Getting your home spic and span when spring arrives (oops – it’s already here!) doesn’t need to be a hassle. Even more important, there are ways to avoid introducing caustic chemicals into your home as well. We’ve accumulated some great spring cleaning tips and tricks that will make cleaning safe, effective and affordable.
First – Prepare
Make a spring cleaning TTD list and to make it less overwhelming, start by cleaning one room at a time. Also, you’ll need to gather together your cleaning supplies and you probably have some of them right in your refrigerator or pantry.
Clean Out Your Closets
Pull everything out of the dressers, closets, from shelves, off of the furniture and out from under the bed and put everything into separate piles. Next, separate out what you need and don’t need anymore and donate what you can part with. While the surfaces are clear, use a microfiber towel/duster to eliminate dust. Put back the items you’re keeping and whenever possible, put lose things in plastic containers or covered boxes to keep dust from collecting on them.
Wash Cabinets, Baseboards, Woodwork and Walls
Dip a sponge or rag into water mixed with a bit Pure Care dishwashing liquid (will leave the area you’re cleaning smelling great) and wipe down the surfaces. If the area you’re cleaning needs a bit more attention, apply a few drops of the dish soap directly on the damp sponge or rag.
Cleaning Carpets and Upholstery
Fabrics that have soaked up a winter’s worth of body oil, dirt and germs will be ready for a deep cleaning. Before cleaning/shampooing upholstery or carpets, try it out first on an unobtrusive area to make sure it won’t cause any dyes to run or discolor the carpeting. After shampooing the carpeting, put the legs of your furniture on top of small pieces of wax paper. The wax paper will protect the carpeting and keep the legs of the furniture from getting wet while the carpet dries. If you’re home and it’s nice outside, open the windows (will speed the drying process) and enjoy the fresh air in the meantime.
Have you ever thought about why most household cleaners push the fact that they have lemon in them? It’s because lemon makes a fantastic cleaning agent. Its acidity breaks down dirt and grime, and even more important, it smells nice. Lemon actually cleans well by itself and when you add salt to the equation, it becomes an effective and affordable scouring cleanser. For delicate surfaces, use lemon and table salt (it’s not as coarse) or for something that takes a tougher approach you can use sea salt (the larger grains make it coarser). To make your lemony cleanser, cut a lemon in half and sprinkle a liberal amount of salt onto the surface area you want to clean. Next, with the cut side down, begin scrubbing. Another lemony fresh alternative, less messy all-purpose cleaner would be Pure Care natural all-purpose cleaner infused with lemongrass and sweet orange essential oils. Not only it does an excellent job cleaning, it also provides a fresh, spa-like scent. Pure Care products are also natural alternatives to the harsh, toxic cleansers found in retail stores.
Baking soda makes an awesome cleaner and its ability to eliminate odors and whiten really makes it shine. For instance, to brighten up grout, make a paste using baking soda and water and start scrubbing. You’d be thrilled by how fast it works. As far as eliminating odors coming from the bathroom or kitchen stinks, pour a combination of baking soda and vinegar down the drain. All you have to do is first bring a pot of water to a boil (use a teapot if you have one – it’s safer). Next, dump a 1/2 cup baking soda, and follow with 1 cup of vinegar, then add a cup of the hot water and let it stand for around 15 minutes. Next just flush the drain with water. It will bubble up like one of your elementary school projects and at the same time eat away the crud hanging on the pipes, eliminating the odors.
In a pinch, vinegar is also an effective, all natural cleaner which is safe for both humans and their pets. You can use vinegar for just about everything from cleaning pipes to floors and windows. Some of the best uses for vinegar is to remove mold and soap scum, and all you need is full strength vinegar and a sponge.
Dusting Made Easy
When it comes to dusting you don’t need to use expensive, toxic, dusting sprays. What most people don’t realize is that every time they clean using these sprays, they’re filling their homes with toxic chemicals. A fun (because it’s cheap and ingenious) alternative is to use dryer sheets to dust your home. The same attributes that get rid of static cling in dryer work to trap dust.
One thing to keep in mind is that you don’t need to have your spring cleaning efforts affect your family’s health or cost more than it needs to. With these spring cleaning tips and tricks, you’ll be able to get your home back in order and sparkling clean without you or your family wheezing from the toxic fumes of traditional household cleaners.