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.