Spring cleaning makes me nostalgic for my family home. Longer days and warmer temperatures always meant that I’d find my mom in her yellow rubber gloves leaning precariously out of open windows, spray bottle in hand, and then torso deep in the oven scrubbing away the leftover grime from our holiday meals. There are a lot of housekeeping tricks that have stood the test of time, but there have also been many improvements made to how we clean our homes over the past few decades – namely the types of cleaners that are available.
Ditch that too-powerful bleach smell for a more conscious spring clean this season. There are so many effective products out there that are better for the environment inside and outside of your home. Here are three tried and true spring-cleaning methods, and three more that have been improved since our childhood days.
Keep using newspaper to clean windows. It leaves fewer streaks than paper towels or rags (remember to recycle it afterwards).
Switch from Windex glass cleaner; it contains ammonium hydroxide which is very toxic to aquatic life and can cause skin an eye irritation. Try instead ammonia-free Method glass cleaner.
Keep giving your oven a regular deep clean. The self-clean feature is okay for occasional use, but nothing beats a good scrub, grates and all.
Switch from traditional oven cleaners, like Easy Off, many of which contain Sodium Hydroxide (a cause of skin irritation) and Petroleum gas (potentially cancer causing, yikes!) and try some good old-fashioned baking soda. Mrs. Meyer’s Cream Clean is baking soda based and gets great reviews for clean oven doors.
Keep a simple bottle of vinegar on hand for so many cleaning solutions. Vinegar is a mold killer. To clean built up soap scum and mildew from the corners of your shower naturally, spray with vinegar, let dry, and then spray and wipe again.
Switch from Soft Scrub (or any bleach based cleaner). Instead, try Grove Collaborative’s Tub and Tile Concentrate. Toxin-free cleaning ingredients and essential oils give a high performance clean with a natural scent.
Check out the Environmental Working Group (EWG) for more details on what’s in your household cleaners and recommendations on what to choose instead to keep a clean and healthy home. Also try Grove Collaborative for the easiest way to get green household and personal care products through an easy, discounted monthly subscription program. Bonus: Grove is currently 100% plastic neutral and will be plastic free by 2025.