Greening Your Spring Cleaning

Green BoyI heard a rumor that spring has sprung.  We’re in a winter weather advisory until tomorrow evening, but we did have a week of great weather and a lot of melting.  So, in honor of Earth Day on the 22nd this month, I thought I’d pass along some natural spring cleaning tips.  Feel free to chime-in and give some feedback if you’ve tried these or if you have some new ones!

  • For a natural disinfectant, mix up two cups of water, three tablespoons of liquid soap, and 20-30 drops of tea tree oil in a spray bottle.  Shake well before each use.
  • To clean your windows and mirrors, nothing beats vinegar!  We have a ton of windows and this is excellent.  Add a splash of vinegar to a gallon of water.  You can apply with a rag out of the bucket, or put some in a spray bottle.  Use a squeegee to wipe off and finish with a micro fleece rag.
  • Deodorize your carpets.  Remove all throw rugs and shake out/wash as able.  Vacuum carpets, sprinkle with baking soda or cornstarch, and let sit for about a half hour.  Vacuum the powder.
  • For hard wood floors, mix 1/8 cup of white vinegar and two cups of warm water in a spray bottle.  Mist over floors and wipe up with a cotton mop or micro fleece rag.
  • To clean small appliances or your stainless steel, use a paste of baking soda and water.  Rub it in a little and let it sit for a bit.  Remove with a damp cloth and buff dry.
  • To clean your wood furniture, think salad dressing… yep, one part white vinegar and three parts light olive oil!  Dust the furniture, shake the spray bottle with the mixture, and spray into a micro fleece cloth.  Rub the cloth over the wood, buffing it clean.
  • Spring clean your washing machine.  For a top loader, turn it on the largest, hottest setting.  Once full, add three to four cups of white vinegar and let it agitate for a minute.  Add a half cup of baking soda and agitate again to mix in.  Open the lid and let it sit for 30-60 minutes.  While you’re waiting, use a rag and the vinegar/soda solution to clean the surface and seals.  After an hour, close lid and finish the cycle.  For a front load, run a wash in hot water with a cup of vinegar.  When complete, wipe down seals and exterior with a 50/50 vinegar and water solution.
  • Now that your washer is clean, wash up your winter clothes and get ready for summer.  Divide them into three groups
    •  Keep—store for next winter
    • Donate—bring to a local drop-off
    • Upcycle—store until you’re ready to use, great for items not fit to donate

There you have it, a more natural way to spring clean.  Now if we could just convince Mother Nature that it’s April…oh well, looks like I’ve got a snowy weekend to do some cleaning!

 

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