Eco-Living Magazine

Spring Cleaning on the Natural Side

Posted on the 21 March 2013 by T_mackinnon @tedmackinnon

Cleaning Supplies for Spring Cleaning

It’s been weeks since Punxsutawney Phil issued his annual prediction about the arrival of spring. The days are getting longer, the wind is losing its bitter breath. It’s that time of year to open the shutters and throw back the sash. All that fresh air will probably awaken the dormant cleaning gene for many people. Opening doors and windows is the most natural way to move to a greener, more eco-minded cleaning regimen.

Fresh air and sunshine are Mother Nature’s way of cleaning her own house. If these first few days of warmer weather have you thinking about the annual floor-to-ceiling “dusting out,” you can make Mother Nature smile with the following green cleaning tips.

Start with those windows. Switch to a vinegar-and-water solution to clean the glass and aluminum trim. Replace paper towels that would end up in the landfill with a lint-free cloth to buff away streaks and fingerprints. You can use pure vinegar or a solution of three parts water to one part vinegar for mirrors and stainless steel appliance fronts, too.

Toss washable curtains in the washer with a mild non-toxic detergent and cold water; once they’re clean, hang them outside on a clothesline to dry. For drapes that require dry cleaning, an hour or two hanging outdoors on a warm, calm day will freshen them up naturally. Gently shake to remove loose dust and debris and hang outdoors during the early morning or late afternoon to avoid fading from the mid-day sun.

Carpets attract and hold dust, pollen, pet dander and dirt tracked in on shoes. Using a broom or brush, loosen packed dirt around baseboards and trim before you vacuum. Pre-treat spots with a green floor care product. Shampoo rugs and carpets on a sunny day and let in the fresh air to speed drying time.

Wood furniture gets dull with regular cleaning and polishing. You don’t need the harsh chemicals and cough-inducing fumes from harsh wood-polishing products. Instead, mix one tablespoon fresh lemon juice with two tablespoons of olive oil for a natural furniture treatment. Wipe on, buff off. While you have the lemons handy, enjoy a glass of lemonade!

Eliminate clutter. One cleaning tip that doesn’t require scrubbing and buffing will last long after your floors are swept and your windows are sparkling. Make a commitment to reduce clutter by opting out of unsolicited advertisement and credit card campaigns. Reducing the amount of junk mail you receive will help you keep your home neater in the long run, as well as cutting down on paper waste.

It isn’t necessary to make drastic changes in your normal routine to accomplish your green spring cleaning goals. Read labels carefully and be sure to stick with environmentally friendly cleaning products. Take on a few small projects a day, or set aside a long weekend to tackle everything at once. A little hard work and elbow grease will allow you to enjoy your home more in the coming season. Go ahead, open those windows and enjoy the sunshine!

Spring Cleaning on the Natural Side

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