Spring Clean the Natural Way: 10 Tips and Tricks for Family Health

by Charise Rohm Nulsen

Welcome to the March 2013 Natural Living Blog Carnival: Naturally Spring Cleaning.
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Natural Living Blog Carnival hosted by Happy Mothering and The Pistachio Project through the Green Moms Network. This month our carnival participants have written posts about how they keep their homes clean – naturally.

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It’s spring cleaning time! Here are my tips and tricks for doing it the natural way and keeping your family healthy.

Spring Cleaning the Natural Way: 5 Tips & Tricks for Family Health

1. Use natural, non-toxic cleaners.

We use a mixture of distilled white vinegar, water, and lavender essential oil on everything! For more cleaning power, you can mix in some Borax or baking soda. I have also reviewed a few excellent, non-toxic cleaners from companies like Eco-Me and Natural House if you prefer to buy something already made. For another homemade cleaning option, check out Cleaning the Natural Way.

2. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter.

We bought our Eureka Air Extreme after reading all of the fantastic research on AllergyBuyersClub.com. HEPA filter vacuums remove dust and allergens from your home, as well as improve the overall quality of the indoor air you breathe.

3. Open your windows!

Especially when there is beautiful weather, why not keep your home healthier and enjoy the fresh air? Opening the windows for even 5 minutes per day reduces the toxins in the indoor air of your home.

4. Start a no shoe policy in your home.

Not only do shoes track in the visible dirt that you can see with your eyes, they also carry toxins into your home. A no shoe policy greatly reduces the amount of lead dust, bacteria, and allergens in your home!

5. Avoid plastic as much as possible.

We are surrounded by plastic – it’s in our packaging, our children’s toys, our household products, and even in our clothing. This may make it feel like avoiding plastic is a no win battle, but it is worth reducing your plastic exposure in order to avoid BPA, PVC, and PET. Why surround ourselves with carcinogens when simple choices like using cloth bags, buying wooden toys, and using glass or stainless steel containers can make our homes healthier? For more information on the dangers of plastic and for suggestions on how to avoid it, check out Cloth Diapering Mama’s post: Leaching…yucky word…yucky consequences…PLASTIC.

6. Beware of carpets.

Rugs and carpets can collect and hold allergens and toxins. In addition to using a HEPA vacuum, be sure to occasionally use an organic carpet cleaning service like carpet cleaning Virginia. There are many natural and organic cleaning companies out there, and if you have children or pets crawling around your carpets, spring is the perfect time to make sure they are spending time in the safest environment possible.

7. Declutter.

Less clutter means less dust and toxins. Whether you’re on a path to minimalism or you’re just hoping to clean out a single closet, Hobo Mama offers sage advice: Facing the emotional roadblocks of clearing clutter.

8. Upcycle.

Your clutter might be someone else’s treasure. Help other people reuse and upcycle by giving away your items on Freecycle or using similar organizations.

9. Recycle and dispose of items appropriately.

If you can’t upcycle or find someone else who can, make sure you recycle whatever can be recycled and dispose of things correctly. You can find out where to donate and recycle consumer electronics here. If you have old batteries to get rid of, learn how to safely do so here.

10. Spend time in the great outdoors.

After a long winter, the place that probably needs the strongest spring cleaning is your mind. There’s nothing like the beauty of nature to do it for you. Here are 5 free resources for families who want to get outdoors this spring.

What is your favorite natural spring cleaning tip?

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Visit Happy Mothering and The Pistachio Project to learn more about participating in next month’s Natural Living Blog Carnival!
Please take some time to enjoy the posts our other carnival participants have contributed:


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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Leigh @greenforu March 21, 2013 at 11:14 am

Keeping the windows open is such an important tip. There are so many toxins in our household air we have to remember that even with allergies we need to open our windows to help remove them from our living space.

I must confess we do not have a no shoe policy in our house but it is good advice!
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2 Christina@TheHippyHomemaker March 21, 2013 at 2:22 pm

I recently got a vacuum with a HEPA filter because of all of the pets we live with and it makes a HUGE difference!!!

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3 Chrystal @ Happy Mothering March 21, 2013 at 3:10 pm

Those are great tips! It has finally been warm enough to let the house air out, so I’ve been trying to do that every day. In addition to the HEPA filter on our vacuum, we also have one running in our living room at all time.

Have you seen that EWG gave Borax an F? I was so sad that I thought I was using something safe when it wasn’t :-( http://www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners/2507-20MuleTeamBoraxNaturalLaundryBoosterMultiPurposeHouseholdCleaner
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4 Mandi March 21, 2013 at 4:01 pm

Thanks for all your great tips. We need to do better about using less plastic. My Father-in-law owns a Green Carpet and Rug Cleaning business in Florida. :)
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5 Keiko March 25, 2013 at 1:35 pm

Fantastic tips – pinning this for reference later. Definitely trying not to use so many chemicals when I clean the house!
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6 Charise Rohm Nulsen March 26, 2013 at 6:04 pm

Thanks so much for pinning!

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7 Lisa Schweizer April 9, 2013 at 6:33 pm

Thank you for all the great tips and advice! We recycle anything and everything that we can to help save our planet:)

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8 Phil@Hetty vacuum April 21, 2013 at 6:33 pm

Great advice and if everybody did there bit of natural spring cleaning then we would all benefit in the long run.

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9 Allison Ingram June 25, 2013 at 3:14 pm

Ive just pinned this on my pinterest page. Great for mothers with allergic kids!

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