Tips to make your Spring cleaning green
Harsh cleaning supplies can pollute the environment — which can be a problem for people and wildlife alike. Studies show that one common ingredient in cleaners, alkylphenol ethoxylates, cause reproductive issues in wildlife exposed to polluted waters.1
Homemade cleaning products can contain less harmful chemicals, and they’re a zero waste alternative because they don’t require plastic packaging like items from the store.
Here are three recipes for greener cleaning agents to spruce up your home — without polluting the environment with single-use plastic or harsh chemicals.
- All-purpose cleaner. Do you have a leftover spray bottle from an all-purpose cleaner? Instead of buying a new cleaner wrapped in single-use plastic, consider creating your own. Mix one part water and one part vinegar. Put the mixture in your old bottle, add some essential oils if you like fragrance and spray away!
- Glass cleaner. Replace an empty glass cleaner with an eco-friendly mixture that will keep your mirrors or windows shiny. Mix a half gallon of hot water, two tablespoons of vinegar and four tablespoons of lemon juice. For an extra zero waste challenge, use this mix along with a rag cut from old, unused t-shirts.
- Scouring paste. Dissolve grimy messes with a baking soda solution. Mix 7 parts baking soda with 1 part castile soap and 1 part water. Put the paste on a messy countertop or stovetop. Wait 15 minutes and the paste will dissolve the grime. Wipe away the paste and you’ll have a nice, clean surface.
Try out these DIY cleaners next time you run out of a product. You’ll find that these cleaners aren’t just better for the environment — they’re easy to make and cheaper as well.
- . “Identifying Greener Cleaning Products,” Environmental Protection Agency, last accessed April 8, 2021.