Guide to Greener Spring Cleaning

Choosing green cleaning products helps to reduce unnecessary chemicals in our environment. There are many chemicals in use today that we’re not even sure are safe. They do not decompose or they hang around for a long time, polluting water and soil, entering the food chain and affecting us all.

Fortunately, there are many solutions to avoid harsh chemical cleaners so that you can tackle spring cleaning without a worry. These days, you’ll find many cleaning products on shelves which strive to use fewer unnecessary chemicals and safer ingredients.

The Environmental Working Group has a great consumer guide resource where they have rated various cleaning products, in report card style from A-F, based on a number of categories ranging from environmental concerns to human developmental, allergy, and asthma concerns. Visit EWG's Guide to Healthy Cleaning to learn more and search their database.

DIY Green Cleaning Basics

Baking Soda

Use because: has anti-fungal properties, works as a deodorizer, and also can be used as a surface polish. Find in aisle 3.

White Vinegar

Use because: eliminates bacteria, mold, germs, and lime deposits, can be used in laundry as a stain remover and fabric softener. Find in aisle 5.

Lemon/Lemon Juice

Use because: acidic, has antibacterial/antiseptic properties, and also adds a nice, fresh, clean scent. Find in produce.

Liquid Castile Soap

Use because: Gentle, vegetable-based soap, a great all-purpose tool to have. Find in HBC department near hand soaps.

Essential Oils

Use because: Tea tree, eucalyptus and citrus oils are great for cleaning as they have various antibacterial/antiseptic properties. Find in the HBC department.
*Be sure to test surfaces in a small discrete area before cleaning entirely!

All-Purpose Cleaner

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup white vinegar

20 drops of essential oil (optional)

Mix all ingredients together in a spray
bottle and shake to combine.

Floor Cleaner

1 gallon warm water

1/2 cup white vinegar

essential oils (optional)

Mix ingredients together in bucket and use solution to mop floors.

All-Purpose Scrub

1/4 cup baking soda

1 tbsp castile soap

Mix together in a bowl or jar, and add just enough water to form a paste. Apply
to sponge and use to scrub counters,
tubs, sinks, etc.

Toilet Scrub

1/4 cup castile soap

1 3/4 cups water

2 tbsp baking soda

8-10 drops of essential oils

Combine in a squirt bottle. Squirt into toilet bowl and scrub to clean.

Other quick tips to make spring cleaning a breeze


Put old sock over your hand and spray with all-purpose cleaner. Run along blinds for a quick, easy and thorough clean!


Fill small plastic bag with vinegar. Wrap around your shower head and let soak for 2 hours, securing with rubber band or twist tie. After removing, wipe down with water and watch it sparkle!

Drain Cleaner

Pour about 1 cup of baking soda into drain, and follow with 1 cup of vinegar. After 30 minutes, flush drain with very hot water. Repeat if necessary or use a drain snake if the clog is extra stubborn.

Microwave Gunk

Fill large microwaveable bowl with water, and add lemon slices, juice, or white vinegar. Microwave for 5 minutes. Wipe down microwave with cloth or paper towel, gunk should wipe away easily. If not, microwave a little longer and try again.

Upcycled Cloths

Tear up old t-shirts or towels to make cloths perfect for any cleaning job.

Grab a printable copy of our Guide to Greener Spring Cleaning where we've also compiled some of the Environmental Working Group's Top Rated Products that are sold at the co-op!