After the Easter bunny, it’s time to turn our attention to dust bunnies. Spring brings longer days, bright flowers, and the perfect excuse to finally tackle a dirty garage or spare bedroom that has become a storage space for your home’s odds and ends. Unfortunately, this often comes with an arsenal of single-use bottles and wipes, harmful toxins, and harsh chemicals. For a greener clean, here are 6 sustainable cleaning tips to keep in mind.
6 Tips for Sustainable Spring Cleaning
1. Recruit a team of natural cleaners
You don’t need a fancy new concoction of chemicals to get rid of stains and restore luster in glass—natural ingredients you likely already have will do the trick!
- Castile soap can be combined with baking soda and a little water to form a paste that’s an excellent scrubber for sinks, tubs, and pots.
- Adding 2 teaspoons of vinegar to a quart of water provides a streak-free cleaner for glass and windows.
- Combining 1 part of white vinegar with 4 parts of water in a spray bottle gives you an all-purpose cleaner. Add citrus peels to the solution and let sit for a couple weeks for a stronger cleaner with a fresh scent.
- To make an all-purpose cleaner even more effective, simply add water, salt, and vinegar to a SaniTru electrolyzer and you’ll end up with a powerful disinfectant that’s as strong as bleach.
- Lemon juice can be added to a bowl of water and heated on high for 3 minutes to clean a microwave. Let it stand, then easily wipe any stains away!
2. Toss out any toxins
Does it make any sense at all that we clean our homes with harsh chemicals and toxic ingredients? We don’t think so. Not only do they pose a risk for you as you’re cleaning, but they’re not great for our planet, either.
That’s why we’d recommend looking for natural, plant-based, biodegradable, and chlorine-free cleaning products. It’s better to check for those that don’t contain ingredients like quaternary ammonium, sodium borate, and 1,4-dioxane, and are free of or contain low levels of VOCs.
3. Scrub sustainably
Americans have a love affair with paper towels, and our planet is paying the price. We use more of the disposable cleaning product than any other country combined.
Reusable bamboo or organic cotton towels are a better option, as are the DIY version—old tee shirts. Not only do they scrub like the paper product, but they can be washed and reused multiple times before being disposed/composted where they’ll biodegrade.
4. Rid your indoor air of pollutants
While you’re cleaning, it’s wise to keep windows and doors open to ventilate. This is especially important when using disinfecting products and byproducts.
But, because indoor air is more polluted than outdoor air, it’s helpful to take extra steps to ensure your home sanctuary is in fact a home sanctuary. Our furniture, cooking, and water also release compounds that can be dangerous to inhale, and an air purifier can filter these out to provide added peace of mind.
5. Clear clutter, consciously
Take your spring cleaning to the next level by taking inventory of your closets, cupboards, and dresser drawers. It’s a good time to make like Marie Kondo and minimize your stuff to just that which you truly use. Responsibly dispose of the items you no longer want, donating or recycling them whenever possible.
6. Make a worry-free air freshener
Relax in a clean house that’s naturally scented by making your own air freshener. Either use organic essential oils with a diffuser, use them to soak cloths near open doors or windows, or add directly to purified water to create a spray. This way, you can freshen up your space without worrying about dangerous formaldehyde or other harmful VOCs.