reduce plastic

reduce plasticWe all know that we should be using less plastic in order to create less plastic waste; in the past 13 years the world has made more plastic than it did in the previous half-century (University of Cambridge) with 350 million tonnes created every 12 months, 8 million of which is making its way into our oceans and causing irrevocable damage to sea creatures and the habitats in which they live.

No matter if it’s taking our own bags at the supermarket, drinking from a reusable coffee cup or making our way down to a two-minute beach clean, we all need to do our bit as the cumulative impact of such small changes can be massive.

Here are five easy-to-do plastic-free changes you could make when cleaning your holiday letting property and reduce plastic waste.

Stop those plastic microfibres

Microfibres are tiny strands of plastic commonly found on clothes and bed linen that shed off synthetic fabrics like polyester, rayon and nylon. Scientists have discovered that they are one of the main causes of plastic waste pollution in the ocean.

The most common reason these fibres make their way into water streams and the ocean is of course, during the washing process.  Solutions such as the Guppyfriend can stop these fibres from leaving the washing machine, considerably reducing the amount of plastic leaving your holiday home with minimal effort.

Reduce the number of disposable wipes and cloths

In order to reduce the number of disposable items you use during the cleaning process, consider using washable cotton cloths and flannels.  You can even use old clothes such as t-shirts that would otherwise be thrown away!

This will ensure that you’re not chucking away a large amount of cleaning materials at the end of every changeover, while potentially saving a considerable amount of money.

Move to a natural loofah scrubber

Rather than spending hours and hard elbow grease scrubbing those pans with a scouring brush or wire wool, only to throw it straight into the bin once you’re done, consider using one of the growing number of biodegradable scrubbers on the market. Popping it in your compost is much more friendly for the environment!

Have you tried bicarbonate of soda?

Bicarbonate of soda is a powerful natural deodoriser and can be used to remove odours from fridges, carpets and upholstery throughout a holiday home.

For fridges, place a shallow bowl of bicarbonate of soda on the shelf and leave until the odour has been reduced or removed.  When it comes to your sofas and carpets, sprinkle on the affected area and leave for a few hours before returning with the hoover!

The great thing about bicarbonate of soda? You can buy it in a cardboard box, so no need for any plastic at all!

Vinegar for window cleaning?

Whilst we might be more familiar with vinegar on our indulgent fish and chips, it can actually perform a number of useful purposes around our home.  For example, white vinegar can be used for removing limescale from kettles – all you need to do is fill with a solution of one-part water to one-part white vinegar and leave overnight – return in the morning to find that the limescale can be remove easily. Just like bicarbonate of soda, it can also be purchased in glass bottles and is free from any plastic!

For more information on specialist insurance for your holiday home please give our experienced team a call on 01237 429444.

Natural cleaners. Vinegar, baking soda, salt and lemon.The benefits of using natural cleaning products around your holiday home

As a holiday homeowner what factors do you consider when selecting a cleaning product for your cottage?

Are they products that you’ve always used and perhaps see no need in changing?

Is it the latest and brightest packaging on the supermarket shelf that catches your eye?

Maybe the option that promises to save you time and make the most stubborn of chores easier and quicker to manage?

Whilst there may be a vast range of reasons for using the products you do, one unifying factor many of these cleaning solvents will have in common is the inclusion of strong chemicals that can be potentially harmful to your visitors and young children in particular.

With the growing list of ‘green’ and ‘natural’ alternatives to traditional bleaches we explore the potential benefits of going green when it comes to cleaning your holiday home.

Chemicals in the air and on surfaces

Once your holiday home has been cleaned with chemical based products they can remain present in the air and on the surfaces of your cottage for some time.

This can lead to new guests inhaling detrimental fumes and also enduring the smells that come with them during the busy summer period when changeover times can be extremely short.

The residue of these chemicals can also remain on surfaces and worktops and have been known to cause skin irritation, rashes and in extreme cases allergic reactions.

Natural products reduce these risks for your visitors and are often accompanied by a natural and more pleasant aroma, negating the need for even more products such as air fresheners to be deployed.


We live in a country with unbounded natural beauty.  We insure and are lucky to be able to visit a vast number of properties situated in areas of outstanding natural beauty, with breathtaking views and unrivalled surrounds.

Cleaning products including chemicals such as Ammonia can not only effect soil pH levels but also cause the eutrophication of water when dispersed into waterways.

Using natural products can lessen the impact that our properties have on the environment and surrounding area in which we visit and live.

Antibacterial Wipes

When sourcing cleaning products and agents for the home or for a holiday cottage we can sometimes naturally gravitate toward the word ‘antibacterial’.

After all, these are the products that reduce the risk of bacteria remaining on surfaces or around your home that could be of risk to your visitors?

Recent American research by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has suggested there is no significant difference between an antibacterial soap and a natural soap in eradicating bacteria and also suggested that repeated use of ‘antibacterial’ goods can actually promote bacterial resistance to antibiotics.

Cost savings

The subject of cost and any potential saving will vary from property to property.

However, research has also shown that the wearing impact natural cleaning products have on surfaces such as worktops are much less than strong chemical substances and therefore the period between replacements can be increased proportionately.

Using natural products, where appropriate, around the holiday home can also reduce the need for expensive off the shelf cleaning solutions.

Green Marketing

More and more visitors are now seeking holidays that are sustainable, green or eco-friendly.  The level to which holiday cottages answer the needs of the growing number of ‘green tourists’ is becoming an increasingly fundamental aspect in visitor decision making; the potential difference between staying in one location from another.

Using natural products rather than chemicals can add to the marketing of your property and the message that you’re doing everything you can to give them the premium holiday they desire, whilst also protecting the environment around you.

Boshers are specialist providers of insurance for holiday homes and cottages. For more information on how a specialist insurer can help and support your holiday letting business please give us a call on 01237 429444.