Friday, April 25, 2014

Spring Cleaning, Naturally

When you think of spring cleaning what comes to mind? Washing windows, polishing furniture, and cleaning closets may be part of your plan. For others, decluttering and reorganizing every room in the house might be in order. Regardless of what constitutes spring cleaning for you, you can tackle it efficiently, effectively, and naturally.

What are the benefits of homemade natural spring cleaning products?

Natural cleaning products, also known as green products, are safer for your family and free of hazardous toxins.
Natural home cleaning is relatively inexpensive.
You may already have ingredients for natural cleaning recipes in your home.

What ingredients do you need for natural cleaning recipes?

The basics for most natural cleaning solutions are:

Baking soda
Liquid detergent
Hot water

When combined, these ingredients can make:

Natural window cleaner: Combine vinegar, water, and ½-1/4 teaspoon liquid detergent.

Oven cleaner: Use 1 cup of baking soda, water, and a squirt of liquid detergent to form a paste.

Soft scrub: Mix ½ cup baking soda with liquid detergent.

Furniture cleaner: Combine lemon juice and olive oil.

Check out this chart for more natural cleaning recipes.

What if you’re not inclined to make your own cleaning products?

Commercial natural cleaning products are available. They probably won’t be as inexpensive as do-it-yourself products. But, if you don’t have the time or desire to make products yourself, they can be a good option. It’s a good idea to check a green product’s rating and safety with the Natural Products Association (NPA) before using.

Are natural cleaning products effective?

According to a variety of sources, including AARP and Green America, natural home cleaning is effective. While you might need to use a little more elbow grease than you would with commercial brands, natural cleaning products really do measure up.

How to get organized for your spring cleaning:

1. Gather supplies. Decide what ingredients you’ll need for green cleaning solutions. Old T-shirts make great cloths for dusting and cleaning furniture. Recycle newspapers for washing windows.
2. Create a plan. Which rooms will you tackle and what tasks will you perform in each room? Also, will you perform one specific task throughout the house, i.e. dusting and polishing furniture, or will you handle each room from top to bottom?
3. Enlist the help of your family. Assign age-appropriate duties to children. Responsibilities such as dusting furniture, cleaning out closets, and changing water can be fitting for children of all ages.

Green cleaning hints:

*Hydrogen peroxide makes a great bleach alternative for your laundry.
* Plants make great air fresheners.  Best bets: Boston fern, English ivy, bamboo palm, ficus, gerbera daisy, peace lily, spider plant, golden pothos, and mother-in-law’s tongue.
*Natural potpourri is inexpensive and easy to make. Fill a small pot of water with citrus slices, cloves, and cinnamon. Simmer on the stove, and you have a fresh citrus scent that quickly fills your home, naturally.
*If allergies aren’t a problem for anyone in your family, open your windows as soon as it gets warm enough to allow fresh air into your home.

By enlisting the help of your entire family, you’ll make this year’s spring cleaning a family event and teach your children the benefits of green cleaning.

1 comment:

  1. Disinfectant plays an important role. Mix 2 teaspoons borax, 4 tablespoons vinegar, 3 cups hot water, and 1/4 teaspoon Defense Pure Essential Oils. Wipe on with dampened cloth or use a spray bottle. Wipe clean.