Ah, spring cleaning. Time to throw open your windows and let the air in. But using bleach or other chemicals can take away from the freshness of the season. Not to mention, all of those cleaners can wreak havoc on your allergies and the Earth. But it’s not as easy as just buying a product that calls itself “organic” or “green” or “environmentally safe” since there is no actual government definition or regulation on those terms. In fact, since you aren’t eating any cleaning products (I hope), the businesses don’t even have to include all of their ingredients. So it may contain chemicals that you don’t like under the guise of being “green”. So, what can you do?
Well, here are a few cleaners, tips, and tricks as to spring cleaning that will save you money and green your routine.
Cleanersto keep you green.
1. White Distilled Vinegar.
It may seem odd since vinegar has such a pungent and recognizable smell, but it’s one of the best deodorizers I have ever used. Also, the high acidity can kill bacteria and mold. Just get the white distilled, as there is no sense in paying extra for something like apple cider vinegar. Getting a half gallon will keep forever, will last forever, and it’s far less expensive that any cleaners.
2. Baking Soda.
Another good deodorizer, this can clean up grime well because of the particles. And at $.60 a box, you can’t beat the price.
3. Lemon Juice.
Lemon juice brightens up whites and leaves a nice sent. As with vinegar, the high acidity is great for cleaning your counters.
And what not to get….
Anything with a lot of chemicals, at least that you can avoid. I once tried the 7th generation dish washing detergent, and it didn’t clean anything. I ended up using more water and heat to clean my dishes that if I had just gotten something else. Also, my mother pointed out to me: if Dawn is good enough to clean oil off of ducks, isn’t it good enough for my dishes?
What to clean to keep you green.
Electronics work better when they aren’t covered in dust and grime, and the easier it is for them to work, the longer they will last and the more efficiently. And more efficiency and longer life means less electric bills for you. Computers and refrigerators are great candidates for this. Just get them with the vacuum cleaner.
2. The carpet, specifically with baking soda.
If you have allergies, the biggest threat indoors is anything made of fabric, and the worst is the carpet. Dust some baking soda on your carpet, let it sit for fifteen minutes, and vacuum up. You can do the same with furniture, but bedding and curtains are probably best left to the washing machine.
3. Bedding and curtains.
Get the dust out of there with a run in the washing machine and dryer. To make this greener, use cold water and put it on an extra spin cycle to get out more water and therefore have less time in the dryer.
4. Your sinks.
Use vinegar to get rid of smells, and if you have a blockage, use a mixture of vinegar and baking soda (yes, like making volcanoes back in school), pour it down the sink, and put the stopper on the drain so that the air and pressure will push the clog out.
5. Your dishwasher.
Overtime, your dishwasher will get smelly and a bit dirty, and that’s not good for your dishes. To clean this, fill the soap container with baking soda, and put it on a lite wash cycle. Do this with no dishes in the washer.
1. Recycle cardboard boxes.
If you have allergies, cardboard can soak up moisture and hold it in, making your home vulnerable to mildew and unpleasant smells. Get rid of the boxes, and replace them with plastic bins. The will last longer, and if you get the right kind, you can eventually recycle them.
2. Clean your trash cans.
They will get dirty. Use vinegar to disinfect and deodorize.
3. Use microfiber cloths.
When they get dirty, throw them in with the washing. Find a microfiber mop, and use a mixture of vinegar, lemon juice, and water to clean your floors. Save money from not having to buy Swifter pads, and it works just as well.
So, I hope that this will make you a happier cleaner with fresher air to breathe. Good cleaning you.