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8 Creative Cleaning Tips from the MADE SAFE Team
Springtime is synonymous with a clean start, but our homes are especially in need of an annual freshening up this year after a seemingly endless “shelter-at home.” As a team, we’re always sharing nontoxic tips and tricks with each other, and we recently spent some time kicking around our favorite spring cleaning hacks. So today we’re sharing the highlights with you – bust out your mop and scrub brush and get down to business with these eight tips from our team!
Many household cleaners contain ingredients that can irritate the lungs and contribute to poor indoor air quality. You can help curb this effect by opening up the windows while using cleaning products and also by choosing safer cleaning products . Another good practice to incorporate into your life is to open your windows daily for at least 10 minutes on good air quality days in your area. According to the EPA, indoor air is on average 2-5 times more polluted than outdoor air. Making a habit of opening the windows daily can allow fresh air to circulate throughout the home.
Vacuum with a HEPA filter.
Dust is an unexpected source of pollution in the home. It can contain flame retardants from furniture and household goods, phthalates from personal care products, traces of pesticides tracked in from outside, and more. A vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter can suck up settled particles effectively rather than kick up pollutants into the air as the case with many inefficient vacuums. (If vacuuming isn’t an option, use a wet mop on hard surfaces.)
Wash the walls.
Cobwebs, dirt, and dust can settle on your walls so it’s important to occasionally give them a good clean. Wiping down the walls every spring not only makes a visible difference in cleanliness, it also removes invisible compounds such as volatile organic compounds and flame retardants that can ride in on dust particles. Our favorite way to wash the walls is to wrap a broom with a damp cloth and clean from top to bottom. Be sure to clean the baseboards and mop the floor after this step. Always work from top to bottom when cleaning!
Whenever you change your sheets, freshen your mattress using a vacuum that has a HEPA filter. It will prolong the life of your mattress by sucking up dust bunnies and mites. This is especially important if you’ve invested in a nontoxic mattress or topper to help you get the most life out of these products.
Wash the washing machine.
It may sound silly at first, but even our cleaning machines need a good clean every once in a while. You can wash your washing machine by running it on hot once a month with nontoxic dishwasher detergent powder or a vinegar and water solution. How? Put the powder or vinegar solution (about three tablespoons) directly into the drum and run it on the hot or sterilize setting. Wipe down any gaskets as well.
Clean the forgotten spaces.
There are many places that are easy to overlook as part of our regular cleaning routine. There’s no time like the present to apply a little extra elbow grease in these areas. Behind kitchen appliances, around door and window frames, and beneath picture frames are great places to start.
Use our hacks for cleaning rags.
When tackling big projects like a good spring cleaning, using disposables such as paper towels can really add up. Be kind to your budget and the planet by using rags whenever you are able. Rags don’t need to be fancy or expensive – in fact, the less fancy, the better. Our team gets creative by cutting up old t-shirts and sweatpants, or towels that have gotten just a little too dingy. Another hack for people worried about using the same towels used to dust your nice bookshelf that you used to clean your bathroom floor: color code! For example, only white cloths for dusting (like old t-shirts or diapers). Lastly, our team also recommends utilizing a drying rack in the laundry room to ensure that used rags can properly dry out if you are not washing them immediately after use. Just rinse them out and hang to dry. This can help prevent mildew in-between washes – and that pervasive musty smell in the washer.
Clean with “clean” cleaners.
Before you get started, it’s important to know that conventional cleaning products can contain carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, allergens, and more. Choose MADE SAFE certified products or make your own to reduce your exposure to harmful ingredients. Plus, you may be surprised to find that nontoxic cleaners are enough to get the job done in most cases in your home . If you do use harsh conventional cleaners, it is of the utmost importance to have proper ventilation and follow manufacturer instructions carefully.
Once you’ve checked the final item off your spring cleaning list, light your favorite MADE SAFE certified candle or diffuse some MADE SAFE certified essential oils , and enjoy your feels-like-new home throughout the spring and seasons to come.
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