It’s that time of year again and everyone wants to renew and refresh their life. Are you thinking about cleaning out your house and garage? When you start digging into your attic, basements, and garages, you’ll find a lot things you didn’t know you still had and that you haven’t used for many years. One of the most important things you’ll need when doing a thorough and deep spring cleaning, is a dumpster.
Once you’ve got your dumpster ready to collect ancient trash, you’ll need some guidance on where to start and what to do. And, you can go green, while cleaning. What better way to clean and refresh your home is there than helping to save the planet?
We thought we’d give you a few tips that will help you clean while you go Green. First, you can prevent more toxic chemicals from being dumped in to the environment, if you make your own cleaning products. Following is a list of supplies you’ll need to make your own cleaners; you may already have most of them in your house:
- Distilled white vinegar
- Baking soda
- Olive oil
- Liquid castile soap
- Essential oils
- Microfiber cleaning cloths
Castile soap and essential oils can be purchased at natural food stores if your local grocery store doesn’t carry them. A mixture of ¼ cup vinegar and 1 quart of water can be used as class cleaner. Countertops and tile floors can be cleaned with a mixture of 4 cups vinegar and a gallon of hot water. You can add drops of peppermint or lemon oil for a fresh scent. The smell of vinegar disappears fairly quickly and the room will smell like the oil fragrance you use.
Wood furniture can be cleaned using a mixture of equal parts of lemon juice and olive oil. Use borax soap to clean and disinfect your toilet, and use vinegar to clean the outside surfaces of the toilet. To disinfect and clean kitchen counters and bathroom counters, you can use a mixture of 2 teaspoons borax, 4 tablespoons vinegar, 3 cups hot water, and ¼ teaspoon liquid castile soap.
Use straight vinegar to clean mold and mildew. Replace your air fresheners with stashes of cotton balls sprinkled with essential oils. You can hide these cotton balls throughout your house and be sure to keep them out of reach of children. Lavender, cinnamon, clove, peppermint and citrus oils are great scents for homes and cars.
You can use a living air filter to freshen up the air in your home with plants. For an 1,800 square foot home, you’ll need 15 to 18 medium-sized plants in 6 to 8 inch diameter containers. If you don’t want to have that many plants in your house, you can put a few plants in the room where you spend most of your time.
When you de-clutter your wardrobe, donate unused items to charity. If clothes are torn or stained, you can add them to your rag collection. Also, if you use moth balls, replace them with cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, and cloves tied in an old sock.
If you’re going to paint any walls in your home for a new clean look this spring, use green paint. Look for paints that are eco-friendly, such as Eco-Spec by Benjamin Moore, Clarity by Dutch Boy, Enviro-Pure by MAB Paint, American Pride Paint, and BioSheild by Milk Paint.
Change your mop to one that uses the washable mop head. Casabella is a good brand. You can wash your mop head, hang it to dry, and use it again when you’re ready.
To help save trees, use washable cleaning and dusting cloths instead of paper towels.
Rest assured that these tips not only help the environment, but they contribute to your health and your home. These may seem like small steps to take, but they will make a huge difference over time.