Spring has arrived and we couldn't be more excited (fingers crossed no more storms), it's the time to roll up your sleeves and give your home some much needed TLC. We sit down with eco cleaning expert Angelika Davenport, founder of TINCTURE, for her top tips for an stress-free spring clean.
"A clean home is a healthy home, and everyday products play an important part in keeping good standards of cleanliness and hygiene. I am passionate about reducing our daily use and exposure to chemical based homecare products as they not only have a damaging effect to our environment, but, moreover, they have a huge impact on the health of our families. Poor indoor air quality and the release of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) has been linked to respiratory conditions, dermatological problems, endocrine disruptors as well as affecting our mental health.
Here are my top five, simple, spring-cleaning tips that will keep your homes clean and healthy and help to minimise the effects of poor indoor air quality."
"This is an absolute must! I regularly open all the windows to let in fresh air (even in the city!) for cross ventilation as the air indoors is on average 2- 5x times more polluted than directly outside, due to all the VOCs released into the air through our daily actions such as cooking, and cleaning. This is especially important when using any sort of chemically loaded cleaning and other home care products such as: room sprays, diffusers, candles, plug ins etc."
MINIMAL DISINFECTANT USE
"Whilst the use of strong disinfectants, such as bleach, in certain circumstances can be life-saving, I do not believe that we should be using them daily in our homes to try and create sterile environments. We need to keep our immune systems healthy and resilient and the over-use of chemicals is proven to have an adverse effect on our health. Instead, we should be embracing the powerful substances that nature has to offer us “plant wisdom” and recognise that good bacteria are part of a balanced environment.
As we know, bacteria can adapt and become resistant against chemicals, which has triggered in the past the development of so called superbugs, especially in hospitals. Personally, I believe we should use products derived from real plants, namely botanical extracts, plant actives and powerful natural essential oils. It is well known that essential oils protect plants from infection, temperature variations, damage and pests. It is these properties we have harnessed in our range of 100% natural home cleaners to create a healthy home. I believe nothing is more powerful and resourceful than nature itself!"
BRING NATURE INTO YOUR HOME
"I absolutely love nature and all things green. Choosing a couple of beautiful indoor plants not only adds to the aesthetics of our homes, but more importantly some plants have been scientifically proven to help reduce the presence of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) by as much as 100%! The Nephrolepis obliterate fern has been shown to effectively remove formaldehyde from the polluted air by 90 – 100%. Another favourite of mine, the Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum) has also been shown to have high formaldehyde removal capabilities. Bringing these houseplants into our living spaces helps oxygenate our homes and improves the indoor air that we breathe."
RINSE AND POUR
"If you still prefer to use chemically based cleaning products then we have two important tips to reduce your exposure to the VOCs they leave on your surfaces and in the air:
- Do not spray them, instead open them and pour a little on the surface
- After cleaning, always rinse/wipe the surfaces just cleaned with some water as this will decrease the residual presence of chemicals."
LITTLE AND OFTEN
"We all lead busy lives and for most of us the last thing we want to do is to spend our precious hours cleaning! I find that doing a small amount of cleaning each day keeps the house fresh – I also find the simple tasks of “tidying” hugely therapeutic! I will tidy and wipe down the bathroom surfaces daily, the kitchen work tops are cleaned and tidied as and when we cook, so I will always have a bottle of all purpose on the side. I try and do the kitchen floor every other day as with four kids and two dogs it tends to need it… the daily floor is my “rescue bottle” as I just “spray and wipe”! as and when little accidents happen… and they happen often in our household!"