It’s that time of the year again. The birds are chirping, flowers blooming. Spring is here, which means it’s time for spring cleaning. Yay? No, not really.
First up, cleaning supplies. Tired of using common cleaners that may contain toxic or harsh chemicals but want to be sure the job gets done well? There’s a simple solution, just open your pantry and you’ll find ingredients that are not just good in your meals, but can also help you clean your home in a more natural, non-toxic way. Here are a few ingredients that you can use to clean in a variety of ways.
Lemons are very versatile when it comes to cleaning. Lemon juice is a natural bleaching agent and deodorizer. The juice can remove stains, cut through grease and even eliminate mold and mildew, all with the added benefit of that lemony fresh scent in your home.
For an all-purpose lemon cleaner you’ll need:
- ¼ cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup hydrogen peroxide
Add the ingredients to a spray bottle and shake to combine. Spray on surfaces and wipe with a microfiber cloth.
Baking soda is already popular for being an effective deodorizer, but it can be used for so much more. It’s great as a scouring powder to clean your countertops, sinks and floors. When paired with vinegar, it can be used on clogged drains.
To unclog a drain, use:
- ½ cup of baking soda
- ½ cup of vinegar
Combine baking soda and vinegar in a measuring cup. Quickly pour the mixture down the drain. Let sit for an hour and then flush with hot water. For tough clogs, pour dry baking soda directly into the drain, then pour the vinegar. Let it sit overnight, then flush with hot water.
There are so many ways to use white vinegar around your house. It eliminates soap scum and is an excellent degreaser. It’s also great for dusting blinds and surfaces, as well as cleaning glass surfaces.
For a great mirror and window cleaning solution, you’ll need:
- 1 cup vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 1-2 drops dish washing soap
Combine vinegar, water and soap in a spray bottle. Spray mixture on the glass surface and wipe with a towel. This mixture should also help your mirror stay fog-proof for a few days.
Salt is great for adding flavor to your food, but add salt to any of the ingredients listed above and you’ve got a powerful non-toxic cleaner. Use salt and baking soda as a scrubbing powder for your sinks, bathtubs and countertops. Combine salt and lemon to attack stains, mold and mildew.
To remove stains on cotton or linen clothing, use this recipe:
- 4 tbsp. salt
- 1 quart hot water
Pour mixture directly on stains and rub fabric together until the stains fade. Throw clothing in your washing machine and set it to wash with warm water. For tougher stains, soak in cold salt water for 30 minutes, then launder with warm water and soap.
Spring cleaning can seem like a daunting task when you hate cleaning. Here are some tips to help you get through it without losing your mind.
- Break each area of your home into smaller sections.
Breaking each area of your home into smaller sections makes spring cleaning more manageable. Create tasks for each section to clean more efficiently. Start by working from one end to the other, focus on each task and soon, you’ll be crossing the finish line.
- Play music while you clean.
Listening to music is a great way to stay motivated while working through unpleasant tasks. Put on headphones, turn up your favorite tunes, and clean to the beat. Need some inspiration? Here’s a list of great songs to help you start your spring cleaning playlist.
- Use a timer.
Set a 10 to 15 minute timer as you work through each task. Using a timer can help you power through distractions, hyper-focus, and get cleaning done in short bursts.
- Take short, timed breaks between each task.
Reward yourself with short three to five minute breaks after each task is complete. Grab a drink of water, sit down, relax and think about the satisfying feeling of having a clean home.
- Don’t stress out if you don’t finish.
Do not force yourself to keep cleaning if you are tired. Pick a specific length of time to dedicate to cleaning and spread spring cleaning out over a few days if necessary. If you aren’t done when time is up, push the clutter back under the bed, into your closets and cupboards. Commit the same amount of time to finishing up the next day.
Bonus Tip: Overwhelmed at the idea of tackling all the cleaning in one day? Make it easier on yourself and follow a schedule that allows you to tackle minor and major cleaning tasks bit by bit every month. Click here to learn how to create a cleaning schedule that works for you.
What do you do to keep yourself motivated while cleaning? We’d love to hear, share with us in the comments below.