Blog written by Better Life.
As spring approaches, many people start to feel the urge to tidy and clean. You want your home to look its best--and to experience all the advantages that go along with it. Some cleaners, however, have unexpected chemicals that may be hazardous to your family or to the environment.
Using eco-friendly cleaners is a critical step to protecting your home and family. As you gear up for your spring cleaning tasks this year, these eco-friendly spring cleaning tips can make it easier for you to accomplish your goals.
How can I be eco-friendly when cleaning?
Using eco-friendly cleaners is one of the most important eco-friendly spring cleaning tips you can embrace. Avoiding chemicals in your home is not only better for you, it's also better for the environment as a whole. Also, look for strategies that will allow you to reduce overall waste, from donating unwanted items instead of throwing them away to using eco-friendly options, rather than disposable ones, to handle your cleaning.
What are the most environmentally friendly cleaning products?
Environmentally friendly cleaning products include fewer harsh chemicals that can pose health hazards in your home. If you've been using traditional cleansers, you may be surprised by just how many chemicals are in them--and just how dangerous they are to your family. To help make your cleaning more eco-friendly this year, check the ingredients on the cleaners you're planning to use.
Avoid Cleaning Agents with Ingredients like:
- Artificial fragrances
- Perchloroethylene (PERC)
Those products may contain dangerous chemicals that could be hazardous to your health when inhaled--and when you're doing your spring cleaning, chances are, you're going to be inhaling a lot of those chemicals. Instead, try solutions like the these all-purpose cleaners, which work on a variety of surfaces. You can find unscented, pomegranate, and Clary sage and citrus options. Our all-purpose cleaners have natural ingredients and are designed for a wide range of surfaces, from walls and floors to tables, showers, cars, upholstery, toilets, and more.
Your Eco-Friendly Spring Cleaning Tips Checklist
Ready to get started with eco-friendly spring cleaning tips that can help you launch your spring cleaning efforts? Try these strategies.
1. Use cleaning rags to accomplish your cleaning tasks (instead of paper towels).
Many people turn automatically to paper towels, even when they're just taking care of minor cleaning tasks. To make your cleaning more eco-friendly, however, try swapping to rags instead. You may be surprised by how much easier it is to get things clean and dry when you're using multi-use rags instead of paper towels to take care of your cleaning.
If you don't have an adequate supply of cleaning towels in your home to take care of your spring cleaning list, you may be able to make your own! Try:
- Old towels
- Old cloth diapers
- Unused or unwanted t-shirts
Try experimenting with different fabrics as you work to determine what works best for different surfaces and cleansers: for example, an old t-shirt may give you a better shine on your polished furniture than microfiber cleaning rags.
2. Open the windows and let air flow in.
Did you know that indoor air pollution, including chemical components, can build up in your home over the cold winter months? Have you started noticing that musty smell that seems to linger as the winter drags on? Many people end up turning to chemical-laden air fresheners to try to get rid of those smells. Instead, try opening up your windows and letting clean outdoor air flow through your home. Try choosing a low-pollution day or choosing a day before pollen levels start to increase heavily if you're worried about allergens.
3. Take your laundry outside to air dry.
Spring is the perfect time to decrease your overall electricity use. Instead of letting your laundry go through the dryer, consider taking it outside and letting it dry in the warm spring breeze and sunshine. After washing your clothes with an eco-friendly laundry solution like this laundry detergent, which is sulfate free and plant-based, hang your items on a clothesline or over the fence to dry. Make sure there's no rain in the forecast, since that could cause your clothing to get dirty all over again, and let nature do what it does best!
As an added bonus, the sun serves as a potent stain remover: when you leave your stained items, especially items with organic stains, out in the sun, you'll often find that when you come back, those stains have been reduced substantially or even eliminated entirely, all with no harsh cleansers or intense scrubbing effort on your part.
4. Plan to recycle, donate, or reuse unwanted items throughout your home.
For many people, spring cleaning is a great opportunity to get rid of items that you no longer want in your home. While reducing clutter is certainly a desirable goal, make sure you aren't inadvertently creating more waste with your clean-out efforts. Instead, try recycle, donating, or reusing unwanted items.
Items to Recycle
When it comes to items like textiles, including clothing and old, unwanted towels, you can often find recycling opportunities for them. Check into local programs that will allow you to get rid of those unwanted items. You can also recycle items like plastics, cardboard, and even many types of paper waste.
Items to Repurpose
Often, you can repurpose items in your home that you didn't even know could be used for another purpose. Old socks or clothing can become new rags. Old containers can become new planters, especially if this is the spring you're committed to growing your own garden. Check out what items you have that you may no longer want in their current state, then check out Pinterest to learn just what you can do with them.
Items to Donate
Many of the items that you no longer want in your home could be treasures to someone in need. Consider what donation opportunities you have in your area, from shelters and thrift stores to used book stores and libraries. Then, consider donating those items. Kitchen items, books, and clothing are often in hot demand. Make sure donated items are in usable condition so that they don't land straight in a landfill as soon as you walk away.
5. Bring in the green.
If you want cleaner air in your home, why not bring in some plants to help brighten up your space? Plants like mums and spider plants are very difficult to kill, but may bring cleaner, fresher air to your space. In addition, working with and touching plants on a regular basis--or even simply seeing them--can help decrease some symptoms of depression, which may help brighten your entire outlook as well as your home.
Make sure you do your research about houseplants! While many houseplants can offer benefits to your home, if you have children or pets, you may want to make sure that you do not inadvertently bring in plants with toxic leaves or petals, which could prove hazardous to your family.
6. Check your air filters.
As you're aiming to clean up the air in your home, make sure you check your air filters. The cold winter months often mean a lot of dust and other buildup going through your filters, which means that you may be pumping that air straight back through your home. If your air filters haven't been changed recently, now is the perfect time to purchase new ones.
7. Go through your pantry, fridge, and freezers.
The holidays often bring an influx of foods that you won't use at other times of the year. You may have relatives coming in, or you might pick up duplicates of items that you normally use to make your favorite holiday dishes so you can make sure you have them on hand throughout the season. To avoid allowing that food to expire, plan to clean it out as spring arrives.
If you have food that has already expired, consider composting it, which may offer the most efficient way to avoid having it go to a landfill. Do you have items in your pantry or freezer that you know you won't eat? Consider donating it to a local food pantry. Make sure you pay careful attention to what items you're planning to donate: if it's beyond its expiration date, food pantries may not be able to take it.
Finally, make a meal plan that will help you incorporate some of the items in your kitchen that you intend to keep. In cleaning out your pantry, you may discover that you have more of a specific item than you originally anticipated. By creating a meal plan that incorporates those items, you'll be less likely to allow them to go to waste.
8. Check for energy inefficiencies as you clean.
Do you have items that are plugged in all the time, despite the fact that you do not use them on a regular basis? Do you have LED or CFL bulbs, which use less energy over time? As you go through your home, intent on spring cleaning, you may see more of those things than you usually do. Now is the ideal time to check for those energy efficiencies.
Conclusion About the Eco-Friendly Spring Cleaning Tips Checklist
Have you taken care of these items on your spring cleaning checklist, or utilized these eco-friendly spring cleaning tips as part of your overall spring cleaning strategy? Are you making more effort to be eco-friendly this spring? Better Life can help. Check out our cleaning products to learn more about our plant-based, eco-friendly solutions and how they can help keep your home free of dangerous chemicals while you take on spring cleaning this year.