7 Things to Look for
in a Cleaning Product
Cleaning products are an essential part of our everyday lives in order to keep our homes clean. But often, we are not strategic in terms of how we buy these very important products. More often than not, we just grab them off the shelf when we see there is a sale, not really thinking about whether they are cost effective in the long run, or if they are good for our family and the environment.
I find this is one of the most important groups of products that we should think about before buying, so I have compiled a list of 7 things to look for when buying cleaning products for your home.
1. Affordable but Effective
We often judge the value of a product by the price we can get it for, thinking the cheaper it is, the better. But we have to consider if the product is actually effective at solving the problem that we need it for. If we are buying cleaning products at the cheapest price tag possible, but it is not effectively doing the job that we need it for, then in the long run we are using more money then we intend. Why? Because we’ll need more of the product to get the job done sufficiently, meaning we need to buy it more frequently, and we may even need additional products to get the result we need, so overall we end up spending more...usually without even realizing it, especially if we are not really keeping track of our budget. Affordability is an important factor to consider, especially with a product that we constantly need to replace, but the price tag alone is not a good way to judge affordability. Keeping a budget to track how much you spend on a product over time, and considering the results you get from using it, are helpful factors to determine a product’s affordability.
Every household needs some form of cleaning products to keep their home clean. Items that we use on a regular basis, we ideally want them to last as long as possible so that we don’t spend a lot of money constantly replacing them. This not only reduces how often we need to shop for them, but it also limits the waste we produce. Imagine having a 1L concentrated cleaning product versus a 1L diluted cleaning product – in terms of packaging, you will go through far more bottles of the diluted product than of a more concentrated product. So using a concentrated product is cost effective, saves you time and reduces the plastic waste that we put in our environment. Look for products that are labelled as concentrated, and/or the amount of loads / washes / uses it can do.
Most households have a cabinet under the kitchen or bathroom sink full of cleaning products, many of which sit there for months or years without being used as they only have one specific purpose. I like to be minimal so I avoid clutter and really focus on each specific product and how I can use it in multiple ways – although it is always still important to consider the type of clean you get from different cleaning products. A kitchen, bathroom, common living spaces and glass all need a slightly different formulation of product to clean them effectively, but having every type of cleaning product possible is wasteful in the long run, and adds clutter in your home. There are many products that can be used effectively for multiple purposes and/or multiple rooms, and I find that the more versatile a cleaning product is, the safer and healthier it generally is for your home as well as the environment. We all lead busy lives, with family, jobs and business to juggle, so why not use products that are versatile enough to take care of multiple areas of your home, from floors to countertops, car seats, office and kids toys, creating more convenience in your life. Look for products that are multi-purpose and effective for multiple surfaces.
4. Tough Stain Fighters that Actually Do the Cleaning
How often have you thrown away an item because it had accumulated stains or dirt that you could not clean? From walls that need to be repainted because of marks and dirt that cannot be wiped clean, to clothes and furniture needing to be thrown away because we could not remove the stains of life’s everyday accidents, all the way to kitchen appliances that are so difficult to clean they become unusable. Using the best, perhaps more expensive, but much tougher and more effective cleaning products will help us save lots of money in the long-run, by preventing us from throwing away items that otherwise could have been saved. It also eliminates things going into our landfills unnecessarily, adding to environmental problems.
5. Environmentally Friendly
We need to find cleaning products that are environmentally conscious in all aspects – from using less packaging to using only recyclable packaging, and being biodegradable so that they don’t end up affecting the natural order of our environment. Since cleaning products are something we use on a regular basis, we need to avoid using non-biodegradable products as much as possible, as the sheer volume of these products being used, all getting into our environmental system, is hugely destructive to the ecosystem we depend on. We also need to consider how the product is manufactured, and if it’s using sustainable resources and processes. Usually these products are certified from environmental agencies, so just look for those labels.
6. Safe and Countable Ingredients
Having a limited list of ingredients in a cleaning product – one that you can count with your fingers – means you can actually determine what you are bringing into your home and exposing to your family. Products with shorter lists of ingredients are generally made from safer ingredients. We also need to find cleaning products that are free of harsh chemicals and are toxin free. This is also much easier to determine if the list of ingredients is short. We need safe and gentle cleaning products that are safe for our home and everyone in the family, including pets and babies, as well as products that are safe for the environment as they drain from our sinks and sewage systems. Find cleaning products that list natural ingredients that you are familiar with.
7. Natural Scent and Allergy Free
A lot of cleaning products – especially those that don’t have safe and natural ingredients – can smell very toxic, and may even release toxic fumes that we inhale into our bodies. These products can be very unhealthy for our families and cause undue stress. Those who are sensitive to strong scents can often find themselves suffering from migraines without knowing why, and others may find their allergies being triggered, and often it comes down to the chemicals in the cleaning products they are using. Look for labels such as naturally scented and allergy free, and eliminate this problem from your home.
Want to know a cleaning product brand I love and use, and has all the things to look for in a cleaning product, you can email me at [email protected]