Guide to Green Spring Cleaning and Savings
With the arrival of the bubs coming up fast, and so many preparations to still get to, I feel like lately all I ever do is clean. I am trying to be extra cautious as I clean the surfaces in the house and especially the nursery, conscious of any possible chemicals that I may be spreading around before the little man even arrives. But I must say, I am making amazing progress and have turned what was once a guest room/storage clutter mess room into a neatly organized nursery (pics to come in my next “Project Nursery” article.)
I am moving on to the garage next and have come up with a pretty good game plan as to how to tackle each room in an organized, non-toxic, and cost-effective way.
Step 1: De-Clutter, Donate, Document
De-Clutter: The easiest way to lessen the amount of cleaner and the amount of time needed to use that cleaner is to get rid of stuff. The more you are willing to part with, the less you have to clean and the more space you give yourself to really make a difference. Don’t just move the stacks around, recycle them or donate them!
Donate: Don’t be afraid to be green by donating all those clothes and appliances that you just don’t wear or use anymore, or bring them to a consignment store.
Document: Every year I go to do my taxes and have to guesstimate how much I donated the previous year. Make sure to document your donations as you go so you can write them off. You would be surprised how the savings can really add up!
Step 2: Get Green Gear
- Baking Soda: cleans, deodorizes, scours
- Cornstarch: clean windows, polish furniture, shampoo rugs
- Castille Soap: degreaser, all-purpose when diluted
- Lemon/Lemon Juice: clean and shine pans, anti-bacterial, natural bleach
- White Vinegar: cuts grease, removes mildew, stain remover, toilet cleaner when mixed with baking soda
- Isopropyl Alcohol: great disinfectant
- Hydrogen Peroxide: disinfectant, stain remover
- Olive Oil: natural cleaning, polishing wood surfaces
Tip: Use microfiber cloth or old t-shirts instead of rolls of paper towels to be more green.
Step 3: Properly Store and Label
Properly Store: Resist the urge to use the old cleaner bottles as storage for the new household cleaners you have made. In this case reusing bottles can be dangerous as new ingredients often mix with old chemicals to create toxic gases. Go to your local dollar store and pick up some new bottles, they will be easier to label as well.
Label: Make sure to label; ingredients, purpose, date made (especially if some ingredients are perishable), and safety information. This will ensure that the correct cleaners are being used when anyone in the household goes to use it and that you are not letting perishable materials expire.