It’s time to dust off surfaces and open hibernating homes to fresh breezes. Few things are more satisfying than opening the windows and airing out months of built-up stuffiness. Venting, as I’ve mentioned here before, is good for you.
If spring is a time for freshness, then nothing could be more counterproductive than covering your bathroom in chlorine or blasting your kitchen with bleach. Obvious problems emerge when you spray your cleaner and feel sick to your stomach, or experience throat tightness. Cleaning with bleach can suck any potential fun out of your task (if you happen to find cleaning fun ~ no judgment).
On top of that, a common bathroom-cleaning regimen can do some long-term damage to your lungs. The ammonia you find in a lot of glass cleaners, combined with the chlorine in bleach, create legit toxic gasses called “chloromines.” Beyond problems breathing and skin irritation, too much exposure to chloromines can even lead to pneumonia.
Chlorine bleach is a pretty heavy-duty chemical ~ way too heavy-duty for simple stuff like cleaning your countertops. Plenty of gentler, less corrosive products can be used for keeping your home spic and span.
De-Grime with White Vinegar
White vinegar is completely effective for wiping away unsightly spots on the counter after you’ve made the spaghetti sauce, or layers of dirt lingering on your window-frames. It’s also effective at removing spots and streaks from glass, and can kill many forms of bacteria as well as the flu virus. When it comes to most of the surfaces in your house, you don’t really need much more than that.
Warning: if you are going to use vinegar, use it on its own and DO NOT combine with bleach. When an acid like vinegar combines with bleach they create chlorine gas, which is such a major deal it was once used as a weapon of war.
Shop My Favorite Green Cleaning Goods
There’s a further bevy of DIY cleaning recipes online, but honestly? More often than not, I just plain don’t have time to concoct these potions on top of all the other work that needs to be done every day (and I know I’m not alone).
Check out the True Goods Spring Cleaning Collection, which contains selections from my own green cleaning arsenal. Included are:
- Molly’s Suds Cloth Diaper Laundry Powder ~ This clothes-cleaning powder, rated “A” by EWG, is gentle enough to be used to clean your little ones’ cloth diapers.
- BuggyLOVE’s Organic Multi-Purpose Cleaner ~ A completely non-synthetic cleaner full of citrus oil and good for surfaces.
- HAVEN's Lemon Cleaning Scrub ~ Perfect for scrubbing anything from pans, to drains, to butcher’s blocks.
- dōTERRA Cleansing Purify Essential Oil Blend ~ A safe yet potent deodorizer that kills pathogens and purifies the air.