I don’t know about you, but spring cleaning is a big job around here. However, many of the products we may use while spring cleaning our homes are filled with ingredients that have proven negative long-term effects on our health. Ammonia, sodium hydroxide and triclosan are some of the culprits found in products ranging from laundry detergents to glass and mirror cleaners. These ingredients can linger on just cleaned surfaces and are easily absorbed by human tissues, exposing us and our children to hazardous chemicals with unhealthy side effects. For more information on what’s in your cupboard, check out the Environemental Working Group’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning.
Although there are some fantastic safe products available to purchase, there are also plenty of tried and true items sitting in your pantry right now that can clean your house from top to bottom without any harmful effects. And they work! Here are four recipes for green spring cleaning.
1 part warm water
1 part white distilled vinegar
25 to 50 drops of essential oil (optional)
Combine ingredients into a jar or spray bottle. Gently shake to mix. Use on counters, floors, toilets and other surfaces. Note: For tough jobs, increase the vinegar-to-water ratio to 2:1. The essential oil helps cut down on the strong smell of the vinegar.
2 cups warm water
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp white vinegar (or lemon juice)
Mix ingredients in a spray bottle. Shake before use. Spray on furniture and wipe with a damp sponge or cloth.
Glass & Mirror Cleaner
1 cup water
1 cup white vinegar
Combine ingredients in a jar or spray bottle. Gently shake to mix. Spray on glass or mirror. Re-use wadded-up old newspapers to wipe clean and avoid streaks.
Stainless Steel Cleaner
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp white vinegar
Drizzle olive oil on one side of a cloth. Rub all over oven, kettle, fridge or other stainless steel appliance. On the other side of the cloth, drizzle white vinegar. Wipe over the same area and let dry.
Happy green spring cleaning!