Simple Steps – Green Spring Cleaning

The snow is melting, birds are chirruping, the first spring flowers have pushed their way through the frozen ground.  It’s that time of year again – spring cleaning time!

I am definitely ready to get my green spring cleaning and organizing on this month because I know once the weather gets warmer (which really won’t happen regularly here until at least April) I won’t want to be spending my time indoors cleaning!

We’ve already talked a lot about green homemade cleaners here at Live Renewed.  But I wanted to start out this month of green spring cleaning by making it a Simple Step, an easy change to make if you are still using conventional cleaners and unsure how to make the switch over to green and natural cleaning.

This month’s Simple Step is to switch to green homemade cleaners around your house.

You really only need 5 basic ingredients for all your homemade cleaning recipes and green cleaning needs.

1. White Vinegar

Buy the biggest bottle you can find, because you can use this for so many different things. White vinegar is a natural disinfectant, so you are killing germs while you are cleaning!

  • Multipurpose Cleaner – Mix 50/50 with water in a spray bottle.  Add essential oil for a more pleasing scent.
  • Window and Mirror Cleaner – Again mix 50/50 with water, but don’t add essential oil, it will leave oily spots on the glass.
  • Fabric Softener – Use instead of fabric softener in the wash – I add mine to the fabric softener dispenser, you could also use a Downey ball, or just add it to the rinse cycle.
  • Rinse Aid in the Dishwasher – Add to the rinse aid compartment in your dishwasher instead of commercial rinse aids like Jet Dry.
  • Homemade Disinfecting Wipes
  • Homemade Soft Scrub and general bathroom cleaning

2. Baking Soda

Again, buy a big box.  I get mine at Meijer, but I’m sure Sam’s or Costco would be a great place to get it as well.  Keep it in a reused Parmesan cheese container to easily sprinkle it wherever you need it.

  • Toilet Cleaning – A few shakes around the toilet and scrub.
  • Stove Cleaner – Works great for cleaned burned on stuff on the stove top without scratching
  • Homemade Soft Scrub
  • Carpet Deodorizer/Freshener – Add several drops of essential oil and sprinkle on your carpet.  Wait a few minutes and then vacuum up
  • Kitchen Sink Cleaner – A few shakes and a good scrubbing cleans up my white enamel kitchen sink and works great on stainless steel as well.

3. Castile Soap

I use Dr. Bronner’s brand, there are others, but I don’t have experience with them. You can find it at big retails like Target and Meijer, and you can also buy it online at Amazon, or drugstore.com, and often those prices are much better.

A big bottle will last you a long time because it is very concentrated, but you can use it for so many things, you may as well buy the biggest bottle you can find.

4.Tea Tree Oil

A little tea tree oil goes a long way, so a smaller bottle of this will last you for a long time.  I usually buy mine from the vitamin section at Target, you can also find it online.

  • Multipurpose Cleaner – Same as above with the castile soap.
  • Homemade Disinfecting Wipes
  • Bathroom Cleaning
  • General Disinfecting – Tea tree oil also has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties, so it is a natural disinfectant, add a few drops to warm water in a spray bottle or just a bowl and use it to wipe down surfaces that you want to disinfect.
  • Hand Sanitizer

5. Natural Dishsoap

I haven’t written much about cleaning with dishsoap, but it works great as a general, all-around, multipurpose cleaner.  Add some dishsoap to a bucket of warm water and use it to mop your floors, or wipe down your kitchen cabinets.  It’s just one more way to clean around your house without using conventional, chemical cleaners.

So, as you start deep cleaning around your house this month, find ways you can make simple changes in the cleaners that you use. We’ll be talking more in depth about green spring cleaning for specific rooms of our homes as the month goes on, so be sure to subscribe to follow along!

How do you green spring clean around your home?  What’s your favorite homemade and green cleaner?  Or do you have an ingredient you think I should add to my list?

Want to Read More?

Linked to Link & Learn at No Time for Flash Cards

Also head over to Heavenly Homemakers for the little Green Project!

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Comments

  1. April L. says

    Love this! I am pregnant, so definitely trying to avoid harsh chemicals. We currently use “green” store-bought cleaners (7th Generation, BioKleen, etc.) but I would love to take the plunge and start making my own, because those cleaners aren’t cheap! A couple questions I have:

    1) It doesn’t bother me much, but my husband *hates* the smell of vinegar. We already use it in the wash as a fabric softener and know the smell doesn’t linger, but what about on the counter-tops and such?

    2) I have heard that tea tree oil should not be used around cats, and I’m getting conflicting information on this from Professor Google. Do you know anything about that?

    Thanks!

    • Julie says

      April,

      I can’t answer the tea tree oil cat allergy question, but I do know that the smell of vinegar is gone as soon as it dries from the surface you are cleaning. The only time the smell remains in my home is when I use it to kill odors in the microwave (pour small in bowl and zap for a couple minutes) or when I have some simmering on the stove to keep odors out of the kitchen while cooking fish. Even then, as soon as I wipe down the inside of the microwave or cool off the vinegar on the stove, the scent of the vinegar disappears.

      -Julie

    • Emily says

      We use 7th Generation – I just added a link above, it wasn’t working for me last night. I’ve also heard that Mrs. Meyers is good.

      I also have a microfiber cloth that is specifically for windows and mirrors. It works great, even with just water, as is lint free, I love mine too!

  2. Brittany says

    Also, I use a cleaning cloth to wipe mirrors down. My mother gave it to me, so I’m not sure where she bought it without asking. The tag says “mystic maid”. It’s blue and basically lint free. I have two so I can dampen one to get rid of streaks/spots and then use the dry one to get rid of dust or streaks left from the damp wipe down. I LOVE it!

    • Emily says

      I use both the Baby Mild (unscented) and the Citrus. The Citrus is my favorite scent, but I haven’t had much experience with the other ones, except that I don’t like the rose scent at all!

  3. Julie says

    I use the tea tree oil Dr. Bronner’s bar soap for making laundry soap, add hydrogen peroxide to the bleach dispenser and pour vinegar into the fabric softener dispenser in the washing machine when I want to make sure my laundry is sanitized. (I have boys so this is always concern.)

  4. says

    I do a lot of research on green cleaning and I’ve never heard of Castile Soap – interesting.

    I am a Norwex rep so naturally I use our green products. But I have to admit I am a huge fan of antibac microfiber cloths. Anything that removes 99.9% of bacteria by just adding water makes me feel great as I provide a chemical free environment for for family. :)

    Happy so to be Spring!
    Suzanne
    Radically reducing the use of chemicals in personal care and cleaning.

  5. Akhira says

    It’s hard to live a life of “green” since you can greatly noticed that almost all kinds of products are now chemical based even toys you barely can see a toxic free toy. And due to unhealthy surroundings cause by companies who has been producing toxins so all things seems in vain but great to have know that you can still enjoy a free from pollution life.:)
    Akhira recently posted..tea tree oil for acne

  6. Rainieha says

    Absolutely right. Nowadays, most of the foods we eat comes from chemical base not only for our foods but I think for the whole things in our surroundings. However, we should fight that green life still exist. We should encourage our friends and family to plant more trees and clean our surroundings as well.
    Rainieha recently posted..the truth about hpv vaccines

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