Eco-Friendly spring cleaning

It seems like it wasn’t that long ago that spring cleaning was merely a boring weekend activity meant for grown-ups, one that was no fun at all to me. The kind of weekend where your parents would make you do all the most boring chores, one right after the other. But as I grow up, and become an adult myself, the more I realize how much I thoroughly enjoy a clean and tidy house. A clean and well-kept environment also means making our belongings last, and this does require a bit of up-keeping. And that’s why this year, I went into spring cleaning mode with a lot more motivation than my younger self ever did.

Here are a few tips and tricks that are not only safe for the environment but for yourself as well.

natural cleaning tips

Now let’s get something straight, you do not need a specific product to clean each room in the house. White vinegar, baking soda, essential oils (lemon, tea tree, lavender, rosemary etc) castile soap and black soap are more than enough to clean your whole house.

You can also make your own all-purpose cleaner (see recipes at the bottom of the article) and if you want to be even more eco-friendly, all the necessary ingredients can be purchased in bulk (follow links below)

Carpets:

To freshen up a carpet, mix 1 cup of baking soda with 10 drops of your favorite essential oil. Sprinkle the mix directly onto your carpet, let sit for an hour and then vacuum.

 Mirrors and windows:

Mix a bit of vinegar with hot water, wash with a rag or with newspaper. I sometimes also add a few drops of lemon essential oil for that squeaky-clean sent.

 Floors:

First step is to do some serious vacuuming everywhere, move your furniture around to get to all the dust bunnies who’ve been hibernating in your house during winter. Then, with the help of a good old regular mop, wash your floors with this mix: 1 L of hot water, 1 tbsp of castile soap and 10 drops of essential oils (tea tree, rosemary, lavender etc.) Always wring out your mop properly, this will prevent water damage.

Wooden surfaces (counter, cutting board):

Sprinkle coarse salt directly onto the surface you want to clean, and scrub out with a half a lemon. Not only will the surface be clean but also disinfected thanks to the lemon. If you want to add a little extra TLC, dab your cloth in vegetable oil (ex. Olive oil) and wipe down the surface with it. All your wooden surfaces will last much longer with these little steps.

 Bedding:

Strip it all off and wash everything! Pillow cases, duvet cover, sheets and air dry for a deep clean. Feel free to add a few drops of tea tree oil in your load, which will eliminate all tenacious dust mites.

If you want to whiten your sheets and/or your towels, the best eco-friendly alternative to bleach is sodium percarbonate.

 Bath, sink & shower:

Baking soda and water mixed together will make a paste, use that paste to scrub out all the dirt. White vinegar is the perfect finishing step if you want to make your sink shine and add a few drops of lemon essential oil for that squeaky-clean smell.

If your shower and bath have tougher spots to clean, use the paste and then wash away with castile soap.

Toilet:

Pour ½ cup of baking soda, 10 drops of essential oil (lemon, tea tree, clove, etc) along with ½ cup of white vinegar. Watch it emulsify and then brush it all out. And voilà! A clean toilet with no harm done to the environment.

 Curtains:

Take them down to wash them, and the trick is to put them back up while they are still humid to let them dry, thus saving you many hours of ironing.

 Air:

Open your windows!

If you own a diffuser, you can have fun and create your own mix of essential oils to purify the air or create your very own air freshener with a bit of alcohol, water and a few drops of essential oils (lemon, tea tree, lavender etc)

Spring cleaning is always a great opportunity to do some decluttering, so go ahead and pay it forward to somebody who needs it.

Happy cleaning!

All purpose cleaning recipe

Option 1

What you will need:

1 spray bottle

1 (TBSP or TSP) of castile soap (15 ml)

1 Cup of water (250 ml)

20 drops of essential oil (geranium, lavender, lemon, tea tree, etc)

Mix all the ingredients together and pour into the spray bottle. This cleaner can be used to wash any surface, daily. 

Option 2

What you will need:

1 glass spray bottle*

½ cup of white vinegar (or citrus made vinegar) (125 ml)

1 cup of water (250 ml)

20 drops of essential oil (geranium, lavender, lemon, tea tree, etc)

*Vinegar tends to eat away at the plastic therefore a glass bottle is preferable for this option.

All the above mentioned ingredients can be purchased in most Zero Waste grocery stores:

(LOCO, Vrac & Bocaux, Méga Vrac, Frenco )

as well as any stores that offer bulk supplies:

( Maman autrement , Maison Écolonet, Terre à soi, etc.)

Essential oils can be purchased here:

HunzaromaZayat AromaCoop cocoNoblessence

Glass spray bottle :

HunzaromaZayat AromaMur Lifestyle 

And if you don’t want to make your own products, here are a few eco-friendly companies whom offer their products in bulk (our fave!):

Planette

(Everything is handmade with basic ingredients and it smells like essential oils!!)

Baleco

bathroom cleaning DIY laundry natural Recipe salle de bain zero waste

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