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Spring time is finally here!! The weather is finally warming up and the days and finally getting longer – and if you’re like me, that extra hour of daylight may just be illuminating all that extra dust that’s been accumulating over the winter! Looks like it’s time for some good old fashioned spring cleaning!
We all want to help protect and preserve the planet. After all, earth is our home, and its future is at stake. However, we also want to keep our living spaces clean and sanitary, as well as avoiding harmful toxic products.
So what’s the alternative to detoxing your kitchen and bathroom cabinets of ethylene and sodium-based products?
Here are 10 simple steps for keeping your home looking great while also preserving the future of the planet:
1. Windows and Mirrors
Say goodbye to ammonia-based window cleaners and instead use a solution of 4 tablespoons lemon juice and half-gallon of water. Rubbing alcohol or witch hazel can also do the trick. Wipe using an old newspaper (to prevent streaking), or a lint-free reusable cloth.
Vinegar and water is an easy, effective choice for cleaning most kinds of non-carpeted flooring in your home. Add 1 cup vinegar to 1 gallon warm water; use it to mop ceramic tile, vinyl flooring, linoleum, laminates or hardwood. There’s no need to rinse, but try not to over-saturate your floors, especially wood.
3. Vinyl Upholstery
Equal parts lemon juice and water are very effective for cleaning your vinyl furniture. Straight lemon juice can help remove any stubborn stains.
If your wood-burning fireplace is showing soot stains or smoke smudges, you can clean them off with a paste of water and cream of tartar (a household spice.) Rub the paste onto stains and let it dry, then scrub off. To reduce interior build up, toss an occasional handful of salt into your fire; the burning salt helps to loosen soot.
5. Furniture Polish
Most furniture polish is made of toxic solvents and petroleum distillates. Create an eco-friendly furniture polish by mixing 1 part lemon juice and 2 parts olive oil.
6. Those Stubborn Coffee Cup Rings
Has hot coffee left a ring on your nice wooden table? Get rid of it with a thin paste of lemon oil or salad oil mixed with salt; wipe on and buff lightly with a soft cloth.
7. An Eco-Friendly Cleaning Service
Don’t have time to clean your home or business yourself? Try hiring an approved green cleaning company to take care of everything for you using safe, eco-friendly products and practices that you can feel good about.
8. Cleaning up the Clutter
Don’t let clutter pile up and disturb the feng shui of your home. Recycle liberally, sell the things you no longer use, or give them away to charity.
9. De-lint Your Dryer
Take the time to clean the lint trap in your clothes dryer before or after each load — this will reduce its energy usage by up to 30%.
10. Keep Air Clean
Never let your car idle in your driveway or garage for more than 30 seconds. Instead, wait until all of your passengers are buckled in and ready to go before starting up the car.