Spring is the time to de-clutter and clean up. To clear out the junk and blow out all of the dust and cobwebs from the long winter months. To freshen up your home. But many cleaners are harmful to both your health and the environment. So here are some green ways to go about your spring-cleaning:
Window cleaners are full of harmful chemicals. For exterior windows, try a touch of dish soap and a lot of water. If you use a green dish soap, even better. For interior windows, water and vinegar mixed together (two table spoons of vinegar to one gallon of water) in a spray bottle and newspaper leave a clean streak-free shine. This also allows you to recycle the newspaper. For hard-to-reach-places, get yourself one of those squeegees and a screw on broom handle. After the newspaper has dried out from the window washing, you can still put it in the recycling bin. If you don’t like the smell of vinegar, try using lemon juice or club soda.
Instead of using corrosive cleaners in your bathroom, try using baking soda and water as a scrubbing paste. For the really tough grime, toss in a bit of kosher salt and elbow grease. Got mildew or grease stains? Try dousing it with lemon juice or vinegar, and let it sit for a few minutes before scrubbing away. If you are looking for a disinfectant or toilet bowl cleaner, two to three cups of water, three tablespoons of dish soap and twenty to thirty drops of tea tree oil will clean and disinfect any household surface. It’s safe for kids, pets and food too!
If your drains are clogged, try pouring a half cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by 2 cups of boiling water. If that doesn’t work, try the same amount followed by 2 cups of vinegar, cover the drain tightly to let the fizzing break up the clog, then chase with 2 gallons of boiling water.
Grimy caked-on food on your dishes? Soak them in hot water with about 1-2 Table spoons of vinegar. Or just start adding some vinegar to your dishwater to help with the washing process.
I find that after the winter, my home doesn’t smell as fresh as I would like it to, but it’s still a little too chilly to open the windows full time. If you set out some small bowls of baking soda or vinegar and lemon juice, it will help freshen the air. Leaving bowls of fragrant herbs and flowers around also does wonders. I am partial to lavender flowers, myself. I leave dishes of dried lavender around my home and put small satchels of it into my pillowcases to help me sleep.
Green cleaning is easy, and it leaves your home smelling great. But because spring-cleaning can be a little stressful too, try a bath with lavender or rosemary to calm and relax you in your fresh and clean home.