July 1, 2014 2:15 am
1. Begin by decluttering, which requires no chemicals at all.
As you're disposing of items you no longer need or want, be mindful of ways to keep them out of the waste stream. Donating gently used but no-longer-needed items such as clothing, furniture and books is a great way to reduce waste while cutting clutter.
2. Stock up on natural cleaning supplies.
Natural supplies such as as lemon, peppermint, eucalyptus and tea tree essential oils, baking and washing soda, Borax, white distilled vinegar, spray and squeeze bottles, natural bristle scrubbing brushes, old newspaper, cotton dusting cloths and hemp or jute fiber scrubbing cloths.
3. Clean windows and floors to instantly brighten your house inside and out.
A simple solution of white vinegar and water (about two tablespoons of vinegar per gallon of water) makes an effective, low-cost and green window cleaner. Spritz on windows using a spray bottle and use newspaper instead of paper towels for a streak-free clean. Don't like the smell of vinegar? Lemon juice works just as well.
Pull out the white vinegar again to mix up a great floor cleaner that works well on surfaces from hardwood to vinyl to tile. You'll need to add three or four cups of vinegar to about a gallon of hot water.
4. Prepare a multi-purpose cleaner to freshen surfaces throughout your home.
Mix two tablespoons of unscented liquid soap with four drops of lemon essential oil and two drops of tea tree essential oil. Pour the mixture into a gallon of warm water. Use this multi-purpose solution with a sponge mop or rag to remove dirt from floors and hard surfaces such as countertops and appliances.
5. Make your own air freshener.
Instead of chemical air fresheners that can irritate allergy sufferers, make your own room fresheners using cotton balls soaked in essential oil. Store in decorative ceramic dishes out of reach of children and pets.
Published with permission from RISMedia.