Spring cleaning tips & tricks

Feeling a change of season coming on?  Are your thoughts turning to freshening and cleaning your home after being sealed inside for the winter? Simplify cleaning and help the environment at the same time.  You don’t need a million products; there are excellent environmentally friendly products available, and if you buy the right bucket, you won’t have to by another one next spring.

Tasks to consider:

In addition to the common spring cleaning chores, here are some projects I sometimes forget about:

Rotate and flip mattresses

Dry clean pillows and hang them outside in the sun

Go through medicine cabinets and discard expired products

Clear out and clean pantry and kitchen cabinets and drawers

Clean refrigerator and freezer

Open all the windows and air out the house

Clean rooms from top to bottom so dust and dirt will fall onto the areas you haven’t cleaned yet

Wash windows on a cloudy day or the sun will dry your cleaning solution too quickly and create streaks

Put new filters in the HVAC system

Vacuum your refrigerator coils

Clean lampshades and light fixtures

Clean blinds and shades

 

Products and recipes:

‘Green’ window washing solution (courtesy of Better Homes & Garden):

½ cup sudsy ammonia

1 pint of rubbing alcohol

1 tsp. dishwashing detergent

Mix all the above into1 gallon of water

 

Baking soda is great for scouring counter tops, deodorizing refrigerators and closets and getting stuff off oven walls.

Vinegar and salt paste is good for areas that attract mildew.

Bon Ami, a gentle powder cleanser that has been around for ages and is great for cleaning ceramic, stainless steel and porcelain surfaces.  It can be found in most supermarkets.

Spring Clean Cleanser, Tips and Tricks

Martha Stewart recommends Replenish Multi-Surface Cleaner for $8.00 because it is biodegradable, non-toxic, PH neutral and the bottle is reusable.

Choose reusable cloths instead of paper towels.  Micro-fiber cloths are available in the supermarket. Or, try these from The Rag Company.  From $4.00.

Invest in a good bucket.  This is a 9 qt. stainless steel bucket that is large enough to tote your supplies and won’t rust.
Spring Cleaning Bucket

Finally, don’t forget to wear rubber latex gloves!

For more alternative cleaning recipes go to www.ecologycenter.org

Note:  If this is all too much for you there are ‘green’ cleaning services.  Google ‘residential green cleaning services’ for your area.  There is also a nationwide chain called Ecomaids.  We have not used them, but you can ask for references.

www.ecomaids.com

Here is a good list of ‘green cleaning’ tips from Practically Green.

Spring Cleaning Green Cleaner Book

 

Need a little motivation? Here’s an awesome 30 day challenge to clean your whole house. You’ll be so happy on day 31!

Updated for Accuracy, 2017