Cleaning your home is a never-ending battle. With so many people living there, it seems like you’re always picking up, vacuuming, and more. That’s all right, as the benefits of having a clean house make up for it.
However, modern cleaning supplies are often full of harmful, even toxic chemicals. And despite the fact that they disinfect surfaces, what are you leaving behind when you use them? That’s why there’s a growing movement in the U.S. for environmentally-friendly cleaning products. Read on to learn what to use instead of chemicals and how to keep your air clean this winter.
Springtime is a great time for cleaning because people have been cooped up all winter, but fall is also a great time to clean — before winter weather keeps you stuck inside for several months. OrganizedHome.com has a great checklist of cleaning for fall.
For the inside, clean the common rooms first like communal bathrooms and living rooms. Start at the top and work your way to the floor, including vacuuming and, if necessary, carpet cleaning with eco-friendly materials. For the outside, wash the exterior windows, put away garden hoses, and clean patio furniture or outdoor toys before storing them in a shed or basement.
But cleaning doesn’t just mean disinfecting or getting rid of dirt — it can also mean decluttering and getting rid of unused belongings. Doing this in the fall is great, as you’ll be more organized and prepared for the approaching winter holidays. Redfin has a great page with tips to help declutter, including what’s best to donate to different organizations like animal shelters or thrift stores. After all, reusing is a great way to be environmentally friendly.
Being eco-friendly means avoiding harsh chemicals whenever possible. Thankfully, there are many natural ways to clean your home. Wellness Mama explains that you can make a scouring powder by mixing baking soda, salt, and Borax. Another all-natural cleaner is mixing vinegar with citrus peels. Let this sit for a few days then dilute it with water in a bucket or bowl. Use it to clean floors or disinfect surfaces.
Use baking soda on your oven to get rid of stubborn, burnt-on stains. For drains, pour some baking soda and white vinegar down the drain, then cover over the drain with a kitchen towel. Let this soak in for a few hours before rinsing them with hot water.
Since you’ll be inside so much this winter, it helps to find an eco-friendly way to clean the air. That means skipping the aerosol sprays or chemically-laden scented candles. Instead, buy some plants.
As Greatist explains, plants act as filters by taking in carbon dioxide and even particulates swirling around in your home’s air. Then they replace both with oxygen. Some of the best plants for this include spider plants, peace lilies, ferns, and snake plants. Plus, these are typically easy to care for inside your home, helping them last longer in case you don’t have a green thumb.
If you want really want a scent in the house, you can also create an all-natural air freshener. In a saucepan, add water, a sliced lime, and some thyme. Then set the pan on a low simmer and let the evaporation make your house smell wonderful.
Our ancestors lived without spray bottles filled with harsh chemicals, so why can’t you? Stock up on some baking soda, vinegar, and citrus to make your own eco-friendly cleaning supplies. Once you’ve decluttered the house and added some plants, you can get some fall cleaning done so your home is ready for everyone this winter.