Spring Cleaning: Let Nature Work Its Wonders!
Mar 31, 2011 11:08AM
By Wells Ye
Spring cleaning is the best way to get your home in shape for a healthy new season. Take advantage of natural processes and many natural non-chemical cleaners to ensure your home is healthier than ever and cut down on waste as well.
Before the vacuum cleaner was invented in 1860, and then perfected at the turn of the last century, the most natural way to clean a home started with opening the windows while dusting to let the dust flow out with the breeze. This method works as well now as it did then, and opening the windows should be the first step for any spring cleaning. It lets in spring freshness and lets out stale winter air.
For the next step in your spring cleaning, respect and honor the natural processes of aging and seasoning. Donate, reuse, reduce, and recycle anything your family no longer uses. This can include:
- Recycling old magazines
- Sorting through books to recycle, donate or sell to a used book store
- Taking spring clothing out of storage and cleaning and storing winter clothing and blankets; in the process, sort through and donate any you no longer need
- Rotating food in your pantry and cabinet, and throwing out expired and unhealthful foods
- Cleaning the refrigerator and disposing of outdated food that has made its way to the back of the shelves
Once the clutter has been removed, use nature’s cleaning miracles to clean your home to a fresh and healthful shine.
Aging and seasoning are natural processes to respect and honor. Donate, reuse, reduce and recycle!
Vinegar, vinegar, and more vinegar. Vinegar can be used to clean just about anything. Use it straight, or dilute in water, to clean kitchen floors and wash windows. Mix with baking soda to clean sinks. You can even use vinegar to remove stains in your carpet. Unlike harsh chemicals, green cleaners such as vinegar do not leave any smell once they dry. A few drops of essential oils, such as lemongrass, lavender or vanilla, can be added to leave a gentle and natural scent after cleaning.
Add some baking soda to round out your cleaning supplies. Multi-purpose baking soda can be used for everything from freshening the air, carpets and furniture to scrubbing toilets and bathtubs. Lemon juice is another great natural cleaner that works well for sinks, drains and counters, when combined with baking soda.
To cut down on waste, use old clothing and sheets for dusting and cleaning rags. Avoid using paper towels and other one-time-use materials.
Natural cleaners need a little extra soaking time than harsh chemicals do, so be sure to apply to surfaces and let soak to achieve the best results. Spray your natural cleaners and wait about 15 to 30 minutes before wiping clean with fresh water and a soft cloth. Give the natural cleaners time to work and you will be pleased with the results.
Even houseplants can help with cleaning! Boston ferns, English ivy, rubber plants and peace lilies all can contribute to cleaner indoor air by absorbing toxic chemicals.
Don’t forget the effects of spring sunshine in your cleaning routine. Pillows and blankets freshen noticeably when placed in a sunny spot for a few hours. Install a clothesline in your backyard, let your clothes dry in the sunlight and you’ll feel the comfort of naturally dried fabrics.
So this spring, let nature work its wonders with your home cleaning!
Wells Ye is the founder and president of Fresh Tech Maid Services, an award-winning green-home cleaning company in Chicago Land. Fresh Tech Maid Services is the first Illinois residential cleaning company that earned the prestigious Residential Cleaning Seal of Excellence from ARCSI, Association of Residential Cleaning Services International. For more information, call 847-392-0888 or visit FreshTechMaids.com.