Spring Cleaning: Staying Green Can Mean Saving Green

Can you believe that February is almost over? With March drawing near, days growing longer, and temperatures rising (somewhat) higher in Oklahoma, you may be starting to think about spring cleaning. Before you run away screaming, hear me out. I really enjoy spring cleaning.  After having the house closed up for the winter months, and having the heater going, my house needs to be aired out. It’s like the air just gets stale by the end of winter.

Before having kids, I never really thought about what cleaners I purchased or used in my home. I would buy what was on sale, or whatever I thought smelled nice. Now that I have a toddler, I am more conscientious about chemicals in my home. We have child locks on our cabinets, but those aren’t always effective and some most chemical cleaners will leave a residue that can be picked up on little hands and ingested when those little hands go immediately into a little mouth. Aside from ingestion, many chemical cleaners emit volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) into the air, so everyone in the house ends up breathing that in and it can contribute to a whole host of respiratory problems.

After some research, I learned from Gina Peek- OSU Extension State Specialist for Housing that “green cleaning” is just as effective and sanitary as using commercial, chemical cleaners– AND it’s much less expensive! The key is to keep things simple. There are just a few ingredients needed to make your own all-purpose cleaner and glass cleaner. You can make up just a small amount at a time so that you don’t have to store the cleaners under the sink, and it only takes a few minutes. Here are some recipes from Georgia Cooperative Extension Service:

all-purpose cleanerglass cleanersoft scrub

In our convenient world, you may not know where to find some of these ingredients.  I got ya covered. Washing soda and borax can be found near the laundry detergents in the store.  Vegetable oil based soap is more commonly known as castile soap. It can be found at natural and health food stores, but may be available near the laundry detergent as well. Any of these recipes can be scented with essential oils, also found in health food stores.

Be buyer aware: I have noticed in my local store that there is white vinegar in the grocery department that is labeled “cleaning vinegar,” and it costs quite a bit more than regular old white vinegar for the kitchen. Please know they are the same thing…one is just marketed for cleaning, and costs more for no reason.

As easy as these recipes are, you still may prefer to purchase a commercial green cleaner. If that’s the case, be sure to choose wisely. Some companies claim to be green or environmentally friendly, but really aren’t. There are a couple logos to look for that indicate the specific product has actually been tested for environmental safety: green sealepa

Let us know what types of cleaners you prefer to use. What green cleaning tips have you picked up?

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One thought on “Spring Cleaning: Staying Green Can Mean Saving Green

  1. Pingback: Cold and Flu Season Tips | Jessica's Kitchen Table

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