It’s that time of year again: the days are a little longer, the sun is a little brighter and as we start to ease out of lockdown and into (hopefully) a new era with- gasp!- visitors, perhaps it’s time for a spring clean? We’re not going to lie, we love the promise of a really good de-clutter and clean after the cosiness and somewhat slower pace of winter. But we absolutely don’t love the myriads of chemicals that tend to come with it. Here’s a really quick guide to doing it right, plus three little eco spring cleaning tips that might just change your life…
A good spring clean is not a quick job; if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well- so get yourself prepared with everything you need before you start. You can even draw up a plan of action too, to make sure you don’t miss out any of those once a year tasks that tend to get forgotten. Go through the house and garden room by room, or area by area and make a list of everything you want to tackle.
Research your products
In our bid to eliminate nasty chemicals and products that are harmful to the environment, a little product research is always a good idea before you start too. Steer clear of products that have an ingredient list as long as your arm with difficulty to pronounce additives in them. Look instead for products that are certified cruelty free and as natural as possible.
Take your time
We’ve all been there. We start one job, and that leads to another one, and then another and then another… before we know it, the house is upside down and we’re wishing we never started! This is where your plan comes into action, because you can use it to schedule your time efficiently- and you don’t need to get it all done in one day, either. Spread the chores out, take your time and make sure you plan in time to unwind, too. This way you won’t rush the tasks and end up having to repeat them sooner than if you’d taken your time and done them properly.
Our top three eco spring cleaning tips…
So you’re ready to start. You have the plan, you have the time and you have the motivation. Try these eco hacks to make your spring clean sparkling more than ever!
1. Make your own cleaning products using essential oils, vinegar and bicarbonate of soda. Essential oils are wonderful for not only making the house smell amazing, but they have lots of other benefits too. For example, orange and citrus essential oils are amazing for removing grease, tea-tree oil added to vinegar is a whizz when it comes to window cleaning, and lavender oil is fantastic to cleaning floors too. Lots of essential oils also have anti-bacterial, anti-viral and antiseptic properties too, and NO nasty chemicals.
Make your own multi purpose cleaner with distilled water and distilled vinegar, and add in lemon, tea-tree and lavender essential oil. And while w’ere on the subject of vinegar, that also have multiple uses when it comes to cleaning. A quick google will show you- windows, floors, bathrooms… Similar to bicarbonate of soda, which is amazing when it comes to removing odours and stains.
2. Make your own cleaning cloths. Re-purpose old socks and other items to make rags with which to clean, thus cutting down on unnecessary ‘gimmicky’ products that can only be used once, then thrown away. Replace paper towels with old towels that can be used again and again. Use squares of old t-shirts to polish hard surfaces. Use old socks as a ‘scrub mitt’ as you clean. No need to buy expensive cloths or sponges with excessive plastic packaging again!
3. Freshen the air, naturally. Once the cleaning is done, you’ll want to keep hold of that freshness for as long as you can, naturally. The best way to do this it to just open the windows and let the fresh air in. But we live in the UK, and its not always possible/ comfortable to do this- but there are other ways we can freshen the air. Plants are amazing for purifying the air, and can be used all around the home too- plus, they’re aesthetically pleasing too, so it’s a win-win situation. In particular, English Ivy, Spider Plants, Aloe Vera and Weeping Figs are great for this job.
You can also make your own natural air freshener and keep it in a re-usable spray bottle to spritz as and when. Use water, bicarbonate of soda, and an essential oil of your choice- around two cups of water, one teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda, and 15-20 drops of essential oil.