With the increase in daylight and the slow exit from our winter hibernation, spring cleaning creeps up in our minds. Why spring clean? Some people might find a deep cleaning therapeutic (raises hand). However, the importance of spring cleaning goes beyond getting that fresh start. A deep clean will help with our overall health, and it is especially beneficial to people who suffer from allergies – dust, pollen, mildew.
With that in mind, we do not want to put more detrimental things in our home. So we are always looking for non-toxic cleaners that will not only protect us directly, but it will also help our planet by not sending chemicals into our waterways.
Here are our go-to items for a ‘kinder to the planet, kinder to ourselves’ cleaning:
Lemon oil is one of the top favorites around here. Not only does it remove pretty much any sticky residue, but when mixed with distilled water and white vinegar, it makes a wonderful all-purpose spray. *always do a patch test before trying an essential oil.
Make a rug/carpet/upholstery deodorizer by mixing 2 cups baking soda, 2-3 tablespoons lavender flowers (whole or ground), and 10 drops lavender oil. Mix well and store in a jar. Disperse over the rug and let it sit for an hour before vacuuming.
For a natural floor cleaner, get a gallon of warm water, add 1 cup of vinegar, 2 tablespoons liquid castile soap (sub with ¼ cup isopropyl rubbing alcohol if you do not have castile soap on hand), and 20 drops of tea tree oil. Tea tree oil is a great oil for cleaning due to its antibacterial and anti-fungal properties.
Did you know that cream of tartar is the one spice you always want to have on hand when cleaning? Making a paste out of cream of tartar and water can help you lift stains, remove scratches from dishes, or clean your coffee pot. When mixed with vinegar it turns into a fabulous cleaner for your grout, oven and burnt up pots and pans.
Cayenne pepper and garlic have been used as a garden pest control method for centuries. They can be dusted to repel crawling pests or turned into a spray with water and a few drops of dishwashing liquid. Cayenne can be irritating to eyes and lungs, so please take all necessary precautions for protection. Neem Oil mixed with water and dish soap also works as a pesticide and fungicide.
There are numerous ways to reduce our negative impact on the planet: go paperless, composting, turn off the water while brushing our teeth or making sure we turn off the lights every time we leave a room. Small changes will give us great results in the long term. That is why we switched to reusable paper towels and cloths. We turned to reusable water bottle and travel coffee cups, as well as eco-friendly storage.
With everything we’ve been through in the past two years, we believe it is quite normal to worry more about the state of our planet. Protecting it starts with you.