Green “spring” cleaning

February is over and March has officially begun, which means we’re gearing up for spring! Thus, this month we will be focusing our blog post on all things related to the spring season. It’s time to shake the dust off your rugs and get ready for the most notable task that marks the beginning of spring, spring cleaning.

We all want our house to be clean and to shine like new, but a lot of the products we use to get our house tidy are laden with chemicals that are not good for our health or the environment. We want to help you take a green approach to the war on dirt. The best part, there are many natural and safe alternatives for most cleaning products, many of which you probably already have at home. For instance, did you know that ketchup, rice, bread and oatmeal can all be used for cleaning?

Natural Cleansers – Avoid purchasing cleaning supplies filled with chemicals. Save your pocket book, your health and the environment. Here are some great natural cleanser recipes to tackle some of the most common and daunting cleaning tasks:

  • Oven Cleaner – Make a paste out of water and baking soda. Make sure your oven is off, then rub it on the inside and let it sit overnight. The next day scrub the grim off and wipe with a moist cloth.
  • Clogged Drain – Pour ½ cup of baking soda into the drain, followed by 2 cups of boiling water. If it’s really clogged pour in the baking soda with a ½ cup of vinegar and cover tightly, allow the fizzing solution to work for a few minutes. Then pour in 1 gallon of boiling water.
  • Glass and Mirrors – Mix 4 tablespoons lemon juice with ½ a gallon of water, apply to a cloth and wipe off your shiny surfaces.
  • Furniture Polish – Mix 2 parts olive oil with 1 part lemon juice, apply to furniture and use a soft cloth to get that desired shine and smell.
  • Wood Floors – Mix ¼ cup white vinegar with 3¾ cups of warm water. Put the mixture in a clean and recycled spray bottle. Spray on a towel/mop and clean your floors.
  • Fresh Air – Avoid using air fresheners, which contain unnecessary chemicals. Open your windows for some fresh air. Baking soda is also a great neutralizer; use it on your carpet or in your refrigerator to get rid of unwanted odors.

Kick off your shoes – Take your shoes off before you get inside. It helps keep the dirt and grim outside and lessens the amount you have to clean inside.

Just beat it – Take your rugs outside and beat the dust out with a broom instead of vacuuming them. Vacuuming can kick up dust inside your house and then you have to empty the dirt into the trash, making unnecessary waste. Plus it saves on electricity!

Simplify – A great way to reduce what you have to clean is to reduce your clutter. Consider giving away or donating items that you no longer need or use and give it to charity. Better yet, join Freecycle.org, which is an online community where members let each other know when they have items laying around the house that they want to give away.

Go paperless – Avoid using paper towels and disposable cleaning sheets. Opt for natural cleansers that can be used with cloths or towels, which can be washed and reused again and again.

For more green cleaning tips, check out our Direct Energy Buzz – March 2 Edition, it turns out Coca-Cola can even be used as a cleaning product. Who knew?

Thanks Flickr user go_greener_oz