Spring Cleaning Naturally

1:52 PM Posted by Jo Pedranti




It is beautiful weather here in California so I''m cleaning out and airing out the place. Soon the weather is getting warmer and the days longer everywhere. It will be time to open up the house and clean out the winter. Yep, it's time for spring cleaning again. Unfortunately most cleaning  products in the stores are not good for us. I used to get a cough and headache every time I used strong cleaning products, but fortunately I discovered that I didn't need to use them to clean my home. The problem is that regular cleaning products in the stores are full of toxins that not only mess with the immune system, but they mess with the hormones too. Many of the toxins found in cleaning products are endocrine disruptors, and as such they contribute to glandular problems, PMS, reproductive cancers and infertility.


Inside pollution

Did you know that the pollution inside our homes from using these cleaning products are often greater than from the pollution from the outside environment? Yes, that's true. Several health problems such as allergies, liver and kidney toxicity, and respiratory irritation such as coughing, asthma, sneezing, and allergies are associated with the use of harsh chemicals in our homes. The products' neuro-toxic effects result in headaches, depression and lack of mental concentration.


Fortunately it doesn't have to cost a fortune to clean the house without toxic chemicals. I like to use lemon, baking soda, vinegar, salt, and essential oils when I clean.


Lemons

Lemons have antibacterial properties so they make an excellent choice as  disinfectants for  your home. You can cut lemons in half to remove stains from counter top or to clean the chopping board. Let it sit for a while before wiping it clean. Dip a cut lemon in coarse salt and use to scrub copper-bottom pans. Half a cup of lemon juice can also be added to the rinse cycle to brighten white linens and clothing.


Vinegar

Vinegar is not only economical but it is also very powerful. Luckily the odor disappears as it dries. You can add lemon or essential oils if you want a more pleasant smell while you clean. Mix one part water with one part vinegar and add to spray bottle, and use as an all purpose cleaner around the house. Pour 1 cup of vinegar in the toilet bowl and let sit for hours for a sparkling, odor free toilet. You can apply vinegar straight on mildew and let it sit for at least 30 minutes before rinsing. You can also wipe down the kitchen with a sponge soaked in vinegar, or add 1/2 cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle to soften clothes.


Baking soda

Baking soda is used by many to absorb odors from the fridge, but is is also excellent at dissolving grease and dirt in water. Mix baking soda with 10-20 drops of essential oils and sprinkle on the carpet to refresh it. Make sure you use oils that don't stain the carpet. Mix 1 part water with 3 parts baking soda to remove stains or sprinkle baking soda on pots, pans and dishes and soak in water to clean off burnt or caked food. You can also add 1/2 cup of baking soda to the laundry to remove dirt and grease.


Salt

Table salt can be used as an abrasive cleaner. Use coarse salt to remove stains, caked-on food, and on stove tops or other place such as the bath tub where there's no concern for scratching. Kitchen salt can be used on caked-on food pots and pans, soak the pots and pans with 3 tablespoons of salt in a couple of inches of water. Let sit for a while.


Essential oils

It is much safer to use essential oils when you clean than harsh chemicals. Essential oils can be used as a deodorizer to clean the air, as disinfectants for surfaces, for laundry and much more. 

  • Disinfect: Add a few drops of oil to the dishwasher to help disinfect and purify. Essential oils can also be added to the sponge or the cloth for extra freshness. Common oils to use are fir, lavender, Melaleuca Alternifolia, pine, spruce, bergamot, orange and lemon.
  • Dishwashing soap: Add several drops of essential oils like orange, tangerine, pine, lemon, and peppermint to a bottle of liquid soap. Use un-scented or natural soap if possible. Liquid castile soap can be used too.
  • Laundry: Add 25 drops of eucalyptus oil to each load for an effective dust mite control. You can also add 1 tablespoon to a bottle of liquid laundry detergent. A few drops of oils like spruce, lavender, fir, juniper, rosewood, wintergreen/birch, cedarwood and juniper can also be added to the rinse cycle. Use a dampened wash cloth with 10 drops of lavender, bergamot, lemon, or melaleuca instead of a softening agent in the dryer.
  • Room deodorizer: Make a room spray to deodorize, freshen, and disinfect the bathrooms, work areas, sinks, tiles, woodwork, carpets, cupboards etc. Add 10-13 drops of essential oils to 1 cup of water and put in a spray bottle.
  • Floor and carpets: For non-carpet floors, add 1/4 cup of white vinegar to a bucket of water and add 5-10 drops of essential oils such as pine, spruce, lemon, or tea tree. For carpet floors, add 16-20 drops of essential oils to 1 cup of baking soda and keep in a container overnight. Sprinkle over the carpet and then vacuum.
As you can see, you don't need to purchase expensive organic or natural cleaning products in order to safely clean your home.

Essential oils are antiseptic and they add a nice touch to your cleaning. I like to pick refreshing oils for cleaning in the springtime. Lime, lemon, geranium, bergamot, grapefruit, rosemary and lavender are great oils for the lighter and warmer time of the year. Make your own recipes or use my essential oil cleaning recipes.






Johanna is an aromatherapist and she is passionate about educating people about health, essential oils, real food, natural remedies, and nutrition so they make healthier choices in their lives. 
Follow Johanna on twitter and facebook for more health tips and information.







This post is linked to:
WFMWHow to Tuesday Link UpSimple Lives Thursday, Frugal Days, Sustainable WaysYour Green Resource 
Fat TuesdayHomemaking Link UpEncourage One AnotherLiving Green TuesdaysWaste Not Want Not WednesdayThe Mommy ClubWhat I learned Wednesday
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