It’s about that time a year when everyone is talking about spring cleaning. Everyone cares about being thoroughly prepared for whats coming, and we all know we have a big year coming our way so let us do some heavy duty cleaning in preparation. Unfortunately, that does include hitting those once-in-a-year spots that you don’t even like to think about. What better way to tackle these dirty corners than with an all natural, non toxic, environmentally friendly approach. Here are some of our favorite tips for an all green spring cleaning experience.
Knowing Your Basics
Natural cleaning products are easily available, less costly, non-toxic, and just as effective as any other cleaning brand. Some of the main items you want to always have include baking soda, white vinegar, borax, lemon juice, castile soap, and olive oil. Specific combinations of these ingredients can mimic different variations of house cleaners that are used for all purposes. Keep in mind that although these green cleaners are nontoxic, you do want to keep them out of the reach of children and pets as accidents can always happen.
Put any toxic ammonia-based cleaners aside and pull out your lemon juice. To create the perfect window cleaner all you need are four tablespoons of lemon juice and half a gallon of water. Mix your ingredients well and use any preferred application method for an effective window or mirror cleaning. Another option is to mix a quarter cup of vinegar with three cups of water and a few drops of detergent for great window cleaning results. To wipe the windows you can use a cotton rag or old t-shirt as a reusable alternative.
Your average furniture polish is most commonly made of petroleum, solvents, colorants, and fragrances, which can all be hazardous, poisonous, and harmful to you, your family and the environment. This homemade alternative to wooden furniture polish is so nontoxic it is actually used as a salad dressing. Mix two parts olive oil with one part vinegar or lemon juice and use a cloth to apply it. For wood floors use only a mixture of a quarter cup of vinegar and a gallon of water.
When facing a badly clogged drain skip the chemicals and start by pouring in half a cup of baking soda followed by half a cup of white vinegar. Then cover the drain and leave it for a while. Another option is to pour in half a cup of baking soda and half a cup of salt then six cups of boiling water. Let is sit for a few hours then flush it down with some cold water. To prevent clogged drains be sure to always use a strainer and frequently pour boiling water down the drain to keep it clean. Always try using a plunger or a plumber’s snake before resorting to the extremes of using toxic cleaners.
To clean the interior and chimney of your fireplace frequently add a good amount of salt to the fire as it is burning. The salt will reduce any soot buildup and lead to much less frequent cleaning requirements. The outside of a fireplace can be cleaned by creating and applying a mixture of cream of tartar and water. Leave the paste on any dirty stain and let it dry. Once all areas are dry scrub off the paste and the exterior of your fireplace should be clean.
To rejuvenate the shine of copper or brass make a mixture containing equal parts of salt, vinegar and flour. Use a cloth to rub the entire desired area and let it dry for approximately an hour then wipe off the paste. Another option is to dip a slice of lemon in salt and rub then rinse the area. You can also spray some undiluted vinegar and add a sprinkle of salt on minorly stained copper. Then thoroughly wipe off the salt to avoid metal discoloration.
All Green Brands
Homemade cleaning products are not your only option for green cleaning. If you for any reason prefer not to make your own mixes you can still avoid harmful chemicals by purchasing commercial green products. These products are just as effective as any other commercial product minus the toxins and environmental harm. Some of the most popular and easily available green brands include Seventh Generation, Method, GreenWorks, and Mrs. Meyer's.