Greening Your Spring Cleaning

By Kevin Pink, Marketing & Development Specialist

It’s been a long winter, but spring is finally here. For many of us, the arrival of buds on the trees and the ability to leave one’s windows open without freezing brings with it a renewed dedication to scouring our homes of all the accumulated dust, sand, and other debris they’ve acquired during the winter. Check out some of our favorite tips for cleaning house in a sustainable way!

There are several approaches to household cleaning that will allow you to make your home sparkle while limiting your impact on the environment and saving you some money.

Take stock of your cleaning materials. Look at what you have on hand, and what you use it for. This will help you find eco-friendly substitutes for any harsh chemicals you may have.

Use up your current stock, or, if you wish to discontinue use, dispose of them properly. It’s important to pay careful attention to the labeling, as many household cleaners are considered hazardous wastes. Some cities and towns hold hazardous household waste collections which may accept any unwanted cleaning chemicals. Contact your local government offices for information.

If you have questions about disposal, you can visit recyclingworksma.com or call the RecyclingWorks MA hotline at 888-254-5525 for assistance. If you’ve used up the cleaning products themselves, you can often recycle the bottles and cans they come in. Contact your local municipal recycling facility for guidance.

Buy eco-friendly cleaning products as replacements. There are several manufacturers that make full lines of household cleaners without using toxic chemicals, and you can find them in most stores that sell cleaning products.

Pursue the DIY option. It is amazing how many cleaning solutions you can create at home using basic (and sometimes surprising) ingredients, and you could save some money along the way!

White vinegar is great for killing mold or odor-causing bacteria. Baking soda is also good for reducing odors. Both are inexpensive, and combined with some boiling water, they make a great solution to a clogged sink or bathtub drain.

One cup of vinegar and a gallon of warm water (applied sparingly, especially to wood floors) make a great bare floor cleaner. Throw in a few drops of an essential oil and your room will smell great after the vinegar smell dissipates.

Using two tablespoons of olive oil, ¼ cup distilled white vinegar, and ¼ tsp lemon oil or lemon juice, you can make an all-natural wood polish.

Four tablespoons of lemon juice and half a gallon of water make an effective (and fragrant!) glass cleaner.

The DIY option not only saves money, but reduces waste. You can use the same containers over and over again, and only make as much as you need!

Best of luck with your spring cleaning!

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