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7 ways to clean more safely and sustainably in 2024

While the holiday season is marked by excess and abundance, health and wellness are often on our minds come the new year. An often-overlooked element of both of those pillars is a clean home. Not only does a clean home increase the aesthetic appeal of your space, but it also contributes to better physical and psychological well-being, reducing potential allergens and improving air quality while decreasing stress and increasing focus and productivity.

However, the cleaning products you use also play a crucial role in the air quality of your home. Outsourcing your cleaning to the professionals is an undeniable time and effort saver; however, returning to a home cleaned with toxic chemicals can leave you and your loved ones exposed to potential health risks. Plus, conventional cleaning products often also leave a negative environmental footprint, from including non-biodegradable ingredients that adversely affect air and waterways to being packaged in single-use plastics.Fortunately, a few simple cleaning swaps can go a long way towards benefiting both your health and the environment.

Avoid cleaning products with added fragrance

Many conventional cleaning products boast deliciously sweet citrusy and lavender scents. However, a quick glance at the back of the bottle will tell you there’s no real botanical matter present in these formulas, with the scent attributed to synthetic fragrance. The word ‘fragrance’ can house a multitude of ingredients, among them potential endocrine disruptors, allergens, neurotoxins, carcinogens, and respiratory irritants.

Koala Eco formulas are made with plant-based ingredients and essential oils; the latter provide them with their refreshing and invigorating scents — in fact, the peppermint essential oil in many of our surface sprays can work to alleviate headaches. Powered by nature, they’re as (if not more) efficacious as conventional cleaners while being safe to use around every member of your household (including babies and pets).

Steer clear of cleaning products with toxic chemicals

Many conventional cleaning products are laden with hazardous ingredients like ammonia and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as formaldehyde, perchloroethylene, benzene, naphthalene, chlorine, and nitrogen dioxide. These substances are known toxins and contribute to poor indoor air quality; breathing these in can cause or exacerbate headaches, asthma, dizziness, and acute eye, nose, and throat irritation.

Designed for stubborn stains and occasional deep cleaning, our Oxygenated Bleach is an unscented formula made without harsh ingredients like chlorine. Matching the efficacy of conventional bleach without the hazardous side effects, it’s well suited to a new year deep clean, working to eradicate hard water stains, brighten grout lines, and clean bathroom and shower tiles.

Opt for products with non-toxic biodegradable ingredients

The poor air quality and negative health effects caused by the hazardous ingredients in conventional cleaning products extend beyond the home. These ingredients are often not biodegradable and pollute air and waterways, damaging the ecosystem and the living beings within it. An example is alkylphenol ethoxylates – a common surfactant used in cleaning products – which is an endocrine disruptor and is currently threatening aquatic wildlife due to its presence in waterways.

In contrast, our formulas are completely biodegradable and use plant-based ingredients, which are safe for flora and fauna.

Avoid individually packaged cleaning products

Detergent pods are often touted as a fuss-free way to do laundry. However, their convenience comes at a cost, with mainstream detergent pods containing ingredients like phosphate, bleach, formaldehyde, and ammonium sulphate which are detrimental to both your own health, as well as marine life once they enter the waterways. Plus, the pods themselves leach microplastics into the environment, causing harm to plant and animal life.

A safer choice for your family and the environment, our Natural Laundry Liquid is a biodegradable, non-toxic formula that combines the antibacterial properties of botanical essential oils with the stain-removal prowess of enzymes to deep clean your clothing without costing the earth.

Avoid products packaged in virgin plastic

Virgin plastic is manufactured from previously unused materials, taking a large toll on the environment due to its use of non-renewable resources and its non-biodegradable qualities. At Koala Eco, sustainability is key, which is why we work to promote a circular economy. That’s why we have opted to use rPET bottles to house our cleaning and personal care products. Made from recycled and recyclable plastic, rPET bottles make use of existing materials, preventing plastic from entering landfills as well as the further production of virgin plastic. We also provide refills, concentrates and glass options.

Look out for hidden microplastics

While they’re now banned in cosmetics, many laundry detergents and disinfectants contain hidden microplastics which pollute aquatic environments like rivers and oceans when they enter our waterways. Look out for ingredients like polyethylene, polycarbonate, and polypropylene —often used as abrasives in cleaning products.

Fortunately, the entire Koala Eco range is free from microplastics, including our Natural Laundry Detergent and comprehensive range of surface sprays, meaning you can clean in good conscience.

Choose formulas with high concentrations of active ingredients

Many cleaning products tout themselves as ‘all-natural’ and ‘non-toxic’. That might be the case, however it’s also important to ensure they actually contain a high concentration of active ingredients. After all, there’s no point buying cleaning products that don’t actually clean.

Our core home and cleaning range is powered by plant based ingredients pure essential oils. Their highly concentrated nature lets our formulas do the heavy lifting, meaning less time spent cleaning and more time spent enjoying your home.

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