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Spring Clean the Sustainable Way with Our Top Eco Tips

March 3, 2024

Spring Clean the Sustainable Way with Our Top Eco Tips

Spring is here and it’s time for my annual deep clean. As someone who cares about living sustainably, I aim to spring clean in an eco-friendly way. Here are my top sustainable spring cleaning tips:

Use Natural Cleaning Products

The first step is using natural and non-toxic cleaning products. Conventional cleaners often contain harsh chemicals that are bad for the environment and your health.

I recommend making your own cleaners from simple ingredients like baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, and castile soap. You can also find great ready-made natural cleaning products. Look for plant-based ingredients and certifications like Safer Choice.

Some of my go-to natural cleaning staples are:

  • Baking soda – a mild abrasive for scrubbing and deodorizing
  • White vinegar – cuts through grease and kills mold and bacteria
  • Lemon juice – cuts through grease and whitens
  • Castile soap – removes dirt without chemicals
  • Essential oils like lemon, lavender, and tea tree oil – add natural fragrance and cleaning powers

Making my own eco-friendly cleaners saves money and avoids plastic waste from store-bought cleaners.

Use Microfiber Cloths and Rags

Microfiber cloths are a sustainable alternative to paper towels for cleaning. The ultra-fine microfibers trap and pick up dirt without chemicals.

Microfiber cloths are reusable and last a long time. I use them for dusting and cleaning mirrors, windows, appliances, floors, and other surfaces. Look for microfiber made from recycled materials.

Old rags and cloths can also substitute for paper towels. I cut up worn-out t-shirts and towels to make reusable rags.

Using microfiber and rags reduces waste and saves money. I just throw them in the laundry to reuse.

Clean with Baking Soda

Baking soda is one of my go-to natural cleaning ingredients. It works for so many jobs without any harsh chemicals. Here are some of my favorite ways to use it:

  • Scrub sinks, tubs, appliances – Make a paste with baking soda and water to scour away grime. Rinse thoroughly after scrubbing.

  • Deodorize carpets and upholstery – Sprinkle baking soda and let sit for 15 minutes before vacuuming up. Also deodorizes the vacuum!

  • Clean tile floors – Mix baking soda with castile soap in water to mop floors. Rinse well.

  • Remove stuck on grime – Make a paste with baking soda and water and let sit on grimy areas for 15 minutes before scrubbing off.

  • Freshen laundry – Add 1⁄2 cup baking soda to the washing machine with detergent to brighten clothes.

For heavy duty scrubbing, I also use baking soda with lemon juice or vinegar. When combined with an acid, baking soda bubbles and lifts grime.

Use Vinegar for Disinfecting

Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and deodorizer. I use it for cleaning and disinfecting many areas of my home.

To sanitize surfaces, I mix 1 part vinegar to 2 parts water in a spray bottle. Then I spray and wipe down areas like:

  • Countertops
  • Bathrooms – sink, toilet, shower
  • Kitchen – appliances, sink, cutting boards
  • Light switches and doorknobs
  • Floors

I also put undiluted vinegar in a spray bottle and use it to descale appliances like the coffee maker and showerhead. The acetic acid in vinegar dissolves mineral deposits and kills mold and bacteria.

For fabric freshening and disinfecting, I add 1⁄2 cup vinegar to the washing machine rinse cycle. The vinegar smell dissipates as fabrics dry.

Use Eco-Friendly Disposables

Some cleaning tasks do require throwaway products like sponges, paper towels, and mop pads. When I need disposables, I look for sustainable options like:

  • Bamboo paper towels – more sustainable than regular paper towels
  • Biodegradable cellulose sponges – break down fully when composted
  • Reusable microfiber mop pads – washable and long-lasting

I also try to cut down on what disposables I use. I clean with microfiber cloths and rags whenever possible rather than paper towels. And I use washable mop heads and hand scrubs made from natural materials like coconut fibers.

Conserve Water

Being water-wise is an important part of sustainable cleaning. Simple habits like not letting the water run while washing dishes or surfaces make a big difference.

Here are some of my tips for conserving water when cleaning:

  • Fill a basin to wash dishes and surfaces rather than washing under running water.

  • Reuse water when possible – like scrubbing floors with a bucket of soapy water rather than repeated fresh rinses.

  • Install low-flow faucets to use less water for rinsing. New low-flow showerheads also conserve water.

  • Run full loads of laundry and dishes to maximize each gallon of water used.

  • Sweep first before mopping to use less water for cleaning floors.

Saving water is good for the planet and keeps utility bills low.

Use Non-Toxic Products for Personal Care

Sustainable spring cleaning extends beyond my home. I also evaluate my self-care and beauty routines.

I’ve switched to using non-toxic, eco-friendly products for:

  • Shampoo, conditioner, and soap
  • Skin care
  • Cosmetics
  • Sunscreen
  • Deodorant

Just like with cleaning products, mainstream personal care items often contain synthetic chemicals that are hazardous and irritating.

I’ve found great natural brands that work just as well without the toxic ingredients. Some active ingredients I look for are aloe vera, tea tree oil, plant oils, and minerals.

This swap has really improved my skin and hair health too!

Declutter Responsibly

An important part of spring cleaning is going through closets and storage to declutter. I follow eco-friendly practices to dispose of items I no longer need:

  • Donate usable items to charities, shelters, thrift stores, and reuse organizations.

  • Sell or swap usable goods through sites like Craigslist and neighborhood “buy nothing” groups.

  • Recycle – plastic, glass, metals, electronics, batteries, and more. Check local recycling guidelines.

  • Compost food scraps and yard waste rather than sending to the landfill. Many towns now offer municipal composting.

  • Properly dispose of hazardous waste like chemicals, CFL bulbs, and batteries. My town has designated drop off days.

Only the broken and unsalvageable gets tossed in my last resort – the trash can. Decluttering mindfully reduces what ends up in landfills.

Hire Eco-Friendly Professional Cleaners

For deeper cleaning tasks like carpets, window, and ducts, I like to hire professional cleaners. To keep things green, I look for services that:

  • Use natural cleaning solutions
  • Minimize water and electricity consumption
  • Recycle and dispose of waste properly
  • Arrive in fuel-efficient vehicles

There are more and more environmentally conscious cleaning companies to choose from these days. I search for terms like “eco-friendly“, “green“, and “sustainable” when researching cleaners.

Many maid services also offer natural cleaning options now. Just be sure to discuss use of green products before booking.

Enjoy a Refreshing Eco-Friendly Home!

And that’s how I sustainably spring clean while caring for the environment! With these eco-friendly tips, I can refresh my home using natural products that avoid toxic chemicals.

The switch to green cleaning has been easy and affordable. My home sparkles using simple eco ingredients I probably already have on hand.

An added bonus is that my indoor air quality has improved without all the harsh chemical fumes. The natural cleaning solutions are safe for my family, pets, and the planet.

I’m happy to do my small part to lower my environmental impact. Green spring cleaning helps reduce waste, conserve water, save energy, and declutter responsibly.

After finishing my top-to-bottom sustainable clean, I can relax and enjoy my fresh, detoxified home this spring! Let me know if you have any other great eco-friendly cleaning tips.

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