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Spring Clean the Eco-friendly Way

With spring right around the corner, it’s nearly time to start sowing those seeds for your alyssum plants, seeds for your broccoli and sweet pea veggies and time to start preparing gorgeous salads with in season kale, spring onions and much more. 

Whilst I like the winter with its colder nights meaning times for getting cosy under a blanket watching a myriad of boxsets and movies, I have to say that I adore spring even more. I love seeing the first daffodils popping out, hearing the birds sing on my early morning walks and what I’m most grateful for at this time, is the warmer, longer and lighter days. 

As well as this being the time for some of these lovely foods, flowers and plants, we all know that it’s also historically the season for some good spring cleaning in our home. 

I always find spring cleaning satisfying for my home and for the mind.  I prefer to green clean as I don’t like using chemical based products that I know aren't great for the environment. 

Here are some great ideas on how you can do some simple spring cleaning without overspending on products and instead using very simple items that you already have at home.  Starting in your kitchen, you’re likely to have some of the essential green cleaning goodies already in your kitchen cupboard or fridge.  You can also make your own green cleaning supplies as mentioned in my last Dore to Door article.  Homemade green cleaners are fun and easy to make and if you don’t have some of the products, you can grab them at the local refill store or green grocers. You can use these great homemade eco cleaning products in a range of ways.

Cleaning your home

  • You can revive your pots and saucepans bringing them back to a shine by slicing a lemon in half and dipping it in bicarbonate of soda and then lightly rubbing your copper pans and pots using the cut side of the lemon. Watch this natural scourer bring your saucepans back to life.

  • Easily remove stains from plastic containers by using the other half of the lemon with bicarbonate of soda to make a simple environmentally friendly paste. Use it to rub out stubborn stains such as that dreaded tomato line that always seems to linger on your tupperware.  Rub and leave for some time and then simply rinse or wash as normal.

  • Lemons are also the perfect fruit to use to sanitise your chopping boards. Simply slice a lemon and rub it on your chopping board to sanitise. You can also add bicarbonate of soda if you want to help to clean up wooden chopping boards. 

  • You can make a great eco all-purpose cleaning solution by marinating lemon peel with rosemary in white vinegar for a couple of days, and then use the mixture in a spray bottle as an eco cleaning solution. This solution can be used to clean the stove tops, your microwave, and other small appliances. If you want to reduce the vinegar smell, simply add the essential oil of your choice. I like using lemon, grapefruit or lavender essential oils. 

  • Use the remaining lemon peels to freshen the air in your kitchen and home. Simmer the peels in water on your stove top for a fragrant, natural air freshener. 

  • For those who want to go beyond the kitchen with the lemon, you can use the lemon peel as a seedling starter. Using the peel as a cup, you can poke holes for drainage and put soil in it. You can then bury the seeds. Once winter ends, you can move the lemon cup itself to the garden and plant your seedling.

Declutter your home

What’s in fashion comes and goes. Living as low waste as possible is a great way to help the environment, aid charities and to reduce the money out of your pocket.  Our clothing can be some of the most wasteful items that we have in the home.  Having young kids means that they constantly grow out of clothes. We love a good wardrobe declutter where we go through clothes that the kids have outgrown. We like to give some away to family and friends that can still be worn and the rest we give away to clothing charities. For items that you can’t give away because they are too old or damaged, here are a few ideas of how you can use them instead. 

  • For clothing that has some life in it, bring out your needle and thread and fix small holes.

  • Make rags out of unwanted or old clothes. Repurpose your old clothes by cutting them into squares and rectangles to make cloth rags that you can then use to dust and wipe down during your spring cleaning. 

  • My old leggings are great when cut up to make cleaning cloths which means I don’t need to spend money on expensive cleaning cloths.

  • You can also make use of old clothes by making a unique welcome rug out of them.  Or if you need, you can also stuff them into cushions and pillows after shredding them down. This gives those cushions and pillows some extra much needed bounce. 

Brighten your home 

With spring comes bright coloured flowers, green grass and trees, new growth and fresh clean air.  You can utilise some of nature’s freshness to keep your house clean as well as to improve air quality in your home in the month’s ahead. 

  • Plants are a great way to increase oxygen levels in your home, helping to improve your overall mood.  

  • Try any combination of gorgeous air-cleaning houseplants such as the beautiful Kentia palm, Snake plants, Peace Lilies or the gorgeous Philodendron plants. All would be  beautiful in any home. 

  • If you want to add some extra colour, you can add in some orchids, anthuriums or chrysanthemums, as these flowers and flowering plants can also help eliminate certain types of toxins in the air.

Refresh garden furniture

Like me, you’ve probably stored your garden furniture away over the winter time. With brighter days, its time to bring them out and to restore them for use in the coming months. 

  • Dust down your garden furniture with a natural bristle brush and give them a good wash down with some simple eco percarbonate of soda (oxygen bleach), a dash of washing up liquid and some warm water in a simple bucket or bowl. You’ll see your garden furniture naturally brighten up. 

  • For wooden furniture, you could also save old tea bags and add them to water and use them as a natural stainer for your garden furniture. 

  • Percarbonate of soda or oxygen bleach is also a great eco product to use to wash down your garden decking, getting rid of winter moss and dirt. It’s also brilliant for washing down patios and outdoor plant pots too. Use the same solution to wipe down the kids outdoor toys, slides and playhouses getting them ready for them to play with.