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
Use because: has anti-fungal properties, works as a deodorizer, and also can be used as a surface polish. Find in aisle 3.
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.
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.
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!
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup white vinegar
20 drops of essential oil (optional)
Mix all ingredients together in a spray
1 gallon warm water
1/2 cup white vinegar
essential oils (optional)
Mix ingredients together in bucket and use solution to mop floors.
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
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!
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.
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.
Tear up old t-shirts or towels to make cloths perfect for any cleaning job.