways to improve the efficiency of your home. You should think about replacing all of your faucets and showerheads with low-flow products as well. Low-flow faucets use a fraction of the water, and many of them can still produce quite a bit of pressure.

Replace Harmful Cleaners

It is an unfortunate fact that many household cleaning products contain extremely harmful ingredients. In addition to hurting the environment, some of those products could also be dangerous to your family. That is why many eco-friendly homeowners make their own natural cleaning supplies with non-toxic ingredients like white vinegar, baking soda, and various essential oils.

According to doTERRA, citrus essential oils like lemon, grapefruit, and orange are able to boost your mood and energy while you clean and eradicate unwanted odors in your home. Some essential oils also deter invasive pests such as rats, mice, termites, flies, and bed bugs. You can easily make your own general-purpose cleaner with white vinegar, some warm water, and a few drops of your favorite essential oil.

Ditch the Disposable Cleaning Products

It might be tempting to use paper towels and other single-use products while you are cleaning, but you should try to steer clear of those items at all costs. Reusable towels are a much better option for cleaning, and they can easily be tossed in the washing machine when you are done. Some of the other single-use products that you should consider getting rid of include paper plates, paper cups, and plastic cutlery. Even if you recycle most of those products, the Renewable Resources Coalition states that the recycling process isn’t completely efficient, and quite a bit of the material will never be reused.

While it might be tempting to use harsh chemical cleaners and single-use products, those items are terrible for the environment. When it comes to protecting the world around you, a few simple changes to your cleaning habits could make a huge difference.

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This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.