Going green is trendy, but more than trendy, it just makes sense. Why fill your clean house with indoor air pollution from heavy-duty chemical cleaners? This spring, make simple changes to your spring cleaning routine and become more eco-aware, using nontoxic cleaning supplies, and change up your spring cleaning routing to just be healthier.
1. Get organized. Life tends to collect clutter, and in that clutter live dust mites. Go through all the things you no longer use and sort it according to what is usable and what is not. Donate what can still be used — this is by far the most ecofriendly cleaning solution, as it reduces landfill space and allows someone else to benefit from what you are no longer using. An added bonus? Many times your donation can be used as a tax write-off. If it can’t be donated, check if it can be recycled. List even the junkiest of items in Craigslist: you’d be amazed how many artists and crafters will want your trash. And only throw away what cannot be recycled, upcycled, or donated.
2. Go shopping for your nontoxic cleaning supplies. On your list? You’ll want vinegar, lemon juice, and baking soda. Yep, that’s all you’ll really need. Simply mix-n-match these ingredients in a variety of ways to get the results you need. Lemon juice can even be mixed in with a bit of oil and rubbed into wood for a nice polish. No need for any other cleaners — your house will be spotless!
3. Ditch the paper towels. Use newspapers instead for cleaning mirrors for a streak free shine (newspapers and vinegar work magic!), and microfiber cleaning cloths for everything else.
4. Use natural air fresheners. House plants are wonderful for removing indoor air pollutants and giving you cleaner, fresher air, but if you want fresher smelling air as well, try adding a dab of essential oil to a cotton ball and tucking it into a (pet-free, child-free) corner of your room. Lemon and orange are wonderfully refreshing options, while lavender is relaxing. There are as many essential oils (and blends) as you can imagine, so find one that works with your personality. They are much healthier than candles or the standard air fresheners.
5. Relax. Once you’ve done all this spring cleaning work, it’s time to sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Open your windows and let the cool, crisp breezes flutter your curtains. Read your new book or magazine. Or go outside and play with your kids. You’ve earned it!