The tradition of spring cleaning is thought to have originated in Iran on Persian New Year with ‘khaneh tekani’ (literally translating as “shaking the house” which we love the idea of!). But this has now been widely adopted across cultures - there’s just something about nature springing back into life and the sun coming out that makes people feel like it's time to deep clean the house!
We’ve come up with some simple and cheap ways to make the cleaning process a little more green, including easy eco swaps and a few natural cleaning recipes that don’t compromise on hygiene.
Why use a natural cleaning solution?
- Conventional manufactured cleaning products can be extremely polluting and all too often, chemicals washed down our drains are not always cleaned out of the water before it gets back into streams, rivers and the ocean, disrupting ecosystems and even entering our food chain.
- When you stop to think about it, when we buy conventional cleaning solutions from the supermarket, we are buying mostly water! All those bottles on all those shelves across the country. It's a lot of weight to transport, which results in a lot of unnecessary Co2 emissions.
- And of course, the plastic containers. Many are recycled plastic nowadays but they can often end up not being recycled further - clogging up landfill, or worse, the sea!
All reasons to be mindful of what we use to clean our living spaces!
Thankfully, there are loads of plant-based and biodegradable products now available that are non-toxic, work just as well – and in a lot of cases, smell better too.
One good option is to use water-free alternatives such as Ocean Saver Refills, These are biodegradable pods that you add to water in areusable spray bottle. Another could be to visit your plastic free shop and fill up using a biodegradable, plant-based solution (ideally from a local closed-loop manufacturer if you can).
Or, you could make your own...
A basic natural cleaning tool kit includes white vinegar, baking soda, citrus fruit, and empty spray bottles. You may also want tea tree oil and other essential oils for scent. Add reusable microfiber cloths,compostable sponge cloths or even old cotton T-shirts instead of paper towels for less waste. For a bit of a scrub, instead of using plastic sponges, usecoconut fibre pads.
Here are our favourite recipes for every spring cleaning occasion - enjoy!
General cleaning solution
¼ cup of white vinegar
1 tbsp baking soda
1 litre of hot water
Mix it up in a reusable bottle and spray away!
3 tbsp vinegar
4 cups water
Make it stronger by using 1/4 cup vinegar, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, and 4 cups warm water. Shake to dissolve the cornstarch before spraying. Wipe clean with a microfiber cloth, then do a final wipe with a dry cloth to avoid streaks.
Put 1/4 cup baking soda down the drain followed by 1/2 cup vinegar.
Cover and let sit for 15 minutes, then uncover and pour in 8 cups boiling water.
For light cleaning, mix 1/4 cup baking soda with 1 cup vinegar and pour it into the toilet bowl.
Let it sit for up to 30 minutes, then scrub with a toilet brush and flush.
- Always label any cleaning solutions you make, especially if you're using a second hand container with a previous label on it.
- Don't use acidic cleaners (like those with vinegar in) on granite.
- Cleaning solutions don't always need to be made in advance. Just sprinkling some bicarb onto a surface and wiping it around with half a lemon works really well!
- Remember - Never mix ammonia and bleach or hydrogen peroxide and vinegar - they will give off harmful fumes.