Spring Cleaning Checklist with Natural Cleaners

Spring Cleaning Checklist with Natural Cleaners

Most garden variety cleaning products are actually made up of toxic chemicals. It can be worrisome to use them around your home, especially if you have small children and pets.

To give your home the extra clean and healthy refresh it needs as we head into the spring and summer months, consider trying some natural recipes to accomplish your cleaning goals. The internet is full of natural cleaning recipes and ideas. Here are some of our favorites.

Dirty counters, wooden cutting boards or tables

Freshen up your countertops, wooden cutting boards or table tops by generously sprinkling salt and rubbing vigorously with one side of a cut lemon. For an extra edge, dip each side of the lemon into a bowl of salt first, disperse the salt on your surface and then scrub. Rinse away the debris with a wet sponge or rag.

Stove tops with a caked-on mess

Mix equal parts baking soda and hydrogen peroxide in a large bowl. Use a sponge to scrub the mess from the stove. If your stove top has removable metal grates you can also soak them in this mixture.

Burnt cookware

If you have pots or pans that are a burnt mess, use equal parts baking soda and water to cook away the grime. You can boil the mixture on the stove and pour the waste out into the garbage. If you have cast iron cookware that needs cleaning, cook the bare pan with salt, wipe away the debris and then coat the pain with your choice of oil.

Glassware

To get sparkling clean glassware without any residue, combine distilled water and vinegar in a spray bottle and add a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Use one tablespoon of vinegar for each cup of water, and add up to 5 drops of essential oil per cup. (Beware that too much oil can clog spray bottles). Spray on the dirty surface and wipe away the mixture with a soft microfiber cloth.

Oven cleaner

If you’re wary of using toxic chemicals in the appliances you use to cook your food, here’s a recipe from TipHero for a more natural citrusy approach. Simply add the peel of a whole lemon and whole orange to a mason jar and cover with distilled white vinegar and a sprig of fresh rosemary. Let it sit in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days and then strain the mixture into a spray bottle. Next, sprinkle baking soda onto the surfaces of your oven, spray on the citrus mixture and let soak for 30 minutes. All you have to do after that is wipe away the residue with a wet rag or sponge. Hometalk also has a step-by-step recipe for orange cleaner here.

Toilet

Create a mixture of one quart of water, 1/4 cup liquid Castile Soap soap and 1/2 teaspoon tea tree oil and pour it into the toilet bowl. Then, sprinkle baking soda in the bowl. Let that sit for 10 minutes, scrub, and then flush.

Shower/Tub

Create your own scrubbing powder for your shower or tub by mixing 1/2 cup washing soda (sodium carbonate), 1 cup baking soda, 1/2 cup salt (non-iodized), and a small amount of citrus essential oil for a fresh scent. You can also use Castille soap, which is vegetable based, so it’s safe for kids and pets. If you have a shower or tub with built-up, stuck-on dirt, coat the surface with vinegar, scrub with the powder and wash away with water.

Cloth Furniture

Cloth furniture can be scrubbed with a mix of baking soda and water (add just enough water to baking soda to create a paste). Microfiber furniture can be cleaned with rubbing alcohol and water.

Floors

For wood floors, use a mix of vinegar, vegetable oil, and water. While the amount you need will depend on how big of a floor surface you have, a mix of 1/2 cup of vinegar and 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil should be enough for most jobs. For an all-purpose cleaner, mix equal parts vinegar and water. For floors with tougher stains, mix in a small amount of washing soda or Castile soap. 
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Rebecca Artz

Rebecca Artz lives in Chicago, is currently a digital product manager for a publishing company based in Boston, and is a freelance contributor to Health Food Radar. She spends her free time cooking, reading, kickboxing and is endlessly entertained by her Siamese kitten, Luna.

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