Love Your Home

Love Your Home

For many people, a simple task like cleaning their home is a health nightmare. Cleaning products or their fumes can cause skin and eye irritations, headaches or more serious ailments.
Bridget Gardner, director of A Fresh Green Clean, has a dream: “That safe cleaning will become the norm.” And she doesn’t mean trashing all the chemical-based cleaners you use and buying a trolley full of environmentally based products to replace them.
When she set up her cleaning business, Bridget was using environmentally friendly chemical products. Then she realised that these products are still manufactured, they involve packaging and they use resources. This realisation, and her own sensitivity to products, both synthetic and naturally based, inspired her to start a cleaning revolution.
Four years of cleaning, research and reflection led Bridget to work out that a whole new approach was needed to really protect people and the environment, and to make our homes really clean.
“Most cleaning products leave a residue. The surface isn’t actually clean so what happens is the dirt becomes attracted to the residue and it actually gets dirtier faster. When I’m cleaning with microfibre I’m actually removing all of the dirt from the surface and it’s amazing how much longer it stays clean.”
Bridget’s journey led her to discover that the best, safest and cheapest cleaning agent we can choose is water. Just water – used in the most efficient way.
“Water is a solvent. It actually dissolves dirt. It’s just that normally we don’t allow time for water to do its work properly. We automatically use a product so we never find out how well water actually cleans.”
According to Bridget, it is how we clean that is the key. We need to allow time for water to clean for us. Wash a really dirty spot with a wet cloth, leave it for a few minutes, then repeat with a damp cloth. It will be clean! It is in those few minutes that the water does its work of dissolving the dirt, with only the tiniest drop of pure soap or vinegar required!
The advent of microfibre technology has enhanced Bridget’s methods even further.
“The lovely thing about microfibre is that when you are cleaning you are not squirting from a distance, you are actually wiping the surface and touching the surface. You have this sense of ownership over your own house.”
What about the grimy nooks in the shower recess or the back of the oven after a roast? Bridget suggests giving the strong chemical-based products a miss for these tough jobs.
“Most dirt that I have to clean comes off with just microfibre and water, however, if you get really dirty surfaces, such as a shower base, then I have to add my own creamy cleanser, which I make up from bicarbonate of soda and I mix that with pure Castile liquid soap, which is made from vegetable oil and you’ll buy it in health food shops. So I make that into a paste and I add that to the microfibre and that takes off nearly everything.”
Bridget suggests that a few mid-priced microfibre cloths, some bicarbonate of soda, and liquid Castile soap should be all you need in your cleaning bucket – and perhaps a recycled toothbrush for those hard-to-get-to spots.
See Bridget’s website http://www.freshgreenclean.com.au for other refreshing tips. Her chemical-free cleaning approach encourages people to love and care for their homes.
“Sometimes the way that I clean means that I have to scrub much more than if I was using a toxic chemical but I’m loving my home when I’m cleaning it. I’m caring for it, and nurturing it and the environment. So, for me, I just want to choose the safest and the most natural methods possible.”