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3.22.2017

Spring cleaning, naturally

As temperatures thaw out for spring, it’s a great opportunity to roll up our sleeves and refresh our homes to kick off the new season. Despite what many advertisements try to tell us, cleaning doesn’t have to include harsh, abrasive chemicals. It’s possible to use natural and simple ingredients you may already have in your home to achieve that squeaky clean feeling without worrying about inhaling fumes or wearing protective gear. Here are a few options to consider as you get down and dirty with spring cleaning this year:

  • Baking soda – This wonder ingredient can tackle a number of cleaning tasks. For example, create a paste with water and baking soda to clean your oven – apply to the inside of the oven, let sit for a few hours, and then remove with a clean, damp cloth. You can also pour baking soda and vinegar in your garbage disposal to deodorize any lingering smells – and it makes a fun fizz the kids might enjoy.
  • Vinegar – Another multi-tasking star, distilled white vinegar is great at cutting through stains, mold, smells and more. If the smell of vinegar bothers you, you can add essential oils to your cleaning solutions. Mix vinegar with water and a bit of dish detergent to make an all-natural glass cleaner. If you have hard water, vinegar can cut through the deposits left behind. Remove the showerhead if possible and place in a bowl with vinegar overnight. If you can’t remove it, tie a plastic bag with vinegar around the showerhead to enable it to soak.
  • Lemons – The acidity in lemons can work wonders, and a lemon is a great natural scrubber when cut in half and dipped in salt or baking soda. Try microwaving half a lemon in a mug of water for five minutes, then letting it sit for ten – the steam will loosen up gunk and stains in the microwave. Or juice the lemon and combine with oil and water to create a natural wood polish.
  • Microfiber cloths – Instead of filling up your trash cans and landfills with paper towels, try reusable microfiber cloths. They work great when dusting or cleaning windows and can be laundered and used again next time.
  • Borax – This powder can boost your existing cleaners and clean surfaces when added to water. Add some to your laundry to get rid of stubborn stains. Sprinkle into your toilet bowl and leave overnight before using a brush to scrub out rings.

These are just a few of the many natural ingredients you can use to make safe, effective cleaning solutions for your home. Others include castile soap, hydrogen peroxide, oils, salt, and essential oils, among others. Consider trying one or more this year as your embark on your spring cleaning!