March Challenge: Sustainable spring cleaning - we'll show you how it's done

Did you know that cleaners are significantly more likely to die than office workers? This is due to the negative effects of substances from cleaning products on the lungs, which are comparable even to heavy smoking.

Around 220,000 tons of household cleaners and around 260,000 tons of washing-up liquid are sold in Germany every year. These products are part of our daily routine, which is why their impact on the environment and health is often underestimated.

Many conventional cleaning agents are harmful to the environment, unhealthy or even toxic. They usually contain surfactants and synthetic fragrances, colorings or preservatives. These environmentally harmful substances get into the sewage system and thus harm the environment. However, aggressive cleaning agents also have negative effects on our health: the synthetic ingredients often dry out the skin and mucous membranes, which can make them more susceptible to allergies and rashes. Many cleaning agents are harmful even in small amounts if they come into direct contact with the skin, as they attack the skin's natural acid protection.

Sometimes it is enough, quite simply, to clean with a cloth and water. If the dirt is harder, you should use home remedies. These are more environmentally friendly, require less packaging and are less harmful to health.

The classics for cleaning with home remedies are vinegar (essence), citric acid and soda, each diluted with warm water. While soda is helpful against fat, vinegar and citric acid help against limescale. For more stubborn dirt, baking soda and a copper cloth are recommended instead of aggressive chemical cleaners. Did you know that you can wash your clothes with chestnuts? This is how it works: Chop up about 8 horse chestnuts with a knife and put them in a container with 300ml of water. Let it soak, preferably just overnight. This is how the contained saponins dissolve, which form foam with water and are washing-active. Now all you have to do is pour the liquid through a sieve into the detergent compartment - you can enjoy clean laundry - without any plastic! This also works with ivy, by the way. To do this, simply replace the 8 chestnuts with a handful of ivy leaves.

Instead of using paper towels for cleaning, use reusable cloth towels. You can simply wash these over and over again. And: If you have old, torn (cotton) t-shirts or sheets, don't throw them away! Cut them to size and then you can use them for cleaning. This is not only sustainable - you even save some money.

This is our March Challenge! Will you be resorting to alternative cleaning supplies for this year's spring cleaning? And do you know any other natural all-purpose products for house cleaning? Let us know!

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