Spring means opening the windows to let in fresh air, embracing new beginnings and balmy, breezy days. For many people, it also means spring cleaning, an annual ritual with the goal of riding homes of toxins, dirt and allergens that have built up over winter. Spring cleaning is all about making your home cleaner, healthier and safer for the new season, so don't ruin all your hard work by loading your house up with commercial cleaning products.
Conventional cleaning products certainly make life easier, but many are made with known carcinogens, toxic substances and hormone disruptors that can do more harm than good. The most popular conventional cleaners contain ingredients that are known to contribute to lung inflammation, asthma and a host of other health issues, and some products that are still available in the United States have actually been banned in the European Union due to growing health concerns.
Luckily, there is a way to get your home squeaky clean without harsh chemicals. This season, spring clean the natural way by following these tips to make your home cleaner, safer and healthier.
White Vinegar: A Natural Cleanser
This common pantry item is a wonder cleanser! Add a cup of it to your toilet bowl before you go to sleep, then just brush and flush when you wake in the morning for easy cleaning. Add one cup of white vinegar to a gallon of warm water, then mop your tile and linoleum floors with it to make them shine. You can even fill a spray bottle with equal parts water and vinegar for use on sink fixtures and countertops.
Clean with Condiments
Ketchup may seem like more of a stain-causer than a cleaner, but it can help make brass fixtures and copper pots shine. Simply coat the fixture or pot with a layer of the condiment, let it sit for up to 20 minutes, then gently wipe it away using a paper towel and a circular motion.
Use Non-Disposable Items
You can easily “green” your spring cleaning efforts by making a few swaps – trade your paper towels for a sponge or microfiber cloth, use a broom instead of a Swiffer that needs constant refills, and reach for a ratty old t-shirt instead of a wet wipe.
Tackle Stains with Lemon
Tough stains in the bathtub, microwave or on other hard surfaces are no match for a little lemon juice and salt. Best of all, this all-natural cleaner leaves a lovely citrus scent in the air.