Spring has finally sprung here on the East Coast and one thing that I love to do is spring cleaning! Doesn’t it feel good to open the windows, air the house out, shake out the rugs and get to scrubbing some patio furniture after a long winter? Unfortunately, the dark side of this yearly event is the huge concentration of chemicals and fumes wafting through the house if you use most store bought cleaners.
My friend Brie Parker of Philly Maid Green shared some tips with me to create a better cleaning experience this year. And while I don’t recommend eating it, her DIY all-purpose cleaner is non-toxic and doesn’t have anything in it that you couldn’t eat.
For an easy all-purpose cleaner, mix 1 part vinegar with 2 parts warm water. Add a bit of lemon extract or essential oil for a natural, chemical-free scent. Lavender, peppermint or tea tree are other great scents. Not only do they smell amazing, but essential oils are known to have antimicrobial, anti-fungal, and antiviral properties, so they clean just as effectively but without harsh toxins or side effects.
She recommends switching to microfiber rags instead of wasting paper towels. At about 50 cents each, they are hypoallergenic and 99% effective at removing bacteria from dry surfaces, while also reducing the need for water or cleaning products. And another thing I wasn’t familiar with before my chat with Brie was the magic erasers (made from melamine foam). She says they’re eco-friendly, chemical-free and work like magic on tough stains that would usually require bleach – especially mold, mildew and soap scum.
Who doesn’t want clean windows after months of rain, snow and build up on them? Instead of ammonia based detergents, try another one of Brie’s natural recipes – a homemade window cleaner. Mix one part water, one part rubbing alcohol, and a few drops of lemon or essential oil for a cleaner that’s great on any window, mirror, or glass. Use a dry microfiber rag and wipe in circles for a natural, streak-free shine.
A clean home helps promote relaxation and well-being. And if you clean with green cleaning products, you’ll be happier doing your downward dogs and looking through clean windows during those sun salutations. 🙂