Spring is here and with it, new energy from the warmer weather and brighter days! It’s the perfect time for a spring clean and we’ve got some great tips for you to keep it green, no toxic chemicals and waste!
First: Declutter and organize.
Pull out all your closets and drawers. See what you have and what you use. Be brutal. Things you don’t use just take up your valuable real estate. As always, we recommend sorting and repurposing your old items. Turn threadbare tea towels and t-shirts into cleaning rags and eliminate paper towels for good. Sort the rest of your unwanted clothes and household goods into three piles: things that could be sent to a consignment store or sold online; items for destined for charity shops; and lastly, items that could be repurposed into your next big DIY project!
Open up your windows to air out your home and enjoy that brisk fresh air. Europeans hang their duvets out their windows every sunny day they get. The sunshine kills bacteria and keeps your bedding fresh and the open windows clear out the stale air! Your windows have been braving the elements over fall and winter, so this year sso kip the paper towels and harsh chemicals and find those washable rags and some vinegar for some eco-friendly window washing.We recommend combining two teaspoons of white vinegar with 1 quart of warm water in a spray bottle.
Get inside those dark cupboards.
Spring is the best time to haul out your pantry and check your dry good for pests. Check your containers for signs of moths. Look for worm-like things wiggling around, moths, and webbing. Throw the contents out and clean out the jar with a soap and water. Wipe down any jars that are not infected with a vinegar solutions, and use the same to wipe down all the surfaces in your pantry and cupboards. Vinegar is a great pest deterrent
Safer cleaning products:
It’s tempting to choose a powerful chemical cleaner for your home, but homemade cleaners can be just as effective! Natural cleaners are an eco friendly way to clean your home, and less harmful to you and your family. Ingredients such as lemon juice, water, plain soap, baking soda, and vinegar will leave your home just as clean.
The David Suzuki Foundation is a great resource to get rid of petroleum-based cleaning products. If you’re into making your own, here are some cleaning recipes tested by the Queen of Green herself that are great for general cleaning of windows, mirrors, cupboards, walls, stainless steel –and don’t forget to pull down those light fixture that get so neglected! If you prefer to buy green products, here are a few we’ve chosen for those spring cleaners:
Borax 20 Mule Team
Great for tough laundry stains, kitchen cupboards, bathroom tiles, pet odour, carpet steam cleaning, and added to your laundry for washable drapes. Add a few tablespoons to a few inches of warm water in your bathtub give your blinds a once-over.
Carpets, curtains, duvets and pillows:
Synthetic, wool and feather duvets and pillows are all machine washable! Just make sure you have a big enough washing machine to handle the load. Take your goods to the local laundromat, use a detergent for fine washables and use the regular cycle. It will take a lot longer to dry these items than just one cycle, so be prepared with lots of change. If you live in a sunny, dry climate, outdoor drying is the best option.
You can also send your duvets, blankets, drapes, pillows and carpets out to be cleaned.
Find green alternatives to dry cleaning your drapes and winter coats. Some drapes can be washed in cold water on the gentle cycle and hung to dry. If you have a bright pattern, test in a corner that won’t be seen for colour fastness.
Keep in mind that there are green commercial dry cleaners too who use pressurized CO2 instead of Perc. It’s definitely a much better alternative to dry cleaning the “normal” way.
Another alternative to dry cleaning is called “wet cleaning”. They look like professional dry cleaning establishments, but use a European technology that uses water and mild detergents that is different than hand washing. Look for them in your neighbourhood.
For carpets, couches and fabric chairs, use 20 Mule Team Borax in a steam cleaner. Find the instructions here.
We are always on the hunt for great ideas on spring cleaning. What is your biggest spring clean challenge? Let us know in the comments below and we might feature that in an upcoming article!