Child-Friendly Cleaning Advice and Tips for Eco-Friendly Parents

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Cleaning the house is one of those things that just makes you want to pull your hair out!

I know first hand as a mother who works full time and always has about a million and one things to do in the short time that I actually spend at home of an evening!

One thing that has really helped me is getting Olivia involved, even with only tidying up her toys, it allows me to do a daily run around with the hoover and just get a bit done!

Chrissy has put together some more tips to help busy parents with their cleaning schedules, and, not only that, but also tips on how to make your cleaning eco-friendly! I know I for one am particularly terrible at needing cleaning products that probably are quite harmful (honestly, if it smells like lemon, it’s probably in my kitchen somewhere!), so I am especially glad to read these tips for a clean and safe home!

While they might make your home smell like a fresh meadow, cleaning products have actually been shown to be as bad for your lungs as smoking 20 cigarettes a day. Not only are these types of products incredibly dangerous for the health of your family, but they can also be harmful to the environment as they contain dangerous chemicals that spray out into the local air. While this all might sound a little overwhelming, there are actually really easy and cheap ways to give your home a deep clean that won’t cause harm to your family or the rest of your household. 

Keep it Simple

As a parent, especially to a newborn baby or even a toddler, you might fall prey to the age-old desire of wanting to sterilise your entire home to keep them safe. While this is a normal feeling, you’ll actually want to remember one thing: keep it simple. Just as nutritionists recommend eating food with the most simple ingredients possible, experts recommend the same for cleaning products. The same study that revealed just how dangerous cleaning products are also noted that microfibre cloths and water are usually sufficient enough to do the trick. 

DIY All-Natural Cleaning Products

If you need a little more help than mere hot water is providing you with, try lemons. Lemon juice, water, and a little vinegar mixed together are actually enough to lift grease, dissolve any dirt and grime on appliances and even disinfect the surfaces of your home. Vinegar can also help clean certain floors, leather sofas, and even wine glasses. To create an all-purpose cleaner that’s safe on the environment but also smells great and won’t affect your allergies, you’ll want to combine equal parts water and vinegar and add about 20 drops of your favourite essential oil. Shake, spray and enjoy the aroma while also enjoying keeping your air fresh and clean.

    

Pinterest has some amazing DIY cleaning products that are all natural and homemade (and, of course, much better for the environment)! Some of our favourites are these…

Make Cleaning Fun

You’ll be able to reduce the amount of time and products spent cleaning your home if you can clean periodically throughout the week. Waiting until enough dirt, dust, and grime have built up so that it becomes noticeable will require you to use more product to get it off your floors, walls, and appliances. To avoid this, try to make cleaning fun. Set aside about ten to fifteen minutes a day to turn up the music inside your house, take off your shoes, and let the kids run crazy. The catch here is that they can run around, dance and sing at the top of their lungs during this time period, but only if they’re cleaning. If you have especially competitive children, this works great as a game, too. Challenge them to see who can clean the most every day and watch how they take to cleaning as if it’s actually something fun.

A Clean Home Makes a Happy Mum

By making a few simple changes and ensuring you’re always practicing child-safe cleaning, you’ll find that your home is cleaner and your family is healthier. This will result in a very happy mum that can rest assured knowing she’s taking care of her home and family in the best way possible.

If you liked this you may enjoy reading…

My Menstrual Cup Changed My Life

I got my first period when I was 12 and was perpetually embarrassed by periods for the next ten years. Ten whole years of negative feeling towards my body just doing its thing, like they do. The idea of a menstrual cup came up when I was around the same age, maybe 13 or so. 

