Spring Cleaning is that annual occasion where you where you realize that it may have been a WHOLE YEAR since you last cleaned the oven, or the fridge, or under the bed. Yikes! It can be so refreshing to open the windows during those first warmish days of springs, let in the fresh air, and scrub out all the yuckiness that has built up through the winter. There is no end to the power chemicals you can use to attack the grime, but the fumes alone could drive you from the house. Can you complete all your spring cleaning with simple, green alternatives like vinegar, baking soda, essential oils and lemon?
- Better for you – no sketchy chemicals on your skin, and safe to use near your kids and pets
- Better for the Earth – all natural ingredients that don’t pose a threat to the environment
- Saves Money – green cleaning essentials like vinegar, baking soda, and lemons are very low cost compared to the commercial products out there
- Smells great, but not too much – the fresh smell of natural ingredients is a refreshing alternative to the overpowering fragrances of commercial products
- It feels GREAT to do a major deep clean, and even better when you do it in an environmentally responsible way!
- Green cleaners aren’t magic – you still have to spend the day cleaning
I always get the urge to deep clean as winter gives way to spring. While the new year starts in January, it seems you don’t actually start living the new year until springtime arrives. With signs of new beginnings all around, scrubbing your living spaces to a brand new clean just seems a natural thing to do. In the past, I’ve always used whatever spray bottle of chemicals we had under the kitchen sink, but this year I wanted to go GREEN! I armed myself with white vinegar, baking soda, lemons, lavender oil, and some old prefold cloth diapers* and set to work.
In the Bathroom
- Shower mildew and some soap scum were easily taken care of with 100% vinegar and a scrubber sponge.
- The toilet bowl was scrubbed and deodorized with baking soda and a scrubber sponge.
- Bathtub rings were also scrubbed away with baking soda and a scrubber sponge.
- Mirrors were cleaned with a vinegar/water solution and polished to a streak free shine with a cloth prefold.
In the Bedroom
- Under the bed dust bunnies were captured using a damp cloth prefold on an old swiffer mop head.
- Pillows and the down comforter were fluffed in the dryer with aluminum dryer balls and a cloth prefold infused with a few drops of lavender oil.
- An old mattress stain was cleaned up by wetting with vinegar, rubbing in some baking soda, letting dry and vacuuming up.
- The whole mattress was freshened by sprinkling with baking soda, rubbing in, and then vacuuming up with the bristle brush attachment.
In the Kitchen
- The stinky trash can was scrubbed with half a raw lemon and then rinsed with a garden hose.
- The garbage disposal was deodorized by grinding up the lemon left over from cleaning the trash can.
- The refrigerator was thoroughly polished inside and out using a cloth prefold soaked in hot soapy water.
- The formica countertop was scoured back to gleaming white with a vinegar and baking soda paste.
In the Living Spaces
- Hardwood floors were scrubbed using warm water with vinegar and lemon juice.
- Baseboards were dusted with a damp cloth prefold.
- Dark recesses under the couches were cleaned using a damp cloth prefold on an old swiffer mop head.
Overall, Green Spring Cleaning was a great success! I was shocked by how effective all the natural cleaners were! I was happy to involve my children with no worries about harsh products touching their sensitive skin. I loved that my home smelled fresh but was not overpowered by that chemical smell that can be so strong after a deep clean. I’m afraid to say more without sounding like I’m gushing… but Green Cleaners REALLY WORK!!
Here are some products and tools that worked for me today:
Have you started your spring cleaning yet? What is your favorite natural cleaner?
*We have not attempted cloth diapering, but I’ve always had a stack of Gerber prefolds around. They are inexpensive, soft, and great to use as burp cloths, diaper pads, bottle insulators, nose wipers, spill soppers, and at the end of their life cycle as cleaning rags.