Greening Spring Cleaning for Earth Day

Screen Shot 2014-04-21 at 10.16.58 PMSpring has officially sprung here in Philly, and our family has been enjoying catching up on taking our dog to the park, bike rides, picnics and … cleaning. Ahhh, Spring Cleaning.

As Earth Day approaches, I thought I’d share some of our strategies for keeping our cleaning supplies – well – clean. While we can always be more eco-conscious, I think this is an area where we’ve been successful in greening our everyday routines.

One of ways we do this is by using homemade cleaning products almost exclusively. Putting together natural alternatives to store-bought products helps us save money, is environmentally friendly, and eases our minds about the substances to which we expose ourselves, especially our children, who alternate between being genuinely engaged and helpful with cleaning projects and going on spray-every-item-and-being-in-the-house missions. We tend to stick with pretty simple recipes that rely on easy-to-find things that are always in our pantry.

Here are some of my favorites:

What you’ll need:

Spray bottles and cloths (we use cloth diaper stuffers for our rags)

Vinegar, rubbing alcohol, liquid soap, baking soda, your favorite essential oils


All-purpose cleaner

In a spray bottle, combine 3 parts water, 1 part vinegar and 5 drops essential oil (I like lavender or lemon for this). This is our go-to cleaner and deodorizer for most surfaces.

Air freshener

In a spray bottle, combine ½ cup water, ½ cup rubbing alcohol and 15 drops essential oil.

Glass cleaner

In a spray bottle, combine ½ teaspoon liquid soap, ¼ cup vinegar and 2 cups water and wipe glass with a sheet of newspaper rather than a cloth.

Laundry support

For stinky loads (especially cloth diapers), add ½ cup vinegar to a second rinse cycle.

Drain / Garbage disposal

Pour ¼ cup baking soda and 1 cup vinegar down drain; let stand for about ten minutes, then run hot water and disposal. Running citrus peels and ice cubes are other natural ways to keep the garbage disposal fresh.

Making and keeping these solutions on hand is easy, inexpensive and green. It’s the way we clean our house – what are your Spring Cleaning tips and tricks?


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