Spring Cleaning: Six Easy Natural Solutions for Detoxing Your Home

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By Mia Brabham

We are spending more time at home than ever, which means our space is more sacred and important than ever, too. Studies have shown that more organized houses and tidy rooms lead to clearer and happier minds. With sweet spring at our doorstep, now is the perfect opportunity to welcome this fresh start and new season with a good, green clean.

Switching to green cleaning solutions is not only good for the environment, it’s also good for your family’s health, your wallet and your home. Water, salt, vinegar and natural oils can effectively clean just about every nook, cranny and surface in your home — with fewer chemicals and harmful ingredients and for less money!

Below is a checklist of six items that serve as eco-friendly cleaning alternatives, as well as instructions on how to use these natural homemade remedies. You don’t have to be Snow White or Cinderella to get the job done; the mixtures are super easy to follow and there’s a good chance you already have all of the
necessary ingredients right at home.

Spring cleaning doesn’t have to be a drag. When you reframe it as a fun, positive day of resetting your most intimate environment, it can be a powerful experience — and a day of bonding, if you get the whole family involved. Grab a bristle brush, a sponge and a few cloths, and turn up some tunes. It’s time to go green and
get to work!

Spring Cleaning Shopping List

If you don’t already have these household items in your cabinets or on your shelves, add them to your next shopping list so you’re prepared for your spring cleaning venture.

  • Baking soda (deodorizes, removes stains and softens fabrics)
  • Vinegar (cuts through grease, grime, and wax)
  • Cornstarch (granules leave streak-free shine)
  • Lemon (disinfects, deodorizes and removes oily stains)
  • Table salt (tackles grime and stains with its gritty texture)
  • A few of your favorite essential oils (adds a nice scent and most last indefinitely in cool, dark, dry places)

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At-Home Air Fresheners

Do your halls and rooms need a little freshening up? Opening your windows for a steady stream of crisp spring air may do the trick, but there’s nothing like a subtle, soothing scent to liven up your home. You can create your own air freshener with baking soda and natural oils. Kitchens always seem to need cleansing.

Place an open box of baking soda at the bottom of your trash can to remove the take-out stench from last Friday. If your fridge needs some TLC, you can also place an open box of baking soda in there to freshen up.

For an enticing odor, lavender serves as the perfect natural perfume. You can place a few drops into a pot of boiling water on the stove for a relaxing Saturday atmosphere or before guests come over. Additionally, plenty of plants — such as English Ivy, Snake Plants, Spider Plants, and Aloe Vera — serve as air purifiers. After you try out these home air freshening remedies, you’ll want to ditch the artificial citrus extracts and toxic canned aerosols for good!

Safe Scouring Powders

Scouring powder works wonders on hard-to-clean surfaces like counters, stovetops, tile, porcelain and even fiberglass. But many commercial scouring powder products contain harmful chemicals, including chlorine. The good news? Baking soda makes a return as a natural cleaning hero, and with its friend, table salt!

Both of these natural substances are easily found on shelves and in your home, and have the uncanny ability to replace traditional and aggressive solvents. Wet a bristle brush with baking soda or salt plus a drop of natural soap to get rid of greasy residue on almost any surface. You can mix in store-bought extracts like rose, lemon, ginger or rosemary to give the scent a lovely edge — but wear protective cleaning gloves to protect your skin from too much concentrate. Your bathtub may also benefit from this powder!

Way-Better Window Cleaner

What’s better than store-bought window cleaner? A much safer one made in the comfort of your own home! Unfortunately, many of the window cleaners you eye on the shelves of the store contain traces of ammonia, which can produce harmful fumes when mixed with chlorine. In walks the much safer-for-you vinegar, which when mixed with water, can cleanse greasy surfaces sans the chemicals that are bad for you and your family to breathe in.

In a reusable spray bottle (how eco-friendly!), make your own window solvent with these two ingredients. Some say to mix equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle, while others who prefer a nice scent, like to mix one part vinegar, four parts water and a few drops of essential oils. For extra gritty and grimy spots,
prewash the area of choice with super soapy water and then use your vinegar spray on top. If the mess is really not budging, use a cloth with just a drop of undiluted vinegar (too much vinegar is never good), and scrub, scrub, scrub. Not only does this natural concoction work on windows, but it can be used to clean
appliances, mirrors and more. Say it with me: no streaks!

Mean, Green Carpet Clean…er

By now, we know that baking soda is two-in-one: it softens and deodorizes. Not only is it great on tile and other hard surfaces, but it’s perfect for the rugs and carpets that create a cozy space in your home. With floors being the most-used surfaces in a household, they’re constantly in desperate need of cleaning and
refreshing. Shoes track dirt and other messy trails from outside, so in addition to limiting how much shoe activity the floors in your house see, vacuuming up this homemade carpet cleaner can do your interior ground major good.

After you’ve vacuumed all of your carpet and rugs, sprinkle a bit of baking soda or cornstarch to begin the nifty process of removing any odors from the area. Set a timer and leave the powder on the surfaces, untouched, for about an hour. When the clock runs out, vacuum over the carpet and rugs once again.

If the heavy carpet stains don’t seem to be disappearing, grab some soapy water and vinegar then scrub with a bristle brush as a counter attack. These methods are great substitutes for spray-on solutions that often have eye and skin irritants inside.

Delightful Disinfectant

When life gives you lemons, you should definitely use them to clean your house. Lemons are natural deodorizers and do an amazing job at removing stains and disinfecting surfaces. There are tons of green cleaning options when you have these life-giving fruits — and other citrus fruits — on your hands. That’s
right: limes, oranges, tangerines and grapefruit are also super cleaners.

You can use lemons to sanitize and disinfect food areas while leaving a fresh, yummy scent. Placing a few wedges of grapefruit or orange in your garbage disposal and flipping it on gives your kitchen an upliftingly clean smell. If you do decide to use lemon as a laundry stain remover, squeeze a few drops right on the oily spots. Don’t forget to wash those clothes immediately so that it works its full magic!

No-Mess Metal Cleaner

It’s no secret that metal can be misleading. Many metals are perceived as strong, but the truth is that many are delicate and need to be handled gently. Naturally, this applies to cleaning. Metal around the house can become dull, but there’s no need to fear — and no need for thick, heavy chemicals. A simple mixture of vinegar and salt can bring much of your household metal, like copper, back to life.

To prevent tarnish build-up on sterling silver and silver-plated items, you can also clean these surfaces and objects regularly by boiling one tablespoon of table salt, one tablespoon of baking soda, one liter of water, and a strip of aluminum foil in a large pot and adding the silver item you want cleaned. Allow it to sit in the boiling solution for three minutes, then pat it dry with a clean cloth. Olive oil is great on stainless steel, and baby oil is perfect for chrome. Be sure to double check the cleaning advisories for the specific metal you’re cleaning so your mixture won’t ruin it. You’ll have shine in no time!

In Cleanly Conclusion…

Replacing commercial cleaning solutions with crafty, green alternatives is both budget friendly and good for the environment. In addition to these eco-friendly concoctions, you can incorporate other cleaning processes and one-time purchases into your routine, like line-drying your laundry to save energy and money, or opting to replace paper towels and mopping pads with reusable cloths and rags. Whether you decide to adapt one method or adopt them all, you’re making your home, Prince William, and the world a better place along the way. Happy spring!

Mia Brabham is a writer, speaker and digital personality with a love for people and hearty conversation. Her debut book, Note to Self, is a collection of personal lessons and quotes that was recently released as an Amazon top seller and is in the hands of readers all over the world. Reach her at mbrabham@princewilliamliving.com.


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