Green cleaning 101: Microfibre

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Having spent my life nursing and being a mum, I've done a hell of a lot of cleaning in my time!

The recent discovery that made my life so much easier is the arrival of the microfibre cloth. They are cheap and easy to buy now and a must for chemical-free cleaning. More hygienic than normal cloths, they can be used to clean without any harsh detergents or chemicals at all. 

These cloths aren't advertised heavily because the cleaning industry is able to make so much more profit from selling industrial strength cleaning chemicals to wage the "war on germs". Our homes don't need these toxic chemicals!

Even in the hospitals I work in, only very mild detergent is used in cleaning, unless there is a patient with a 'superbug'. Only then is the immediate environment cleaned with bleach in a very controlled manner. The cleaners often suffer after years of exposure to harsh chemicals, and find their breathing and skin affected when they use them.

Unlike traditional cloth with relatively thick fibres in a flat weave, these cloths work because they have millions of microscopic fibres which grab the dirt and sweep it away, and then keep it trapped until it is washed away. They have to be washed separately after use, or they won't lose the dirt, and will just collect more in the wash! Follow the instructions on the pack for care. An added bonus is they last forever (almost!).

There are also some great mops made with microfibre, and available in supermarkets. I've been using the same ones for years and would never go back to the heavy old-fashioned bucket-type mop.

HOT TIP: Add a few drops of your favourite essential oil to the mop and the room will smell amazing!

You will need to experiment when you first start to use microfibres, as you will immediately be inclined to flood them with water and detergent, but they usually only need a little water - and no chemicals! So good!

How we use microfibre

  • Dusting
  • Washing up cloths
  • Wiping down the shower and bath after use
  • Cleaning surfaces such as bathroom and kitchen benches
  • Cleaning mirrors and glass- dampen a corner to rub away marks and then use the rest of the cloth to buff
  • Mopping floors

Keep one on hand for each chore, you could even separate them into different colours for different jobs!