Archive for May 2016 | Monthly archive page
By Brianna Knoppow
Spring has sprung in D.C., and it’s finally warm enough to open our windows while cleaning. Wouldn’t it be great if we didn’t need to wait for a nice day to clean? With all natural cleaning supplies, fresh air isn’t mandatory, it’s just a nice treat.
Here’s a few of my favorite green cleaning methods. I hope they soon become your favorites too.
Chemical-free all-purpose spray
Purchase or reuse a spray bottle. Mix 2 parts water with 1 part vinegar. Pour in a few drops of lemon essential oil to add a nice scent. Spray on your counter tops, mirrors and windowsills. Wipe lightly for a clean surface without the harsh chemicals.
Ingredients: Just vinegar, water and lemon essential oil
My eco-secret for streak-free mirrors
Believe it or not, the secret behind clean, streak-free mirrors is reused newspaper! Grab yesterday’s paper out of the recycling bin, spray your mirror with all-purpose cleaner and wipe the mirror dry with newspaper. Your mirror will be as beautiful as you are.
Ingredients: Just newspaper and all-purpose cleaner
DIY foaming hand soap
Cut down on plastic waste by purchasing a reusable foaming soap dispenser and a large bottle of castile soap, such as Dr. Bronner’s. Fill the dispenser with 5 parts water and one part soap, then shake lightly. Now you can stop feeling guilty about your plastic footprint.
Ingredients: Just castile soap and water
Before I learned this trick, I used to dread cleaning the toilet. Now I look forward to watching a fun chemical reaction! Simply pour baking soda into the toilet and wait a couple of minutes. Then, pour vinegar into the bowl. After admiring the chemical reaction, scrub with a toilet bowl scrubber. Your toilet will be just as clean as if you used harsh chemicals.
Ingredients: Just vinegar and baking soda
Repurposed cleaning tools
You already have a few items lying around the house that are great cleaning tools:
– Don’t toss your old toothbrush; use it to clean out the dryer’s lint trap
– Save that laundry detergent bottle lid to use as a small mixing bowl when trying out new cleaning recipes
– Use old clothing to wipe your surfaces clean after spritzing with all-purpose spray. Wash these DIY rags in the laundry for reuse.
Ingredients: Just creativity to repurpose items from your waste stream!
Do you have more green cleaning tips? Leave a comment below, and happy eco-spring cleaning!
Brianna Knoppow works in the environmental field in D.C. and enjoys biking, watching musical theater, and foraging for wild mushrooms. She has an M.S. in Environmental Science & Policy.