Cleaning is an essential part of our daily routines. Most people find bliss in a clean and organized space. In fact, studies show cleaning can positively impact our mental health.
But what happens when our fast-paced lives are leaving less and less time for us to clean? Somehow, the average person still spends up to 6 hours a week cleaning their home. How? By spot cleaning.
In this blog, we’re exploring this trend and how information, innovation, and climate awareness are helping us spot clean more sustainably.
What's Spot Cleaning?
If you've never spent 6 hours cleaning in your life, chances are you like to spot clean, also known as speed cleaning.
Just like the practice of cleaning a stain before it sets, spot cleaning means focusing on cleaning parts of and not your entire home. This could be the kitchen, the bathroom, or even a smaller area like only the bathtub or counters. You don't need much to spot clean. It’s quick, efficient, and convenient.
But spot cleaning has some downsides too. It prioritizes convenience, making disposable wipes and single-use cleaning products appealing for those with little time. And since most wipes have plastic in them, they’re a growing source of plastic pollution. So much so that the UK is planning to ban them along with stirrers, straws, and cotton buds by 2042.
What's Deep Cleaning?
If you have a special playlist for cleaning, it's safe to say you love to deep clean. Deep cleaning means just that, a thorough clean of all your spaces. This usually includes getting into every nook and cranny of your home with special cleaners.
In the past, deep cleaning meant carefully disinfecting every inch of your home. In recent years, more information about the toxic ingredients in cleaning products has led to a greater understanding of their effects. Now we know more about how these ingredients in our home environment can impact our health—and the health of our environment. This has led to some positive changes in the way we clean.
What's Driving the Shift?
Given how pressed we are for time, convenience is a top priority for most households. Even if you enjoy a deep clean, there's a good chance you spend more time spot cleaning nowadays.
And whether you're looking for easy ways to speed clean or prefer taking your time, more and more people are choosing healthier cleaning options. Not only can cleaning products hurt our gut health, but they can also disrupt our hormones.
Fueled by clean eating and clean beauty, households are adopting a more holistic approach to cleaning. The result is a mindful cleaning movement that promotes a cleaner way of cleaning that supports our microbiome and the planet's ecosystems.
How to Spot Clean Sustainably
At Sqwishful, we love finding ways to improve our cleaning routines. After all, sustainable living starts with the everyday rituals that make up our days. And like everyone else, we love convenient products that care for the planet and its people.
If you’re all about spot cleaning and having a clean planet, here’s how you can do both while mindfully elevating your cleaning routines and rituals.
Swap your disposable wipes.
Did you know disposable wipes are made of plastic? After you’re done with them, they’ll sit in a landfill for years to come. Or form "islands" that impact waterways after being flushed that harm human health and marine life.
Instead of using plastic, chemical-heavy wipes, reach for a natural, quick-drying sponge or reusable cloth to clean your surfaces. A single sponge can outlast thirty paper towel rolls. A small change with a big impact.
Use natural multipurpose cleaning products.
Non-toxic cleaning products are a healthy obsession. There are plenty of good reasons why.
Chemical cleaners not only harm the environment—they also impact our health. And you guessed it, not in a good way. Many of the chemicals used in common household cleaners are hormone disruptors. They’re also known to cause asthma and even cancer.
The good news is more cleaning products are free of harsh chemicals now more than ever. Making it easier to replace toxic, disposable, and polluting cleaners with natural, healthier, cleaner ways to clean.
Many brands are going the extra mile by creating cleaning products that make a difference. We also love making all-purpose cleaners at home that not only clean everywhere but are free of all the bad stuff.
Rely on refillable + reusable.
Disposable wipes are not the only things making a mess of our environment. Most cleaning products are packaged in plastic that can't be recycled. And to make matters worse, plastic films often contain BPA—a hormone-disrupting chemical you don’t want in your home.
To stop the cleaning industry from making a bigger mess, choose products you can refill and reuse to help tackle plastic pollution. And just as natural cleaning options are becoming more available—so are reusable and refillable products.
Instead of buying laundry detergent in big, bulky plastic bottles and disposable dryer sheets, we love detergent sheets and laundry dryer balls.
But if you can’t find a good refillable or reusable option, look for packaging that can be easily composted.
As more and more of us choose spot cleaning as our go-to way to clean our spaces, we believe in a future where cleaning more often doesn't have to make more of a mess.
Nearly half of US consumers feel that brands should use natural ingredients. While 67% say that limiting plastic pollution is a household care priority. Call us Sqwishful. But we think the trend towards natural and environmentally friendly cleaning is here to stay.
Sustainable spot cleaning in ways that benefit us, our health, and the health of our planet is possible. As is a future where cleaning our homes preserves clean communities, waterways, lands, and air. For a kinder future, reach for plant-powered and plastic-free cleaning products the next time you spot clean.
The Relationship Between Mental Health and Cleaning by Sherri Gordon, 2021
Survey Results: Americans Spend Nearly Six Hours Each Week Cleaning But Wonder, Is It Enough?, Business Wire, 2018
Why the U.K. Is Eyeing a Ban on Wet Wipes, CBS News, 2018
8 Hidden Toxins: What’s Lurking in Your Cleaning Products? by Jessie Sholl, 2020
Cleaning Products Hurt Gut Health by Kathy Wheddon, 2021
Why Everyone Should Care About Endocrine Disruptors by Cheryl Bigus, 2013
Cleaning Supplies and Your Health, Environmental Working Group