Spring is such a beautiful time of year, flowers are blooming, the weather is getting warmer and the animals are playful everywhere you turn. While Spring as a season might be beautiful, Spring cleaning is not as glamorous, and for many people can feel like a drag.
But, it’s a perfect time to de-clutter, organize your closets and leave your home with that clean and fresh smell. There are so many cleaners and cleaning products on the market but do you really know what’s in them?
How healthy are the cleaners that you use?
Non-toxic cleaners should be used around your home year around – not only in the Spring, and especially if you have small children. The benefits of greener cleaners include; fewer toxins and chemicals being absorbed into the skin, less damaging to the environment and better air quality in your home and they are less expensive in some cases (DIY cleansers!). If you want to better understand the toxic chemicals to look out for in your cleaners, check out my previous wellness post on the subject.
GreenWorks Multi-Purpose Cleanser is a great cleanser to use for virtually any room in your house. It can be used for a variety of different tasks and is safe for your home and your children. Not only is it made with 97% organic materials, but it also works on those stubborn stains or hard to handle messes.
Method is another cleaner that has the environmental seal of approval. The method product line comes in a variety of different cleaners including hand soap, dish soap, laundry detergent, bathroom cleaners, all-purpose cleaners and even a body wash for men and women! They come in a variety of scents and uses all biodegradable materials. They’ve thought of everything!
Mrs. Myers is a wholesome midwest cleaning brand started by Mrs. Thema A. Meyer. She created Mrs. Meyers because of her penchant for keeping things neat and tidy and the scents were inspired by her garden. Her line of cleaning products which range from hand soap, body soap, laundry detergent and air fresheners are all made with natural scents like mint, basil, and lavender. If you want your home smelling like a bouquet of roses this Spring, you better get cleaning with Mrs. Meyers!
For those who want to know EVERYTHING that is in their cleaners, DIY is the way to go! Many homemade cleaners are made with ingredients you probably already have around your home. Vinegar, essential oils, baking soda, olive oil, and water are the key players in most of your homemade cleaners.
Vinegar is a key ingredient to getting rid of bathroom dirt and grime! For tough toilet stains, add ½ baking soda along with a few drops of essential oils into your toilet bowl when you’re ready to tackle the toilet add ¼ cup of vinegar and scrub away the mess as it works its magic.
A spritz of pure vinegar can be used in your shower and sink on soap scum and hard water residue. Add it to a spray bottle and spritz it on, letting the vinegar soak for 20-30 minutes before wiping off. If that doesn’t work, add baking soda to the mix and try again in 15 minutes.
Most kitchen surfaces can also be treated with vinegar, but if your surfaces are made from marble, granite or stone stay away from the high acidity and use vodka or rubbing alcohol instead. Mixing equal parts water and vinegar will make a very effective multi-purpose cleaner that can be used on most surfaces including countertops, floors, and walls.
To tackle greasy frying pans just add salt – and give it a good scrub! If you need to clean a cast iron pan add olive oil and a teaspoon of course salt and rinse well with water. The best way to sanitize surfaces is with a lemon, simply cut it in half and run it over the surface you would like to disinfect.
Having the right ingredients is only half of the job, having the right cleaning tool is the other half. Sponges that have a harder edge are good for scrubbing stubborn pots and pans. Rags or microfibre clothes are excellent for disinfecting surfaces and the magic eraser is great for removing soap scum, scuff marks and any other war wounds your child puts into it!
The laundry room is where most people run into trouble with the homemade detergents because if you throw a cup of vinegar in with your clothes, they wouldn’t come out smelling very nice. Laundry detergent is a bit tougher to make, only in the sense that you have to add more ingredients. Combine bar soap (chopped and processed), baking soda, essential oils, vinegar and washing soda and you will have created a very effective and pleasant-smelling laundry detergent.
Instead of using dryer sheets that lose their scent after one use, try using laundry ‘scenters’ that will stay fresh for up to 30 loads of laundry, or more! Add your favorite herbs or loose tea to a sachet (one that has holes that the herbs can aerate is best).
Every room in your house has one and floors can be tricky to keep clean. Anyone with hardwood floors can keep it simple by washing (or steam cleaning) with warm water, just be sure not to over soak your mop when washing the floors.
If your floors still aren’t looking as clean as they should, add a bit of dish soap in to bring out the dirt and let those floors shine.
Laminate floors are very delicate and steam mops shouldn’t be used on them. When cleaning a laminate floor clean with a light mop and spray the cleaner onto the mop, not directly onto the floor. Using a mixture of three parts water, one part vinegar and a squirt of dish soap should do the trick.
Most other floors are easy enough to care for and don’t require any special precautions. A typical all-purpose floor cleaner is a cup of water, ½ cup of vinegar and a tbsp of vegetable oil to bring out the floors natural glow.
There are hundreds of different homemade cleaner recipes out there, all have different purposes and work differently for all homeowners and their grime, but the one thing we can all agree on is that they are made from natural ingredients and have a positive impact on your home and the environment. If you have any recipes you’d like to share, please leave them in the comments below!