The weather is starting to change and get warmer in most parts of the U.S. as we approach the spring season. With spring comes tons and tons of cleaning! With cleaning though unfortunately brings toxic cleaning supplies that we may or may not already have in our home. In an effort to still be eco friendly and sustainable, we have compiled a guide to help you go into spring toxic free! So where do you start?
The following spring cleaning supplies are 100% safe, inexpensive and easy to find and use.
- A broom: A sturdy straw broom is probably the most eco-friendly.
- A fabric mop: It is best to avoid disposable mop heads and opt for one that can be washed many times, but if that is all you have then work with what you have.
- Cloth rags: Old flannel sheets cut into squares is the best option for affordability and absorbency. Paper towels are wasteful, so it is best to avoid those.
- A stiff brush: This is best used to scrub soiled areas or objects such as the bathroom tub and shower walls.
- An old toothbrush: This is good for cracks, crevices and corners.
- A bucket: Be sure to use a clean and sturdy bucket that will be long-lasting. Reusing five gallon buckets is great, as long as they are clean.
- A vacuum or wet-vac: this is not only for carpets, but also window and door frames, fireplaces and other hard-to-reach places.
- A great playlist: cleaning is always more fun when you’re listening to your favorite jams. Make sure it’s upbeat and skip anything too slow!
This list is not a must have, but cleaning could go much more smoothly with these items. You probably have most of these items in your home and if you do not think you do shop your home first. Look around for items such as a hard brush, an empty bucket or old clothes that can be used for cleaning. Then move to a secondhand shop before buying anything brand new.
Rid of the clutter
Lets start with the obvious of cleaning your house. Go through each room and get rid of items you have not touched in months that are not needed for the spring season. You can donate the things you do not need. This includes clothes that you know you will not wear anytime soon. Getting all of the clutter out of your house will make you feel so much better!
Once all the clutter is removed from your home it is time to clean. What do you clean with though? Many cleaning products on the shelves these days have harsh chemicals that are not goof for your health or your children’s health. There are however some “eco friendly” and “green” products out there. Unfortunately sometimes those ingredients are not as clean as we would hope. Many of our home cleaning products have toxic chemicals in them. An easy fix to this is to make your own cleaning products. They are super easy to make and cheaper than buying store bought brands. The best part is, you only need a few small ingredients that you probably already have at home. Some of them include vinegar, water, rubbing alcohol, castile soap, and baking soda.
For a simple spray you can use 2 parts water to 1 part white vinegar and a few drops of essential oil. This can be used for an all purpose cleaner for countertops, tables, floors, stovetops, other appliances etc. If you do have granite counter tops in your kitchen or bathroom sometimes the vinegar does not work as well as the castile soap would, so it would be best to sub the soap for the vinegar in the mixture.
Homemade cleaners work pretty well, but sometimes are not as efficient as store bought cleaners. Having washing soda on hand could help with sticky and grimy tubs, counters, stoves and ovens.
Clean out those closets
Rearranging and reducing your closet whether it be clothes or shoes is always a good thing to do. If you cannot remember the last time you wore a pair of shoes or an outfit get rid of it. If you do not see yourself wearing those shoes or clothes in the near future get rid of them. Don’t throw them in the trash! If your clothes are still in good condition give them to someone who needs them more. Hand them off to a family member, do a clothes swap with a friend or take them to a local shelter. Giving your items to someone else gives them the opportunity to have a new home and you will feel better doing some good to help your environment.
Another way to find your items a new home that some people forget about is by donating or reselling them. Many people shop in Goodwill, consignment shops and even go to Salvation Army looking for secondhand items. These days most people even utilize the Facebook Marketplace or even Buy Nothing Groups on Facebook. The options are endless and giving items away is always better than just throwing away.
Reorganize + Refresh
The most important thing you can do once you have decluttered your home and made everything look brand new is to reorganize and refresh. In the kitchen find all the tops to your reusable containers and make sure everything has a lid. If it does not have a matching part see if you can get a replacement from the manufacturer. If that is not possible then donate it.
When it comes to refreshing your items, wash your reusable items. Wash your sponges and dish brushes in soapy hot water. Wash your cloth rags and use a bottle brush to clean your reusable bottles. You should even soak your reusable containers that might have a little grime in the crevices in water and vinegar then scrub scrub scrub. Check our ecozoi cleaning supplies for a start.
Cleaning is not always fun, but spring time is the best time to rid of many things you have stored away. What are some of your favorite eco friendly spring cleaning tips?