Guide to Spring Cleaning the Natural Way
Springtime is just around the corner. Time to open the windows and get that stagnant winter air out of our homes. It is that time again, to get our windows cleaned, baseboards washed, ceiling fans dusted and fresh air back in. Spring cleaning for many of us is truly an immediate sense of accomplishment not to mention a fresh way to enter the season of warmer days ahead. Today is the time to rid our homes of the allergens and toxins that have accumulated over the winter.
Household cleaning products are chemicals formulated to make our lives easier and give us the impression that things are getting extra clean due to their industrial-strength, germ-fighting abilities. Just spray it scrub it, and it is sparkling clean, but not without a price. I suggest the next time you pick up a bottle at the store, read the warning labels. Some of these chemicals have been banned in the European Union due to health concerns for both humans and aquatic life but remain on our shelves in North America.
Did you know?
Many store-bought cleaners contain chemicals that can cause not just eye and skin irritations but even some health issues. Per the EPA, household cleaners can contain an array of hazardous chemicals, "including carcinogens, persistent bioaccumulative and toxic chemicals, endocrine (hormone) and disrupting chemicals, which are known to contribute to asthma and lung inflammation.
The sad reality is these products are not just dangerous inside the home. These same cleaning products are released into the environment as they go down your drain. When using these products Keep in mind, it is not just the chemicals in the cleaners that are a problem: The plastic containers require oil to produce, and when the product runs out, that container ends up in a landfill, where it can take 1,000 years to degrade. Whereas taking a few minutes to make your own not only saves your health it can save the planet. If you find you are just too busy, there are many reputable companies that now sell natural cleaning products; you may be surprised to find out your local shops carry many of these products.
So now is the time to slip on the rubber gloves and gas mask and get to work. Alternatively, is there another way?
Thankfully, nature has provided us with all the necessary ingredients to keep our homes clean and safe without killing ourselves, wildlife or the environment. Just use these six non-toxic ingredients—most of which you probably already have in the kitchen—for a natural cleaning that's better for your health and the air, soil, water, plants, and animals around you.
Years ago, I remembered watching my parents and grandparents cleaning their houses with combinations such as water, vinegar, salt, lemon, borax, olive oil and baking soda, the list goes on. I remember my Grandmother saying there are natural solutions to every household task from cleaning your toilet to scrubbing your oven and growing up I thought she was just too cheap to buy it from the store,” WOW” was I wrong! You will not only save money; you will cut the wasteful packaging, and keep everyone in your house (including your pets) safe from toxins. So, for a healthy, easy, inexpensive and eco-friendly natural cleaning, gather these six ingredients, a few spray bottles, a mop, a bucket, some sponges and cotton rags—and a little bit of elbow grease.
Do you have any tips for a natural and healthy cleaning?
Ditch the chemicals and deep clean your home, the healthy way.
What you will need:
Vinegar – Cuts grease and soap scum. Dissolves mineral deposits and has been Reported to kill 99 percent of bacteria, 82 percent of mold and percent of viruses.
Baking Soda – Cleans, deodorizes, scours.
Borax – Cleans, deodorizes, disinfects. Available in the laundry section of grocery stores.
Olive Oil – Conditions woodwork.
Essential Oils are (optional) There are so many reasons to use these concentrated aromatic plant substances around your house. For one thing, they have extraordinary antibacterial capabilities against many unwanted microbes. There are many essential oils for cleaning, I have listed just a few. When using essential oils, you should make sure you are using pure natural, or organically grown the house are lavender, rosemary, tea tree, lemon, orange, and peppermint. You can buy them at health food stores, grocery stores, and pharmacies. Keep them out of reach of children. They are natural but very concentrated, and you must be cautious about getting them on your skin or in your eyes.
All-Purpose Cleaning Spray – 1 tsp of baking soda, 2 tbsp of vinegar, 20 drops of lavender, 20 drops of orange 5 drops of rosemary essential oil and 1 cup of warm water. Mix in spray bottle and use to clean surfaces in the kitchen. For a bathroom version, use 20 drops of tea tree and 20 drops of peppermint essential oil.
Glass Cleaner – ¼ cup of vinegar, 4 cups of water, 1 tsp of lemon essential oil. Add to spray bottle and shake well before use.
Stovetop Cleaner – 1/3 cup of baking soda, enough water to create a paste add 5 drops of lemon and 5 drops of rosemary essential oils.
Oven Cleaner – 1 ½ cups of baking soda, ¼ cup of vinegar and 20 drops of lemon essential oil. Removes racks and clean separately in the sink. Apply the paste on surfaces of the oven with pastry or paint brush. Let stand overnight. Remove with a wet cloth.
Wood Floor Cleaner and Furniture Polish – 1 gallon of hot water, ¾ cup of olive oil and 1 tbsp of lemon essential oil.
Disinfecting Floor Cleaner – 1 gallon of hot water, ¼ cup of borax, 1 tsp of orange and 1 tsp of lavender essential oil.
Bathroom Scrubbing Powder – 1 cup baking soda, 1 cup borax, 1 cup salt, 20 drops of tea tree and 20 drops of peppermint essential oil. Mix well and sprinkle on bathroom surfaces to scour and disinfect.
Toilet Bowl Cleaner – ¼ cup of baking soda, 1 cup of vinegar and 20 drops of tea tree essential oil Pour around sides of the bowl and let sit for 15 minutes. Scrub and flush.
Room and Furniture Spray – Add 40 drops of your favorite essential oils to water in a spray bottle.
Removing Lime and Mineral Deposits from Taps – soak a cloth in vinegar and leave wrapped around tap overnight.
Eliminating Cat Urine or Spray - Orange essential oil works great for this. Add about 1 tsp to a liter of hot water and ¼ cup of vinegar. Wash entire area. The smell will be undetectable even to cats.
Please send us some of your families natural cleaning tips.