Cleaning gurus are the new queens of social media, with the likes of Sophie ‘Mrs Hinch’ Hinchcliffe inspiring millions of Brits with their gleaming homes.
But with 85,000 blockages a year caused by cleaning wipes and cooking fat – not to mention the environmental impact of chemical-laden cleaning products – experts have warned homeowners to exercise caution before going on a spree.
With the cleaning craze showing no signs of slowing down, drains company Lanes Group are hoping to use the trend to educate people on how to be more eco-friendly.
Here, Michelle Ringland of Lanes Group reveals her top tips advice for keeping a clean home whilst minimising the impact on the environment.
1. Reduce plastic waste
The impact of plastic on the environment has become a trending discussion recently with many retailers seeking alternative materials that can be recycled to store their products.
Michelle suggests minimising your use of single-purpose items to help cut down on plastic waste, in addition to considering if one product can be used to clean every part of the home.
Mrs Hinch is a known fan of soda crystals and bicarbonate of soda, which are more natural alternatives to chemical-laden cleaning products and come in powder form, often in cardboard boxes.
Another hidden plastic danger is the use of toilet blocks, as the plastic cages are often accidentally dropped and flushed down the toilet, creating a blockage either in the home or further down the line.
2. Bin the wipes
In a survey of over 1,000 people conducted by Lanes Group, more than half said they use antibacterial household wipes as part of their cleaning routine.
A shocking 31 per cent of the participants dispose of their wet wipes by flushing them down the toilet, when the reality is that the only safe way to get rid of these products is to use a bin.
The vast majority of disposable wipes contain microplastics in the fibres that do not disintegrate in the same way as toilet paper, meaning they become clogged up and contribute to the growing problem of fatbergs in our sewers.
They also make their way into riverbeds and waterways, harming marine life and creating a costly problem to remove. Even those labelled ‘flushable’ are contributing to the problem.
Michelle recommends we stop using wipes altogether, or at the very least ensuring they are disposed of in the bin.
3. Cut down on chemicals
On average drinking water in the UK is reused three or more time after being treated by utility companies who ensure that it’s fit for consumption.
The more chemicals that are in your wastewater, the more treatment is required to filter the water and make it clean again.
Michelle claims it is therefore in everyone’s best interests to contribute the smallest possible amount of chemicals to the water system.
Widely available eco-friendly brands include Method and Ecover, which can be found in most supermarkets and are non-toxic.
4. Beware corrosion
Flushing through drains is important for avoiding a build up drain unblocker in the U bend of sinks.
Metal household drains are prone to corrosion over time, and harsh chemicals such as those found in unblocking products can be known to speed up this process and create holes within the drainage network.
This can result in leaks or burst pipes and holes that create easy access for vermin and pests to enter the system.
The effects of each chemical will vary, and when different combinations mix this can have unknown consequences, so you should always read the warning labels on different products before using them.
5. Dispose of wastewater correctly
Dirty water collected while cleaning the house through mopping or in the washing-up bowl are best disposed off through the wastewater drain, also known as the foul drain instead of being flushed down a drain.
Pouring dirty water down inside drains can cause blockages and creating lasting damage both inside and out of the home.
Michelle Ringland warns that fat, oil and grease residue from appliances such as ovens and hobs should be disposed of in the bin rather than flushed.
Wrongly disposing of these items can contribute to the growing problem of fatbergs that are clogging up sewers around the UK and are incredibly difficult to remove.
Source: Daily Mail UK