After spending so much time at home this winter, spring cleaning is serious business this year. It’s also the perfect time to upgrade your eco-friendly game. These steps will help you add some Earth-conscious practices to your deep-clean and daily routines.
Step 1: Get Your Supplies
Skip Paper. Keep your trash bin and the land fill from filling up with paper towels and try the reusable way. Have cleaning rags or towels in your bottom drawer? Maybe an old intermural sports T-Shirt that hasn’t seen the light of day since 2004? Ditch the paper, go for the cotton, microfiber or other sustainable material that works best for you.
Use Nontoxic and Biodegradable Products. Toxic chemicals from some cleaning products can add pollutants to your indoor air quality. Those certified under the EPA’s “Safer Choice” product standards are a good place to start to keep your kids, pets and planet safe. You can also make you own cleaning products from organic or all-natural ingredients. A go-to formula with easily-available ingredients includes adding ½ cup of white vinegar, ½ a cup of water and 20 drops of your favorite essential oil in a spray bottle.
Save Water and Electricity. Using water to wash the floor? Make sure you’re catching it all in the bucket as soon as it comes out of the faucet. Ready to wash some of those reusable towels you used? Wash on cold and air dry.
Step 2: Get to Work
Here are a few blind spots to keep your eyes out for when cleaning your house:
- Windows and window treatments (blinds or drapes)
- Lampshades and overhead lights or fans
- The vacuum itself!
- Behind and inside appliances (refrigerator, stove, microwave, etc.)
- Framed photos, decorations, etc.
- Upholstery and other furniture
- Carpets, rugs and footrests
- Wash all bedding (mattress covers, quilts, throw pillows, etc.)
- Dust behind beds, dressers and nightstands
- Carpets and rugs
- Deep clean the tub and shower
- Wash bathmats
- Wash shower liners and curtains
Step 3: Reassess Your Daily Cleaning Practices
With efficiency and the environment in mind, assess your daily cleaning practices. Inefficient cleaning can result in wasted water, power, product and time. You can get the most out of your daily cleaning habits with these practices:
- Read labels so you use the right amount of product and don’t overuse
- Select the correct load size when running your washer
- Wait to run the dishwasher until it’s full
- Air-dry cloths and dishes when possible
- Clean a room from top to bottom, far wall to doorway, so you don’t have to clean the same area twice
Step 4: Enjoy Your Clean Space!
Turn on your favorite music, pour yourself a glass of lemonade and revel in your sparkling clean place!