When the weather starts to warm up, it's that time of year again: Spring cleaning. This year, skip conventional cleaning products (their ingredients could contribute to health issues) and go for a more natural approach. Here are four non-toxic ways to clean your home this spring.
Conventional cleaning products are loaded with questionable ingredients. For the safety of your family (and your own health) it's best you avoid those altogether. Instead, try a more natural cleaning brand, like The Laundress products we sell at Petal and Post. Depending on the sort of cleaning you'll be doing, we recommend The Laundress All Purpose Cleaning Concentrate because of how versatile it is. It's vegan, cruelty-free and natural (all the ingredients are plant-derived) making it allergy-free, biodegradable and non-toxic. You can use it to mop floors, clean kitchens and even clean bathrooms. We recommend combining it with The Laundress All-Purpose Bleach Alternative for heavily soiled surfaces, soap scum or tough stains. To create less waste while wiping off surfaces, use a rag cut from an old shirt or linen instead of a paper towel.
After a long winter, your house could probably use a little TLC. Dust and dirt accumulate in the weirdest places and it's up to you and your trusty broom to sweep them away. We recommend using the Ultimate Coconut Garden Broom for the job – it's not meant for just outdoor sweeping, but indoors too. You can use it just like you would a regular broom, but the best part is that it doubles as an outdoor broom too (perfect for walkways, patios, driveways, decks, etc.). It's handcrafted from sustainable coconut palm fibers, making it thick, sturdy and fully biodegradable at the end of its life. To begin using it indoors, clear the area of any obstacles as much as you can. Then, start in one edge or corner and sweep in overlapping strokes towards the center of the room. Make sure the broom reaches into the angle of each corner so that you sweep the dust out from there. To get at smaller to reach areas, consider using The Ultimate Coconut Whisk Broom (a mini version of the same broom) to get at those hard to reach places. Work your way around the room and create one big dust pile, or several small piles. When you've swept the area clean, use a dust pan to collect your dust piles by sweeping the piles into the pan.
Houses can get a little stuffy after a long dreary winter. Not only should you be opening up the windows, but you should also be diffusing some essential oils. Using essential oils to clear the air in your home is a great, non-toxic alternative to artificially scented air fresheners. If you don't have a diffuser, you can make your own reed diffuser by using an empty glass jar, unscented carrier oil (jojoba and sweet almond oil work well), reed diffuser rods, and essential oils (different blends are listed below). If you have a diffuser, make the house smell like spring with these essential oil blends:
Lavender Lemon Rosemary
Lavender Geranium Grapefruit
Geranium Lavender Chamomile
Grapefruit Frankincense Geranium
Another way to detox your home is to look through your closet: You probably have a lot of clothes in there you don't even wear. If that's the case, take a day to pull everything out of your closet and go through each article of clothing. You can free up a lot of space if you do this and decide which clothes you really like and which you've grown out of (physically or mentally).
Start by lying out your clothes on your bed and looking at each one. Do you still like the design, the colour, how you look in it? Make a pile of clothes you still like and have worn recently, another pile of clothes you like but haven't worn, and ones you don't like and haven't worn. The ones you don't like and haven't worn should immediately be set aside for donation. For the pile of clothes you like but haven't worn, think about why you haven't worn it. Do you really need it? Do you still look good in it? Debate trying it on to see. If you still like how you look in it, consider keeping it for a few more months. If you still haven't worn it after 3 months, it's time to donate it (or give it to a loved one you know will love it). The pile of clothes you like and have worn can immediately go back in the closet – be sure to put them back in a neat, organized fashion.
Use this as an opportunity to clean off your clothes of any lint and pet hair too. Our Pet and Lint Brush by The Laundress is perfect for removing lint, dandruff, and pet hair from clothes (and furniture!). It's made using patented electrostatic technology and natural rubber with oiled beechwood handle. To use it, just let the brush do the work and glide it over any fabric that needs lint removal. Once your clothes are lint free, simply rinse the brush under cold water or remove the lint and hair by hand. You can wash and reuse this brush for years to come. It's so much less wasteful than lint rollers, and saves you a buck in the long run.
Ariana Palmieri is a green beauty blogger and guest contributor at Petal & Post who strives to live as eco-friendly as possible. In 2015 she started her blog, Greenify-Me, to document her own journey with eco-friendly products, makeup, and the environment. The site features beauty product reviews, natural DIYs, healthy recipes, and more. Her work has also been featured on MindBodyGreen, Motivation Grid, The Penny Hoarder, Antonym Cosmetics, Plant Makeup, Jeannine Morris, Basmati, Beezy Beez, and National Viral.