Though it’s still cold enough here in New Jersey for the furnace to kick on in the morning, the calendar tells us that spring is here. Though I don’t completely believe it, I’ve done my share of spring cleaning.
With children and a dog, I have to be careful about the products that I use around the house. Not only can the smells be noxious and trigger a reaction, but also you never know who is touching, sniffing and putting food down on not-quite-dry surfaces. In addition, the pretty colors of many of the cleaning fluids may attract children.
If you or a family member are sensitive to these products or would simply like a gentler, more natural way to spring clean your home, here are five tips for natural cleaning, presented in no particular order.
- Don’t like commercial glass cleaners? Mix ¼ cup vinegar with 1 quart of water in a spray bottle. Use as you would any glass cleaner and wipe clean with newspaper or old, cut up t shirts. Though the newsprint may stain your hand, it will leave your window sparkly clear.
- It’s not a salad dressing: To clean wood furniture and give it that shine, mix equal parts of lemon juice and olive oil. Shake to combine, then pour a small amount on a cloth (old t-shirt). Rub onto the furniture.
- Have mold or mildew? Wipe it away with white vinegar on a paper towel or cloth.
- Tarnished silver? Rub with white toothpaste (not gel). Then rinse with warm water. The shine will come through.
- Instead of commercial scouring powder use baking soda, or for more scrubbing power, kosher salt. Remember to rinse thoroughly!
If you like a little scent to your products, add a few drops of orange, lavender or lemon essential oil. These oils are natural and also may serve to keep away critters while giving you a naturally fragranced home.
Green cleaning doesn’t have to be difficult, nor does it have to be expensive. Use the tips above to put aside the chemical cleaners this spring to have a fresh, chemical-free spring cleaning experience.