7 Tips for Spring Cleaning

Spring will soon bring longer days, warmer weather, and bright flowers. What a great time for an eco-friendly cleanup. Leave nasty chemicals and stuffy air behind—follow these tips to make this year’s spring cleaning friendly towards the environment:

1. Use all-natural cleaners when possible. Most of your home can be cleaned with water, soap, vinegar, and baking soda. Recipes for homemade cleaning supplies abound on the Internet; search online to find the ones that work best for you. If you are buying cleaners, look for less toxic options in the store.
2. Change your laundry practices. Use cold water for most of your laundry. This saves the 75% of your washer’s energy that’s used to heat water. Only wash full loads. Dry your laundry outside or indoors on a clothesline. If you’re looking for a new machine, look for an efficient washer that uses less water and energy.
3. Use old rags and cloths whenever possible instead of paper towels to wipe down surfaces. Toss them in the wash afterwards to use again or simply rinse them by hand for small cleanups.
4. Open the windows and turn on the fans when you start cleaning. This keeps the air moving and any chemicals from settling into your home and onto you. Add some plants to keep the air fresh without chemical fresheners.
5. Take this time to rid your home of things you don’t need. Any clothes shoved into the back of your closet or books collecting dust on the shelves can be boxed and donated.
6. Pay extra attention to cleaning appliances. Dusting off the refrigerator coils and giving the oven a nice, deep cleaning make the machines more energy efficient.
7. Clean out your recycling, green waste, and trash bins and organize tools that help you stay eco-friendly, like reusable shopping bags and bulk food containers.

With everything clean and in its place, you’ll be ready to enjoy spring and summer activities! For more tips and recipes for non-toxic cleaners, check out Four Simple Steps to a Safer Home.

Photo credit: © iStock.com | franny-anne

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