Spring Cleaning the Green Way
Today marks the first day of spring and the thought of spring cleaning may be on your mind. With thousands of products out there to help deep clean your home, here are a few tips on doing it without all the harsh and toxic chemicals.
All you have to do is reach into your cabinet for these natural cleaning supplies:
• Baking Soda – cleans, deodorizes, scours
• Distilled White Vinegar – cuts grease and soap scum, dissolves mineral deposits, inhibits mold, freshens and reportedly kills 99% of bacteria, 82% of mold, and 80% of viruses
• Hydrogen peroxide – kills bacteria
• Borax – cleans, deodorizes, disinfects
• Essential oils, (tea tree, lavender, eucalyptus, or lemongrass oil) – freshens, disinfects
• Castile soap (like Dr. Bronner’s) – cleans
• Olive or vegetable oil – cleans
All-purpose cleaner: Add 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon dish soap, and 2 tablespoons vinegar into a spray bottle. Shake. Let it sit for one minute, then fill bottle with warm water and shake it again. Give it a few more minutes to calm down, and add a few drops of essential oil if desired.
DIY Air Freshener: Pour one cup of water into a spray bottle, add two tablespoons of vodka (or rubbing alcohol) and 20 drops of essential oils and shake.
For a clean bathroom you need: Baking soda, Borax, Castile soap or vegetable oil-based liquid soap,
distilled white vinegar; essential oils and water
To clean your tub and tiles: Grab a spray bottle and combine 1 2/3 cup baking soda with 1/2 cup vegetable oil-based soap, add 1/2 cup of water and 2 tablespoons of vinegar. Shake and apply with a sponge and rinse.
Toilet bowl cleaner: Mix 1/4 cup borax or baking soda and 1 cup vinegar in the toilet. Let it sit for a few minutes, scrub, and flush.
Glass cleaning: Mix 1/4 cup vinegar and 4 cups water in a spray bottle. Use a newspaper to clean the glass and enjoy streak free mirrors.
Drain cleaner: Pour 1/2 cup baking soda into drain followed by 1 cup vinegar. Let it sit and fizz for a few minutes, then rinse with boiling water. Repeat or leave baking soda and vinegar in overnight for tougher clogs.
Soap scum remover: Sprinkle some baking soda, scrub with a cloth or sponge, and rinse. Vinegar or kosher salt also work.
Calcium or lime remover: For calcium or lime deposits on a chrome faucet, soak a towel in vinegar and wrap it around the faucet. Let it sit for a couple of hours or overnight.
Mold/Mildew remover: Mix 1/2 cup borax and 1/2 cup vinegar to make a paste. Scrub with a brush or sponge and rinse with water. For tough mold, let it sit for an hour before rinsing with water.
To clean your kitchen you need: Vinegar, baking soda, lemon, Essential Oils, water and dish soap
Sink cleaner: pour 1 cup of baking soda down the drain then pour 2 Cups of boiling water down the drain. The baking soda mixed with boiling water dissolves the sludge and gunk in the pipe. Now, pour another cup baking soda down the drain then add 1 cup of white vinegar and plug the drain immediately. If you’re unclogging a double sink, plug both drains. You’ll hear sizzling coming up from the drain and see bubbles foaming up. When the bubbles have died down, add the remaining boiling water down the drain.
Microwave cleaner: pour one cup of white vinegar into a measuring cup or bowl, along with one cup of water and set your microwave for 5 to 10 minutes (depending on how strong your microwave is) and turn it on. When finished, wipe down with a sponge or cloth. The steam from the water and vinegar will have loosened up any splatters and spills, so you can wipe the surfaces clean without any scrubbing or struggling.
Refrigerator: Toss old products, take everything out of fridge and wipe down drawers with an even mix of vinegar and water. Throw in a box of baking soda to get rid of foul odors.
Oven cleaner: remove all burnt food remains, sprinkle baking soda on the bottom of the oven then pour just a small amount of white vinegar on top of the baking soda. Scrub the oven. Try using aluminum foil for tough stains. Wipe clean with warm water and scrub more.
Garbage odors: sprinkle 1/4 cup baking soda at bottom of trash can.
Garbage disposal odor: Cut lemons into small sections and then toss them down the disposal or pour 1 cup of baking soda down, along with a cup of distilled white vinegar.
Carpets: Add 1 cup white vinegar with 2 cups water into a spray bottle, add 2 tsp salt and 15 drops lavender essential oil, or another clear essential oil of choice. Spray onto carpet. For stains: pour baking soda onto stain and pour vinegar until fizzes. Let sit for a few minutes.
Couch upholstery: 1/4 cup white vinegar, 3/4 cup warm water and 1/2 tablespoon of dish liquid soap in a spray bottle. Shake and spray onto couch and scrub.
Other spring cleaning tips:
Wash windows and windowsills with microfiber or 50/50 vinegar and water solution.
Remove blinds and wash in bathtub with vinegar and water or use old rags and white vinegar.
Wipe down electronics and electronic screens with microfiber or rags with water.
Mop floors with a cup of vinegar in a gallon of water and use a wet mop.
Wipe down doors and handles with hydrogen peroxide and water.