Spring Cleaning Tips: The “Green Way”

Spring Cleaning 

Spring Cleaning Tips: The “Green Way”
By: Paula Green
           Spring has finally sprung, after the brutal winter so many of us are breathing a collective sigh of relief.  Now that winter is out of the way, it is time to tackle our “spring cleaning.”  Being that my last name is Green – I’ve decided to enlighten you on the “green” way to concur this project; not so much my way, but rather the non-toxic method of sprucing things up.  Here are 5 eco-friendly household products to try during your spring cleaning.
1. Distilled white vinegar is great for cleaning.  It has multiple uses, such as cleaning surfaces.  Spray a glass window with a 50 percent water, 50 percent vinegar solution, then wipe down with a soft cloth or old newspaper.  Your windows will be clean and streak-free.  Vinegar is safe to use on no-wax flooring.  
             You can also utilize it to remove soap scum from bathroom, kitchen faucets and shower doors.  This handy kitchen product is also a good stain remover.  Mix together 1 tsp. of vinegar, and 1 tsp of dishwashing soap with 1 cup of warm water.  Pour the mixture into a spray bottle.  Spray the stain and wait 2 minutes, then blot the wet area using a sponge or towel.  It can also eliminate unpleasant odors such as pet stains.
2. Baking soda – has numerous usages as well.   You can clean your bathroom by mixing 2/3 cups baking soda, 1/2 cup liquid soap, 1/2 cup water, 2 tablespoons white vinegar and place in a squirt bottle.  Spray on area to be cleaned. Scrub with a nylon-backed sponge. Rinse off with water.  For a natural drain-cleaner sprinkle 1/4 cup baking soda in the drain, followed by 1 cup vinegar. Let sit for 15 minutes then flush with hot water.
          Add 1/2 cup of baking soda to your liquid laundry detergent will give you “whiter whites” and brighter colors. The baking soda also softens the water, so you can actually use less detergent. Add 1/2 cup of baking soda in top-loading machines (1/4 cup for front-loaders). 
3. Lemons and bananas offer a fruitful way for sprucing things up.   Clean your microwave and remove odors with lemons.  Place a cup 3/4 full of water with a couple tablespoons of lemon juice in the microwave.  Heat to boiling, leave door closed for 10 minutes.  Then wipe away food particles with a clean cloth and dry.  To get rid of scuff marks, rub the inside of a banana peel over silverware, leather shoes and leather furniture. Wipe with a soft cloth.
4. Shaving cream and toothpaste – Clean a bathroom mirror with shaving cream (the old-fashioned white kind, not a gel), then wipe with a soft cloth. This tip also helps keep the mirror fog-free after showers.  Toothpaste is good for cleaning stains off your walls, such as crayons.  Rub it on; wipe it off – good-bye stain.
5. Salt is a helpful household cleaner.  Mix salt with a dab of dish soap to make a soft scrub for   stubborn coffee and tea stains. If someone spills wine on the cotton or linen tablecloth, blot up as much as possible and immediately cover the wine with a pile of salt, which will help pull the remaining wine away from the fiber. After dinner, soak the tablecloth in cold water for thirty minutes before laundering (is also works on clothing).  Sprinkle salt at doorways, window sills and anywhere else ants sneak into your house. Ants don’t like to walk on salt.
          Whichever methods you decide to use, will hopefully prove to be beneficial.  Enjoy your cleaning and happy spring!