Spring is finally in the air, which means it's time for every clean freak's favorite activity — Spring cleaning! Open some windows, clean out your closet and get ready to scrub those corners that haven't seen love since your last major home scrub-down.
If you're trying to live a more eco-friendly life, Spring cleaning is a perfect place to start. Follow these simple tips, and you'll be doing your part to save the plant, all while making your home spotless and ready for Spring.
Freshen Your Air Naturally
Instead of using commercial air purifiers, switch to the most natural method of all — house plants! Some naturally purifying, easy-to-grow varieties for anyone that lacks a green thumb include: Snake plants, spider plants, aloe vera, dragon trees, peace lilies, corn plants, and citronella geraniums.
Another great way to freshen your air is with essential oils. Use an electric steam diffuser, a candle diffuser, or simply mix your favorite scent with water in a spray bottle, to freshen up any space.
Make Your Own Cleaners
Making household cleaners yourself may seem like an intimidating and time-consuming task, but it's actually really easy, and the cleaning power of products that you probably already have in your pantry — vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and lemon juice — are as effective at killing pathogens as bleach and anti-bacterial products.
1. All-purpose disinfecting cleaner: In a spray bottle, mix two cups of water, three teaspoons of liquid castile soap and one teaspoon of tea tree oil.
2. Calcium or lime remover: Simply soak a rag in vinegar and place it on the offending area. Leave overnight.
3. Scouring powder: Mix equal parts baking soda, borax, and kosher salt into a jar. Sprinkle on areas that need to be cleaned, scrub with a sponge and rinse.
4. Mopping solution: Add half a cup of castile soap to three quarts of warm water, and mop away!
These are just a few of a multitude of natural cleaner recipes you can make to scour your entire home, and leave it feeling fresh and clean.
Clean With Reusable Cloths
If you think using paper towels and single-use mop pads are wasteful, you're right. Use microfiber cloths to soak up messes in your kitchen, and buy a reusable mop with a head that can be removed and laundered — or repurpose old bath towels into a reusable Swiffer mop cover.
If you have cloth rags close at hand, you'll be more likely to use them. Put a small basket of microfiber cloths, dishtowels, or tea towels on your kitchen counter, so they're always right where you need them. One handy tip: Old T-shirts cut into squares make excellent dust rags!
Clean To Minimize Energy Waste
Another way to love the environment is to save energy around the home. Here are a few cleaning tips to help you combat wasted energy and get clean all at the same time.
Don't pre-rinse dishes
Great news! You can reduce your energy consumption by ignoring Mom's advice and simply not rinsing your dirty dishes before you load them into the dishwasher. Scrape leftover food into your compost pile, load dishes directly into the washer and ditch the double-wash.
One super simple way to save energy and leave your clothes smelling fresh and clean is to line-dry your laundry. Dryers account for about one-third of most households' energy consumption. So let the natural breeze and sun do their job.
Freeze your jeans
We all know how hard it is to find the perfect pair of jeans. But laundering them can be dangerous! Your perfectly worn-in pair could easily shrink, become misshapen or lose their color if you launder them. Instead, pop them in the freezer to kill bacteria and curb the smell of constant wear.
Help The Environment While You Clean
Embrace the season of new life and rejuvenation by doing your part for the planet, all while freshening your home for Spring. The best part is, once you begin ditching single-use items and store-bought cleaners and start cutting back on your home's energy consumption, you'll also save your wallet. It's a win-win-win — for you, your home and the environment!