The brand that was mentioned was a Mooncup – and I kid you not, until I was 22 years old I thought they were exclusively for menstruating astronauts because you can’t change used tampons or pads in space. I also thought they were a medical device that was left in there for the duration of the period because… well… Space.
Needless to say, I was VERY wrong. Now I wish I had spent more than 3 seconds thinking this over as a teenager and actually done some research. 
After deciding to use cloth nappies, a fairly natural progression from there is the use of cloth sanitary pads and other reusable menstrual products. I had seen other cloth nappy users mention “CSP” and “RUMPs” and one night, pinned under my barely-sleeping infant, I delved into the internet. 
I discovered Precious Stars Pads on YouTube and saw this young woman – much younger than me    with such a level head on her shoulders. There she was, 15, 16, 17 years old merrily talking about her periods on the internet for everyone to see. After a bit of a binge watch I mostly felt silly for ever being embarrassed about my periods. I felt inspired to make my own cloth pads and I knew when my periods came back from their post-baby hiatus I would be investing in a menstrual cup. 
Then the day came. First period back after having a baby. It was a flood, as if the gates of hell had opened or something equally horrific. I was bleeding through a ‘super’ tampon and a pad in an hour several times a day for several days before it calmed down. I ran out of clean trousers and ended up housebound for the rest of the week. My periods were always on the heavy side but this was next level.

That was the final straw. 

I ordered a Fleur Cup multi pack (1x small and 1x large) and the next month I took on the world. I used the small at first because I was a little intimidated but it was a little uncomfortable. The large, on the other hand, is very possibly perfect for me*. It holds around 2.5x the amount of fluid as a ‘super’ tampon so even on the heaviest days I was getting a good couple of hours between changes.
What a gained from using the cup was mostly my freedom, I wasn’t housebound on my heavier days and I was able to sleep comfortably at night without an itchy plastic pad bothering me (and not even catching the blood like it’s supposed to). I am not producing as much plastic waste and, financially, I have already started saving money. The cups were £16 for the pair and I have been using one for almost 2 years, in which time I would have spent £75 or more on disposable sanitary products.

But it’s more than that :

  • It has given me a confidence in talking about my body. I have literally sat in the pub and spoken to a group of men about my periods and shown them the cloth pads that were in my bag without even a single second of shame. 
  • It has alerted me to the cost of periods and the extent of period poverty, I hadn’t even realised some of the things that women and young girls go through when they are menstruating.
  • It has stopped me from dreading my periods. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I look forward to bleeding heavily for a week at a time but I don’t fear it anymore. I don’t cry when it comes anymore. I just pop my cup in and go about my business. 
People have called me dramatic for saying it changed my life but when you think that (usually) a quarter of your life from around 13 to 45 years old is spent menstruating it doesn’t seem all that dramatic after all. 

Picture series demonstrating the half diamond menstrual cup fold
Half Diamond Fold for inserting a cup

*I am often asked for recommendations for cups but that is a very personal thing, we are all very different shapes and sizes and some of us are more active or have a
stronger pelvic floor – these things all make a difference so I would recommend using the Put A Cup In It quiz to find out what cup is likely to suit you


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ENDED:#RNW2018 – Reusable Nappy Giveaway!

***WINNER ANNOUNCED IN THE COMPETITION WIDGET***


Reusable Nappy Week happens every year and is a great time to get into cloth – not just because the warmer weather means quicker drying times. The popularity of reusable nappies is soaring (yay!) and during RNW each year there are special discounts with so many retailers and competitions for prizes of all sizes. If you’ve been thinking about trying cloth now is the time to give it a go!

We have teamed up with Ashford Cloth Nappy Library this Reusable Nappy Week to bring you the opportunity to win a large (9-12kg) Bambino Miosoft cloth nappy cover and two prefold nappies to use inside it. Please note, this competition is for UK entrants only.

 
#RNW2018 Prize - White hook and loop fastening Nappy Cover

If you want to try cloth and don’t know where to start, find your nearest nappy library here.

 
We would love for you to share but it is not a requirement to enter the competition. 

ENTRIES FROM OUTSIDE THE UK WILL NOT BE COUNTED.
Winner to be announced on Tuesday 1st May 2018.

#RNW2018 GIVEAWAY!https://js.gleam.io/e.js

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