5 Tips to “Green-up” Your Spring Cleaning

By Lizzie Gelderman

It’s that wonderful time of year again, when Minnesotans are not only eager to gather outside and enjoy the fresh spring air, but also to rid their indoor spaces of the winter’s mess and clutter. As you know, there are many resources out there with tips and tricks about how to declutter and clean your home. Here are six unique tips from around the web that I found helpful in making your cleaning habits as “green” as possible.

Citrus_paradisi_(Grapefruit,_pink)_white_bgTip 1: Clean Your Bathroom with Grapefruit!

Source: Apartment Therapy

That’s right! Grapefruits are highly acidic which help clean away long lasting grime. They also smell nice and sweet, leaving your bathroom smelling fresh with a hint of the tropics. This recipe is very simple. No need for toxic bleach anymore!

What you need:

  1. ½ grape fruit
  2. salt sprinkled on top

You just cut the grapefruit in half, sprinkle on the salt, and you are ready for action! Use the grapefruit to scrub around the tub, making sure to squeeze the juices out as you go. You may need to reapply salt to your grapefruit every now and again, and spend extra time on the dark and rusty spots.  Now, time to scrub away all those nasty bathroom stains!

To read more about the harms (especially for kids) of bleach, click here.

Black-teaTip 2: Clean your Windows with Black Tea.

Source: Mother Nature Network

Using a dark tea to clean windows may sound counter-intuitive, but black tea is a great way to get the smudges off of glass. This is because the tannic acid in black tea dissolves grease and dirt. Use this recipe to clean your mirrors and windows around the house.

What You Need:

  1. Black tea (2-3 bags)
  2. Water
  3. Spray bottle

Simply brew the tea (2-3 bags per 8 ounces) and allow the tea bags to fully steep for about an hour. Pour the tea into a spray bottle and spray liberally on windows and mirrors. If streaking occurs, use an old newspaper to wipe them away.

Tip 3: The No-stress Solution to Cleaning Your Oven

Source: The Kitchn

Cleaning out your oven can be intimidating, especially after a winter of baking comfort food. But have no fear! Here is a hassle-free recipe that keep you from scrubbing your hands sore.

What You Need:

  1. ½ cup baking soda
  2. White vinegar
  3. 3 tablespoons water

Combine the baking soda and water to form a paste. Cover the inside of oven in the baking soda paste and leave overnight. In the morning, wipe off baking soda with a rag dampened with vinegar and water. After everything is clean, The Kitchn article recommends that you do another, final wipe down.

LemonTip 4: A Tough All-purpose Cleaner that Fights Stains and Gets Rid of Grime!

Source: Apartment Therapy

Everyone needs a good all-purpose cleaner that will be effective on all surfaces. Below is a non-toxic, cheap, and green recipe that can be used year round.

What You Need:

  1. 1 cup hydrogen peroxide (cheap and non-toxic)
  2. ¼ cup Lemon Juice (the acid is a natural disinfectant)
  3. 2 cups of water

(Alternatively, try using vinegar instead of hydrogen peroxide for similar results)

Combine all of this and use all over your house, apartment, car, bike – whatever! Other natural disinfectants include: lavender oil, rosemary, pine oil, and thyme.

Tip 5: Recycle Your Appliances the Green Way

Often during spring cleaning, we find old appliances we want to recycle. Below are some resources to find your nearest recycling facility.

  1. Large Appliances: Earth 911
  2. General Appliances: Rethink Recycling
  3. Couches/ Furniture: NAPO
  4. Clothing: Epilepsy Foundation, ClothingDonation.org,
  5. General stuff: Savers, Goodwill, Salvation Army
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