Go Green for Spring Cleaning
Spring is just around the corner, and here in the Pacific Northwest, it has already arrived! After a long and cold winter, the Sun is beginning to shine, the days are warming, cherry trees are budding and plum trees are in bloom. It won’t be long before Portland streets are lined with trees covered in blossoms of pink and purple, letting us know its time for spring cleaning!
If, like me, you choose this time of the year to cart off a lot of accumulated odds and ends you thought you needed but never wound up making much use of, I suggest you also get rid of those chemical cleaning products cluttering up your utility closet. This year go green and take care of spring cleaning with natural cleaning alternatives.
Essential Liquid Castile Soap made with organic Aloe Vera juice, organic Coconut Oil, and organic Olive Oil, without any artificial colors, fragrances or preservatives is an excellent green cleaning alternative. Castile Soap is most often used as a shampoo and body wash, but this gentle natural cleaner has many more applications than detergent and surfactant-free personal care. Add 3-5 tablespoons of Castile Soap to a bucket of water to make a mopping solution. Castile Soap cuts through dirt and it is 100% biodegradable, leaving behind absolutely no harmful chemical residues. Add a quarter cup of Castile Soap to one cup of water to make a carpet cleaner strong enough to work out a winter’s worth of accumulated dirt. Castile can be used as a dish soap and laundry detergent alternative. Castile Soap can also be used to clean sinks, countertops, and the tub.
Sodium Bicarbonate Baking Soda
For areas needing a tougher cleaning, we recommend you employ another great natural cleaning compound: Baking Soda, an excellent natural cleaner, and deodorizer. An open box of Baking Soda is frequently left in the fridge to prevent a stale odor, but it can be used for more than that. Sprinkle the area you wish to clean with Baking Soda then apply your Castile solution. The Baking Soda will act as a mild scouring powder, increasing the Castile solution’s cleaning power. Sprinkle Baking Soda over the carpet the night prior to vacuuming to remove odors. Letting to sit overnight gives more time for the Baking Soda to absorb as much odor as possible. Baking Soda can also be used to absorb odors from closets, laundry bins, garbage cans, shoes, etc.
Borax is another excellent, but slightly more controversial natural cleaner. Borax is a base, similar to Baking Soda, but it is stronger and mildly disinfectant in addition to being deodorizing. Prolonged exposure to the skin can be irritating and inhaling Borax can result in lung irritation. However, while Borax is a little harsher than Baking Soda it is far milder than any of those chemical cleaners we are trying to avoid! One teaspoon of Borax in the Castile mopping solution will add a little muscle to the mixture making it more effective on hard to clean areas like the bathroom tiles and the toilet. When working with Borax it is best to wear gloves and to keep the area well ventilated.
While Essential always uses certified organic extra virgin Olive Oil in our personal care products, plain pure Olive Oil will work perfectly well as a green, non-toxic wood polish. Olive Oil moisturizes, softens and moisturizes wood surfaces, leaving them smooth and glossy, and preventing cracks and splitting. Use one-quarter teaspoon of Lemon Essential Oil to one cup of Olive Oil to add a zesty lemon aroma to your polish. Pour a few drops on a soft cloth and work into in the wood in circular motion until its surface is replenished and lustrous.
All Purpose Cleaner
Essential also makes cleaning easy with All Purpose Cleaner. It’s perfect for cleaning windows and glass surfaces as well as dissolving grease, glue and sticky adhesions. Using old newspapers to wipe All Purpose Cleaner from glass surfaces is a perfect green alternative to paper towels.
Do you have some favorite green cleaning tips! Share them with us, we’d love to add them to our spring cleaning tips!