*featuring some gifted products. I have been testing out many conscious cleaning products, I have only mentioned the ones that I recommend. Some of which I have purchased myself, not everything is gifted.
I originally intended in writing this conscious cleaning blog post to only style and recommend eco cleaning products. Which will be part of it but considering the subject matter is not furniture related, I felt like I owed more of an explanation to why I’m talking about conscious cleaning. Or maybe my house is just filthy and that’s why I’m trying to find kinder cleaning products….
As I am on social media a lot I have noticed there is a huge trend towards natural/non-toxic cleaning products and materials especially those with beautifully designed packaging (great!). They caught my eye, especially if the packaging was minimal. So I wanted to test some of them out.
My usual over thinking got me to these thoughts. How the hell has cleaning products got onto my Instagram feed, why do I want them? are they actually eco? Where can I buy them? I need them…
a stylish way to address an environmental crisis?
Yes, most of us are aware that the world is burning up far too fast and it’s all a little frightening. Sir David Attenborough put it perfectly
“We have a responsibility, every one of us… we may think we live a long way from the oceans, but we don’t. What we actually do here, and in the middle of Asia and wherever, has a direct effect on the oceans – and what the oceans do then reflects back on us.” – Attenborough Launch of Blue Planet II, 2017.
My interior design platform may not the correct place to raise these issues. But I believe in people power, we all need to speak up to create change. Hell, have you heard of Greta Thunberg?! The 16 year old environmental activist has shook the world with her protests and talks. They have been seen by millions, either outside fighting for climate justice or online where she eloquently presents her views. Most famously speaking at The World Economic Forum UN climate conference and TEDex. She unapologetically slams generations older than her for being completely irresponsible in safeguarding the environment and the lives of future generations. Watch her talk and take in her words, she’s pretty awesome and inspiring.
It’s quite clear that our output is way more than this world can cope with. But we have been far too ignorant to deal with it. So let’s buck our ideas up. Mostly the large corporations and industrial manufacturing and meat farms need to do change. But like Attenborough says “we have a responsibility, everyone of us“.
For now let’s keep within the subject of home.
Conscious cleaning and cleaning with style
Seen as spring has sprung it’s only fitting that I talk about cleaning! Oh the joys…..
I’ve recently found that there’s a cleanfluencer world out there. Yep, Cleanfluencers are a thing. I guess they say that there’s a group for everyone online and cleaners are it! ‘she says with worry in her voice’
There are instagram accounts dedicated to cleaning with follower numbers of 112,000 up to a whopping 2,000,000. I mean that’s crazy and slightly concerning in my eyes.
I hope the ‘Cleanfluencers’ out there look into the chemicals they are sharing online. Just think about the impact that 2 million followers could have on the environment. Now imagine all of them using damaging chemicals promoted by that one popular influencer. It fills me with worry, especially when I read this line “it’s starting to look like bleach is the new black.” quoted from a Guardian article .
Though it could be seen as a community of like minded people with the love for cleaning, it’s possible. There’s also research to suggest a link between anxiety disorders and the ritual of cleaning. And there’s a whole lot of anxiety around social media too. So in building up an instagram community could be beneficial for mental health. I’m leaning towards most of these accounts are people that just like cleaning OR the result of a super clean house.
So I’ve touched on some important points which has led me to this post. And yes I am aware that there’s patriarchal role here, me being female, talking about cleaning. Which makes me very uncomfortable. However I can’t ignore that I use cleaning products.
back to stylish, guilt free cleaning products
Hannah Bullivant’s blog post on making her own cleaning products made me feel hopeful. ‘Whaaat you can make your own?!’ Her back to basics approach shows that we needn’t be pressured into purchasing toxic bottles of antibacterial spray. It’s pretty simple, Hannah’s Homemade cleaning recipes are, cheap, free from unnatural chemicals and easy to make. They sound amazing.
If making your own cleaning products is not your thing then I’ve looked into and tested cleaning products that are safe to use and quite stylish too. Because let’s face it, there’s got to be some joy in cleaning. If the bottles and cloths look nice (and can be safely recycled) then it’s a bonus.
from top left; Traditional Danish woven Linen cloths by Karin Carlander | Universal cleaner by Humdakin | Scrubbing brush by Blindes Arbejde | Organic cotton Stripes towel designed by All the way to Paris for Skagerak | Organic cotton knitted cloth by Humdakin | Wash/dish cloth by The Organic Cotton Company | 100% biodegradable cotton cellulose blend dish cloths from Arket | Iris Hantverk dust pan set available at Arket | Soap nuts from Care by Me
…..tried and tested
I haven’t always had eco cleaning on my mind. To be honest I’ve quite been quite lazy, not all of the time but more often than not. Buying the quick, easy and cheap option, which probably included harsh chemicals.
However to move ahead and practice what I preach, I’ve put this into action. It’s been a year since I’ve used cling film or any sponges made from synthetic materials (those green scourers are so bad!).
Instead I’ve opted to use natural plastic free scrubbing brushes and natural fibre scourers and re-washable cleaning cloths. The cleaning products I have added to my cleaning routine are free of parabens, dyes, chemical perfumes, endocrine disrupting substances and carcinogens.
What I am currently using at home and testing (some of which have been gifted for me to test drive) ;
Cleaning cloths ; Organic cotton company, Karin Carlander linen, Humdakin . I’ve used the Organic cotton company cloths now for over a year and they wash really well. I’m looking forward to seeing how the linen and knitted cloths compare.
Cleaners ; Humdakin universal cleaner, soap nuts, Humdakin dish soap . To be honest I’ve not found an eco replacement for everything yet But the daily cleaners and laundry have all been swapped for these options. And the soap nuts will be a fun experiment.
Food for cleaning ; Lemons, limes, vinegar, Bicarbonate of Soda. I always give my Corian kitchen work top a good rub with a lemon and put vinegar around the tap. It scrubs up brilliantly.
As someone that is considered an influencer, writer and stylist, I’ve made it my mission to take a greater responsibility in all products I promote. This includes a focus on products made to last, materials chosen and thoughtful design choices. I can’t say all of my choices have been perfect and I’m sure I’ll make mistakes but I aim to do the best I can with deep consideration. And it just so happens that today I’m talking about cleaning.
What I have used I absolutely love. My handmade brushes, all of them feel special especially those made by Denmark’s Blind Association ( all of the ones I have are purchased by me). I’m so impressed with the Humdakin universal cleaner and I feel a sense of satisfaction when I rewash all of my organic cloths. Cleaning has become a little more stylish, enjoyable and guilt free.
I’ll continue my research on conscious cleaning products while trying not to be persuaded by the cleaners of instagram. Tell me what stylish eco cleaning products you use…. what are your thoughts?
*gifted products in Conscious cleaning post from Humdakin, Organic cotton company, Karin Carlander.