Spring Cleaning

By Eva Lewandowski

After our long, cold winter, the weather is finally warming up a little bit, and while that might mean more time spent outdoors, for many people it also means it’s time for spring cleaning.

If your home is anything like mine, you’ve been fighting a losing battle with dust from the heating system and the dirt and salt tracked in on your boots.  Spring is a great time to throw open your windows, let in some natural light, and gasp in horror at the sorry state of your winter housekeeping skills.  Even if you’ve managed to do a better job keeping your home clean and tidy than me, your home will no doubt benefit from a thorough once-over.

Here are some tips to make your spring cleaning easy and sustainable:

  • Before washing heavy quilts, curtains, and rugs, try hanging them outside on a sunny day with a light breeze.  If you still think you need to wash them after that, hang them outside to dry.
  • Use vinegar and baking soda and your primary cleaning agents.  I love using these items, sometimes separately, and sometimes together.  There is hardly anything they can’t get clean.
  • If you do need a more powerful or specific cleaning agent than just vinegar and baking soda, try a nontoxic cleaning recipe such as the ones we list here:  https://doitgreen.org/green-living/non-toxic-cleaning-recipes-0
  • Use rags to clean, rather than paper towels.  They can be washed out and reused several times.
  • You might find that you’ve accumulated a lot of stuff over the course of the winter.  Find good homes for your unwanted items by donating them a charitable thrift store or other local organization.
  • For items that can’t be donated or reused, remember to check your local recycling rules to see what can be placed in your normal curbside recycling and what needs to be taken to a county recycling facility.
  • When you are finished inside, start cleaning outside!  It is truly disgusting how many cigarette butts, bottle caps, and other pieces of trash are revealed in yards and sidewalks once the snow melts.  Be a good neighbor and pick up your yard and the area around it.  You can even offer to help your neighbors with their clean-up!
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