Let's start with the HOUSE. Here are some tips and natural recipes for spring cleaning:
- Open up all of your windows so the air can flow through (if it's still chilly out, open up for as long as you can handle, even if its only for 15 minutes)
- Try to do one whole project at a time. That might mean one whole room, or one whole project (floors, dusting, throwing things away)
- Don't forget: garbage disposal (throw in 1 cut up lemon), baseboards, refrigerator drawers, fans, tops of door jams, change smoke alarm batteries, rotate mattresses, change your furnace filter.
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Natural All-Purpose Scrub
Pour 1/2 cup baking soda into a bowl. Add just enough liquid soap to make a creamy paste. Spread mixture on the flat side of 1/2 of a lemon and scrub. Use a damp rag or sponge to wipe away any residue. I used this on my shower and you still need to use a scrubby sponge, but you have to do that with chemicals too, so it might as well be natural.
Vinegar is a great all-purpose cleaner; use it straight for tough jobs, or dilute it with water. Tea-tree oil is a natural fungicide and can help disinfect surfaces -- mix 2 teaspoons with 2 cups water. To whiten stained tiles or grout, use a mixture of 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide to 1 cup water.All of these solutions can be sprayed onto a surface, allowed to dry, then wiped with a damp cloth. You can also use vodka the same way you would use vinegar.
DIY Tub and Tile CleanerVinegar works well on soap scum and mineral deposits, but rinse thoroughly, as it can corrode some fixtures and etch glaze on tiles. You can also try tea tree oil -- 2 drops tea tree oil with 1 cup water -- in a spray bottle. A natural antiseptic and fungicide, tea tree oil costs more than vinegar but will kill most types of mold and help prevent growth; as with all concentrated oils, it should be used with caution, as it can trigger allergic reactions if it comes into contact with skin.
Natural Carpet Stain RemovePour a small amount of soda water onto a fresh carpet spill, and blot with a towel. Don't rub, as you may mat the fibers. If the stain is set, try hydrogen peroxide: Pour some onto a clean, white cloth, then press cloth to carpet. Wait about 15 minutes, blot with a clean cloth. There should be no need to rinse.
Add a few drops of olive oil or jojoba oil to 1/2 cup of white distilled vinegar. If you still want that citrus scent, add 2 drops of lemon essential oil. Make sure it is essential, and not just fragrance oil. You can choose your scent - try lavender!
Pour 1 cup of baking soda down the drain, followed b 3 cups of boiling water, which converts the baking soda to sodium carbonate.