Ah spring, when so many people’s hearts turn to thoughts of spring cleaning.
I have only met a few people who actually enjoy cleaning. It’s a dreadful chore for most of us.
The stores have prepared their shelves and announced their big sales on an overwhelming variety of specialized cleaning products that are supposed to make spring cleaning more convenient:
- one cleaner for floors
- another for counters
- another for glass surfaces like windows and mirrors
- a few more more for various other surfaces like wood, plaster, upholstery, or metal
- one for drains
- something else for toilets.
Whew! Isn’t one of the objects of spring cleaning to declutter? So where are you supposed to put all that stuff? So much for convenience!
And isn’t spring cleaning supposed to make your home healthier? Check out all the warning labels on all those cleaning products. Science has linked some of the ingredients to serious health problems from respiratory problems to nervous problems to cancer.
Many of those chemicals go down the drain and into the water supply. Wastewater treatment plants mostly deal with suspended solids and microbes. They can’t do much about chemicals dissolved in the water.
So whatever hazards these products posed for your family’s health have now gotten into our streams. Now they threaten aquatic life before entering the drinking water supply downstream.
Spring cleaning the green way
Before anyone invented our modern cleaning products, housewives used to clean with some of the same ingredients they used in cooking: vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and baking powder. They also used inedible products like soap, rubbing alcohol, borax, and hydrogen peroxide.
Good marketing half a century ago persuaded housewives that the newer, more modern products saved time and effort. In fact, they work no better than the earlier more generic and versatile products.
So how do you go back to the old-fashioned but healthier products? The infographic below has some simple recipes for cleaning windows, sinks and tubs, floors (including carpets), upholstery, even the oven.
As part of spring cleaning, you will get rid of clutter. Out with old paint, burned out CFLs, obsolete cell phones and computers, expired medicine, and similar junk. It’s now illegal to put some of those items out with the trash. And we’re starting to recognize the dangers of flushing old medicine.
The infographic also shows how to dispose of these kinds of wastes safely.
Find the search box at the top of the sidebar and search “cleaning” for more great green tips for spring cleaning, or cleaning any other time of year.
Infographic from Fix.com provided by Megan Wilson