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With Earth Day being tomorrow, I thought I would share some of my non-toxic and eco-friendly cleaning tips that I use in my home year-round to inspire you to green up your spring cleaning routine!
1. USE Non-Toxic Cleaners
I only use non-toxic, all natural cleaners in my home. Typically, I make my own All-Purpose Cleaner using Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap, baking soda, white vinegar, water, and essential oils (you can find my DIY recipe here). I literally use this cleaner for everything, but I do purchase cleaning products if I happen to be out of ingredients, and I do buy laundry soap, dish soap, and toilet bowl cleaners.
I use and trust brands such as:
Gaia Natural Cleaners
(There are others as well)
There is some controversy in regards to using Seventh Generation. I am picky about which products that I use, and find that their toilet bowl cleaner has a clean rating on EWG's Guide to Healthy Living
-I LOVE Biokleen's laundry detergent, dish detergent, and Bac-Out Enzyme Stain and Odor removers.
-Charlie's Soap powdered laundry detergent does an amazing job at cleaning clothes, as does Biokleen. Both have an 'A' rating on EWG. Charlie's soap also has a non-toxic, biodegradable All-Purpose cleaner, as well as a kitchen cleaner that works WONDERS on grease, and a non-chlorine oxygen bleach. Their products are so simple with minimal ingredients and non-toxic!
-Gaia's Natural All-Purpose Cleaning Sprays are very similar to the one that I make. They come in many different natural scents (using essential oils) as well and do a great job cleaning and disinfecting naturally. They also have dish soap! You can enter my giveaway on my Instagram to win a full-sized dish soap. But HURRY, it ends tomorrow, 4/22
- ECOS Dishmate Hypoallergenic Dish Soap is gentle yet effective, doesn't give me a rash, and is made with plant-derived ingredients. It has a subtle and natural scent as well! I've been using ECOS as dish/kitchen sink soap for years! I also like Earth Friendly's toilet bowl cleaner, as well as Seventh Generation's toilet bowl cleaner. Both have an 'A' rating on EWG!
2. let your clothes hang to air dry
Ditch the dryer and let your clothes dry naturally! I do this for all of my delicates, most of my tops, and my jeans all the time! It's a great way to reduce your energy consumption.
3. Switch to Microfiber Cloths and Natural Sponges Instead of Paper Towels
I absolutely LOVE eCloth products. They have multi-purpose microfiber clothes that can be used with JUST water. The fibers are so tightly woven that they are actually antimicrobial. eCloth offers cloths for all types of surfaces, including scrubbing cloth/pad for the kitchen, a cloth to clean glass and mirrors, a dusting glove, and even mops! All of the cloths can just be thrown in the washing machine and reused endless amounts of times!
You can also get the home cleaning set that has a variety of their cloths included! Get it here
Side note: I'm obsessed with my dusting glove! It makes cleaning really quite fun. Just look at how much dust it picks up!
4. Invest in a Steam Mop
I LOVE MY STEAM MOP! Okay, so, I have a long-haired border collie that loves to go swimming. Our house gets messy sometimes (often). Hence, why I love my steam mop. You pop on the reusable mop cloth, add distilled water, wait for it to heat up to your desired setting, and MOP. It does an amazing job at cleaning and disinfecting hard floor surfaces without harsh chemicals or products! Just water, again!! The best part is that you can reuse the cloths instead of throwing single-use pads away, and you don't need to use harsh chemicals! Side note: Steam mops are great for on-going cleaning. Get one here For deep cleaning, I would still recommend a hand mop!
5. use tub and sinkshrooms in your drains to catch hair and prevent clogs
Avoid toxic using chemicals in your drain or splurging on an expensive plumber by preventing clogs in your drains! Just pop a TubShroom or SinkShroom in your drain, clean it out whenever needed, and replace it back into your drain! It's an affordable, eco-friendly alternative to harsh chemicals, and it catches all the hair from those of us with long hair! I even went on live tv to talk about these. You can read more about that and see the clip here
6. Swap Synthetic Air Fresheners for Natural Air Purifiers
Since I switched to all-natural everything, I am highly sensitive to synthetic scents, fragrances, and smells. Not only do they make it hard for me to breathe (I have asthma), they give me an instant headache and I can't stand them. Instead of adding chemicals to your home, a great alternative is to add some literal green in your house! There are many plants that naturally purify and actually absorb harmful toxins from the air, as discovered by NASA in 1989. Some of these plants include the Peace Lily, Spider plant, Bamboo palm, and Chinese Evergreen. If you're looking for natural scents to accent your home, diffusing essential oils in a diffuser or burning all-natural soy candles such as Aroma Naturals are great alternatives to using harsh synthetic scents! I know it is geared towards the holidays, but I LOVE their fresh forest candle.
I use it ALL the time because I love the scent of the forest. It smells like you're right in the mountains! They also have a variety of other scents like lavender and vanilla mint!
Get the above Collection of the Four Best Clean Air Plants for Your Home in Four Inch Pots here
7. Recycle, reduce, reuse!
- Repurpose old items instead of throwing them in the trash. I don't mean hoard junk, but if you find an item that can be used as something else such as a storage container, jazz it up and re-use it! Have an old wooden crate? Use it as a container for an herb garden! Turn an old t-shirt into a reusable shopping bag or cleaning cloth. Learn how to turn a wine bottle into a drinking glass or candle holder. There are endless opportunities to repurpose items!
-Be mindful of what you buy and consume. Don't over purchase food if you know it will go to waste! Go through and clean out your fridge often. Have a bunch of wilted vegetables? Great! Make a tasty soup or dish with it! If your veggies are too-far gone, start a kitchen scrap compost! Some cities are lucky enough to have curb-side food scrap pick-up, but if that isn't an option, either start a compost in your backyard or find a drop-off location for organic waste.
-Make a conscious effort to buy and use less plastic. I still use many items with plastic, but I do make an effort to swap out items to avoid using plastic less and less. I hope to get to a point of using barely any!
Here's some tips on how to use less plastic:
-Use a steel or glass reusable water bottle
-Bring reusable shopping bags to the store
-Bring a reusable coffee mug to cafes
-Buy dry goods in the bulk section at the grocery store and store them in glass jars
-Use reusable food storage containers and eco-friendly utensils.
-See if your city has a bulk store for items such as laundry detergent and shampoo that you can buy by the ounce in containers you already have. Here in San Diego, there is a store called Earth Well Refill.
They sell Biokleen, Earth Friendly/ECOs, Dr. Bronner's and other cleaning brands in bulk by weight! They also carry personal care products in bulk as well! SO COOL!
-Swap out those pesky plastic straws for an eco-friendly alternative such as stainless steel, bamboo, or glass
-Use beewax paper such as Bee's Wrap or silicone food savers such as Farberware Food Huggers to save leftovers without plastic!
Farberware Food Huggers
Have a dog? Use biodegradable pet waste bags such as those from BioBag! I love them! They really do break down in less than a month! Always, always clean up after your pets! BioBag also offers biodegradable and compostable food scrap and trash bags.
Instead of throwing items away in the trash that are perfectly usable that you aren't interested in repurposing, why not donate them instead! Donating clothes, furniture, housewares, etc. is a great way to spring clean your home, but also off-set trash that goes to the landfill. A helpful tip: Go through your closet every few months. With exception of seasonal weather clothing, if you can't remember the last time you wore it, get rid of it! Someone else can have the opportunity to love it!
I hope you find these green spring cleaning tips helpful!
Happy Earth Day!