Now that the weather’s warming up and the cold and dreary months are over, it only means one thing. It’s spring cleaning time! Now, we know that not everyone’s fond of cleaning. But, this is a yearly rite everyone must go through to usher in the new season. Plus, there’s little that compares to the feeling of having an open and fresh home after months of being cooped up.
Unfortunately, as satisfying as it is, not all your go-to cleaners are safe for the environment. Many products in the market contain chemicals that are harmful to both you and the environment. The good thing is that there are plenty of alternatives. With a few tweaks, you can have a more eco-friendly cleaning routine. Here’s a quick guide for you to start.
Create Your Own Non-Toxic Cleaning Solutions
Although your usual spring cleaning solutions kill bacteria, their toxic ingredients can also affect your health. They can cause mild irritations up to serious respiratory problems. The best way to avoid this is to DIY your own solutions. These work just as well as your conventional cleaners. Plus, you might already have everything you need in your pantry right at this moment. Here are some formulas you can try:
- General Disinfectant: For your very own natural disinfectant, mix two cups of water, two tablespoons of white vinegar, a half teaspoon of dish soap and 10 to 20 drops of tea tree oil.
- Countertops and tiles: Mix one part baking soda and two parts white vinegar with four parts water. Then, use a sponge to apply and scrub.
- Floors: Simply mix four cups of distilled vinegar with about a gallon of water. If you want, you can also add any essential oil scents to combat the sour scent of vinegar.
- Toilet Bowl: Sprinkle some baking soda on your toilet brush and scrub away. Then, wipe the outside directly with vinegar.
- Wood Furniture: Mix equal parts of olive oil and lemon juice. Then, use a soft cloth to apply it onto the furniture with long and even strokes.
Swap Out Paper Towels
Resist the temptation to grab those easy to use and get paper towels in your spring cleaning. Instead, check your closet. And look for ratty or stained clothes, towels, sheets, and other fabrics. Simply cut them into smaller pieces and voila, you have your very own reusable cloths. You’d be saving the trees, you’d be giving those old pieces of cloth a new purpose, and you’d be saving up money buying paper towels.
Reuse Old Household Items
Much like your old fabrics, you can also reuse other old household items for cleaning. Take a toothbrush for example. It’s great for getting a good srub into those tight corners. Old dish towels, on the other hand, can be sewn together to make a mop cover.
Air Your Home Out Naturally
Forget air fresheners! Open up your windows instead. Let a nice breeze in to push out the old air and to replace it with fresh air. Also, use natural air filters such as spider plants and peace lilies as well to purify the air inside your house. If you want your home to smell good, go for the essential oils. A few drops of those could already create a lasting pleasant scent in all rooms of your home.
Save Water and Electricity
When you can do something without consuming electricity, it would be better for the environment. For instance, instead of using the vacuum, use something just as effective as a broom. The same goes for drying your clothes. Minimize your usage to the rainy months and instead simply air-dry your clothes.
Don’t forget to use your water wisely as well. Don’t just leave it running. Collect gray-water and use them to water your plants. And make sure to have your pipes and such repaired. Much like electricity, it would do the planet well for you to be wary of your water consumption.
More often than not, things pile up without our notice. And spring cleaning is ridding yourself of clutter and such. So, the best way to get rid of these piles is to recycle. Challenge yourself and purge your closet of everything you haven’t worn in a while. Then, donate them or set up a garage sale. As for your stack of papers, dispose of them in the proper place or find another way you can use them. Bigger items such as old sofas, freezers, and such need special processing. With that, happy spring cleaning!