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Natural Cleaning and Disinfecting for a Green Spring Clean

March 3, 2024
Natural Cleaning and Disinfecting for a Green Spring Clean

Spring is here and it’s time for that annual deep clean to freshen up your home! As I start opening windows to let in the warm breezes and planning for spring cleaning, I’ve been thinking about how to get a thorough clean while still being kind to the environment. Here’s my guide to having a green and healthy spring clean.

Why Natural Cleaning and Disinfecting Matters

It’s easy to grab conventional cleaners without thinking twice, but many contain harsh chemicals that aren’t good for our health or the planet. Here are some of the main concerns with conventional cleaning products:

  • Toxic fumes – Products with strong chemicals can cause eye and throat irritation, headaches, and other health issues when inhaled.
  • Harmful runoff – When washed down drains, toxic ingredients get into waterways and ecosystems.
  • Endocrine disruption – Some chemicals act as hormone disruptors and are linked to certain cancers, birth defects, and developmental disorders.
  • Asthma & allergies – Fragrances and chemicals in cleaners make asthma and allergy symptoms worse for some people.

That’s why I’m committed to cleaning and disinfecting naturally to protect my family’s health. And with some simple homemade solutions, I can eliminate toxins without sacrificing cleaning power.

Safe, Natural Cleaning Ingredients

Luckily, some basic pantry staples make excellent eco-friendly cleaners. Here are my go-to natural cleaning ingredients:

  • Baking soda – A mild abrasive that cleans, deodorizes, and scours.
  • White vinegar – Cuts through grease and grime as a natural acid.
  • Lemon juice – Removes stains and deodorizes with its fresh citrus power.
  • Hydrogen peroxide – Disinfects and whitens without leaving chemical residue.
  • Pure soap – Castile soap, in bar or liquid form, cleans grease and lifts dirt.
  • Essential oils – Add antibacterial, antimicrobial, and fresh scents.
  • Salt – Acts as a gentle scrubber.
  • Water – The universal solvent loosens dirt.

With just these basic ingredients, you can make powerful cleaners that get the job done without harming you or the environment.

Equipment and Supplies

Aside from the natural ingredients, there are some supplies that make cleaning easier:

  • Reusable spray bottles to mix and apply homemade cleaners
  • Microfiber cloths that effectively capture dust and dirt
  • Scrub brushes for tougher grime and buildup
  • Buckets for soaking, scrubbing, and carrying supplies
  • Vacuum with HEPA filter to control dust and allergens
  • Mop for floors – reusable cotton or microfiber work best

Having the right tools helps streamline your spring cleaning process. Look for earth-friendly options like reusable towels instead of disposable wipes when possible.

Areas of Focus for a Green Spring Clean

Kitchen

The kitchen easily gets grimy over the winter, so tackle this room first.

Clean appliances inside and out with a baking soda paste and rinse. For stainless steel, mix white vinegar and water for extra shine.

Scrub the oven by leaving a bowl of ammonia inside overnight, then wipe clean in the morning. No need for harsh oven cleaners!

Disinfect surfaces like counters and cutting boards using diluted hydrogen peroxide or vinegar solution.

Fade plastic containers by soaking in a vinegar bath. Rinse and let dry in the sun for freshness.

De-gunk the fridge by washing shelves with baking soda and water solution. Soak drawers and bins in sudsy water to banish smells.

Floors

Carpets and hard floors take a real beating during the winter. Give them some TLC!

Shampoo carpets using natural soap instead of detergent. Let soak, scrub with a brush, and rinse with vinegar water.

Remove stuck on grime from tile by applying baking soda paste and gently scrubbing. Mop clean.

Brighten grout by scrubbing with an old toothbrush dipped in hydrogen peroxide. Let sit briefly before rinsing.

Eliminate musty smells by sprinkling carpets with baking soda. Vacuum up after 30 minutes. Repeat as needed.

Refresh hardwood by mixing one cup vinegar into a gallon of water. Dip mop into solution and wipe floors clean.

Bathrooms

Bathrooms harbor hidden germs and soap scum, so disinfecting is key here.

Clean the toilet by pouring in baking soda followed by vinegar. Let fizz, then scrub stains away.

Remove mildew from tile grout and caulk by spraying straight vinegar and giving it time to penetrate.

Disinfect surfaces like sinks and counters using a vinegar-water solution. Rinse with hydrogen peroxide.

Make mirrors shine by spraying with vinegar and wiping dry with newspaper or microfiber cloth.

Freshen shower curtains by tossing in the wash with towels and a half cup of vinegar. Air dry.

Throughout the House

Finish up by tackling the remaining rooms.

Dust furniture using a microfiber cloth moistened with oil and vinegar. Gets rid of dust and polishes wood.

Wash walls with a gentle castile soap and warm water to cut through grease and dirt buildup.

Clean windows by mixing equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Wipe dry with newspaper or microfiber cloth.

Brighten dingy floors by mopping with one cup vinegar diluted in water. For unfinished wood, use half water, half vinegar.

Freshen fabrics by mixing baking soda with essential oils like lemon or lavender. Sprinkle over upholstery and let sit before vacuuming.

Disinfecting Wisely

Regular cleaning removes most germs, but you may want to take extra disinfecting precautions during spring cleaning. Here are some tips:

  • Spot disinfect high-touch areas like doorknobs, handles, and light switches using diluted hydrogen peroxide.

  • Open windows to maximize ventilation and air circulation when using natural disinfectants.

  • Steam mop hard floors with very hot water and vinegar to kill germs without chemicals.

  • Limit disinfecting to areas prone to high germ contact to avoid over-disinfecting.

  • Check product labels and never mix chemical disinfectants like bleach and ammonia.

Enjoy a Fresh Start!

There you have it – my blueprint for an eco-friendly, non-toxic spring clean. With a little strategic scrubbing using natural cleaners, you can banish built-up gunk, erase grime, and refresh your whole home. Remember to open windows, wear gloves, and vacuum regularly while cleaning. In no time, you’ll be ready to welcome the new season with a clean, healthy home! Let me know if you have any other tried and true green cleaning tips. Happy spring cleaning!

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