Spring Cleaning

Yesterday, for the first time this year, I felt a tinge of spring in the air. The light was a bit brighter in the afternoon and the scent of damp earth could be detected in the still-wintery breeze.

You see, here in Wisconsin, the landscape is still covered with snow and the temperatures have been below freezing (more often than not) over the last couple weeks. No one has dared to even utter the word spring. We planted seedlings the other day and the act seemed completely ridiculous. But I do believe I'm seeing it on the horizon. Finally.

Let's hope these tomatoes come up!

This hint of spring stirs up many feelings in me, but the main one is the need to clean. I mean clean EVERYTHING. Pull the contents out of cabinets and closets and jettison at least half of my stuff, wash furniture slipcovers, etc. Deep, satisfying cleaning. I would love to spend a week scrubbing the daylights out of my house...but...it's going to have to happen a bit at a time because of my schedule. Though, it's amazing how much you can get done a few hours on a weekend morning, an hour or two after work, etc. Next thing you know, it's all done.

Over the past year my husband and I have made a huge effort to try to get our cleaning supplies to be as natural as possible. It's interesting to me how few products we actually need, many of the natural ones are quite versatile. Here is a list of the basics we use:

Doc Bronner's Sal Suds: THE BEST CLEANER EVER. Bar none. I use it as laundry detergent, diluted in a spray bottle as a bathroom and kitchen cleaner, or added to a bucket of warm water for an amazing floor and wall wash. I'm sure there are 1,000 other uses.

Vinegar and Water in a Spray Bottle: cleans glass and appliances like nobody's business

Straight Vinegar: used straight this is a great way to remove calcium deposits on your sink/faucet and I add a splash into every laundry rise cycle for the freshest clothes ever. I buy this stuff buy the jumbo bottle at Costco.

Baking Soda: I make a paste of vinegar and baking soda to use as a slight abrasive. This is great for tub and sink scrubbing. I also love this for cleaning my oven without harsh chemicals.

Ecos Dishmate: eh, it's okay. But I'd rather find something better for hand-washing dishes.

We have gotten almost all of the bad chemicals out of our lifestyle...but not all. Dishwasher detergent has been a tough one for us. We've tried a few of the natural ones but the results haven't been good. I'm intrigued by this product by Nellie and I might try this tutorial. I hate to admit that I've been using Method Wood Cleaner...because I've been dubious of the recipes I've found that are just olive oil and lemon juice. For some reason it just doesn't seem like it could be that simple. I really should try it though.

If you have some other ideas for me...please share!


1 comment:

  1. I'm a total vinegar addict (white vinegar of course!). I actually use it in the water softener dispenser of my washing machine. It gets all the greasy out of clothes and I'm pretty sure that the added vinegar in the rinse helps keep the washing machine from developing mineral deposits (somthing you folks with soft water know nothing about!) - Alex