Spring Cleaning Tips
We all want a home that is spring clean fresh, but did you know you can make cleaners that work just as well, without harsh chemicals? We get so used to purchasing store bought cleaners and disinfectants that we overlook all those chemicals that come with them. For example, in your favorite store-bought fabric softener, what is really combined to get that “Summer Breeze” scent you love? Check out those ingredient labels and you’ll be surprised what you find. And you don’t have spend more on fancy “all-natural” brands, you really can do it yourself.
Ready to try? It’s time for spring cleaning – the non-toxic way.
First, What’s Really In Those Cleaners
Volatile Organic Compounds
VOCs are gases emitted from solids or liquids. They’re found in many household products, from paints and varnishes to cleaning products and disinfectants. Some VOCs are dangerous to human health or cause harm to the environment.
Common ingredients in fragrance, such as phthalates, synthetic musks, and allergens, have been linked to health impacts ranging from eye and skin irritation.
Air fresheners deserve special attention because they may contain carcinogenic (cancer-causing) chemicals as well as chemicals associated with respiratory and reproductive harm.
Do It Yourself!
Plain old white vinegar and baking soda do an awesome job to clean lots of surfaces around your home, and they are super inexpensive. Add a little lemon peel, lemon juice, or essential oils and the options are limitless. Want to try something next level? Try these homemade recipes for both home and office.
Homemade Air Freshener
- 12 – 15 drops of pure essential oil (lemon, orange, lavender )
- ½ cup white vinegar
- 1/12 cups water
Combine in a spray bottle, shake, and spray to freshen the room! (Shake before each use)
Homemade Disinfectant Wipes
- 1 cup water
- ¼ cup with vinegar
- 8 drops tea tree oil
- 8 drops eucalyptus essential oil
- 8 drops lemon essential oil
- Empty “wipe” container(baby wipe, for example)
- 15 – 20 squares of cloth (old t-shirts work well, as do old dish towels or similar material)
Fold and place the cloth squares into the empty wipe container and set aside.
Combine in a mixing bowl the water, vinegar, and 3 essential oils, stirring until well mixed.
Pour this mixture over the cloths in the container where they will soak in and be ready for you to pull out and use!
Homemade All-Purpose Cleaners
- 1 cup water
- 2 teaspoons castile soap
- 20 drops essential oil
Pour ingredients into a spray bottle, preferably made of glass
Shake well before use
Store in a cool, dark place. (Essential oils oxidize in sunlight)
Homemade Window and Glass Cleaner
Get a streak-free sparkle with this simple cleaner, and enjoy a better view through your windows. Invest in a small stack of soft cotton or microfiber cloths for best results.
What You Need:
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon dish soap
Add all ingredients to a 24-ounce spray bottle. Shake to combine. Use on windows or glass fronts of appliances. Beyond this basic recipe, you can also call on rubbing alcohol and even dish soap for alternative homemade window cleaners.
Homemade Laundry Detergent
- 1 bar laundry soap (We like brands such as FelsNaptha, Pink Zote, and Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap.)
- 1 cup borax
- 1 cup washing soda (Look for it in the laundry aisle.)
- 1 cup oxygen bleach
Grate bar of laundry soap; you should have about 2 cups grated soap. (Or look for soap flakes online.) Mix all ingredients in a large container. Store in a lidded jar. Use 2 tablespoons for a light load and 4 tablespoons for a large or dirty load. Wash as normal.
Cleaning Up the Dust & Clutter
Having a stress-free, healthy lifestyle starts with less clutter and a clean environment. Did you Spring Clean your life yet? Although cleaning may be associated with the dust and dirt, cleaning up the clutter is just as important and will help your well-being. Make a goal of getting rid of things you no longer use, need, or that have just plain worn out.
REMEMBER: You don’t have to do it all at once! It takes time to accumulate things, so take your time de-cluttering. By reducing the clutter over time and not replacing it with more clutter, you will notice the change gradually. Do the same with healthy cleaning product alternatives. When you run out of something, replace it with an alternative, healthier cleaning solution. Happy Spring cleaning!