Although many people consider spring to be the one time of year when they do a complete and thorough cleaning of either a couple rooms in their homes or their entire house, spring cleaning can be done at any time. But, as spring is just around the corner, we thought we’d share a few helpful tips and biofriendly ways to jump-start your spring cleaning.
Go with vinegar and baking soda. Instead of using store-bought products to “clean” your house, why not use natural products that don’t contain any harmful chemicals and toxic materials. When you make your own cleaning supplies and use items like vinegar and baking soda to clean, you can achieve the same level of cleanliness (providing you aren’t afraid of using a little elbow grease). A little vinegar and baking soda can do wonders with removing odors from towels, freshening up laundry, eliminating stains and removing grease or grime.
Use condiments and certain foods as natural cleaning supplies. Other foods and household items can make effective cleaners as well. Did you know many condiments are an ideal alternative for toxic cleaners? That’s right! Onions, coffee grounds, lemons, oranges and cucumbers are also quite good at cleaning your home, getting rid of pesky stains, fixing scratches…and leaving a fresh, natural scent you and your family are sure to enjoy.
Toss the one-use cleaning supplies. Opt for old shirts or reusable products instead. While one-use Swiffer dusters and cleaning cloths may seem like a bargain to some, these items can end up costing quite a bit and are not very friendly to the environment. Instead of buying an item for which you can only have one use, opt for reusable products instead. Old shirts can be used as dusters, as can towels. Socks and toothbrushes can also be reused in this fashion.
Hang your clothes out to dry. Forget tossing your laundry in the dryer. Air your items out naturally. Put your sheets, towels and clothes out on the line so that nature can help not only dry your laundry, but give it a clean scent too. If it’s cold outside, hang your clothes on indoor lines or racks to dry. This saves energy, heat, and the need for dryer sheets (which you really shouldn’t use anyway…unless you’ve made them naturally of course.)
Air Out Naturally. Before you even consider buying store-bought air fresheners or other scented products, consider this: Do you really want to “clean” your home by filling it with more toxic chemicals and scents? We don’t think so. Air out your home naturally. Open your windows and doors. Let the fresh air flow through, removing the indoor air pollution and bringing in crisp, clean air. If you want a different scent than that of the great outdoors, try this simple homemade air freshener which allows you to “breathe happy without the toxic mess.”
Figure out how to reuse or donate items you no longer need or want. One of the most important steps in the spring cleaning process is to remove excess clutter and get rid of things for which you no longer have a use. Most people will go about doing this by filling up bags with items they want to toss and then dumping these in their trash can or dumpster. This is not a green way to clean. Instead of simply getting rid of everything, figure out what can be reused, what you can repurpose, what should be recycled (or upcycled), then figure out what can be donated or sold. After this, you’ll likely have very little you need to toss.
Add in plants. Last, but not least, add some plants into your home. Certain types of plants have been known to act as natural air filters. Putting these plants throughout your home will keep your rooms fresh and make it so your family inhales fewer toxins on a daily basis. NASA found the following to be some of the most effective plants for improving indoor air quality and eliminating indoor air pollution:
- Aloe Vera
- Spider Plants
- Gerber Daisies
- Devil’s Ivy
- Chinese Evergreen
- Bamboo Palm
In reality, it’s not hard to figure out green and eco-friendly ways to jump-start your spring cleaning. The simple fact is, you don’t want to “clean” your home by adding in more toxins and harmful chemicals. The goal in spring cleaning is to actually clean, give your home a boost of fresh air, de-clutter and clear items you no longer need. We hope these tips can help send you in a green direction for your spring cleaning.