Each year as spring asserts itself and the flowers start blooming and the sun comes out more often, I begin to notice that the house needs a serious spring cleaning. Here are some tips to get the most out of your spring cleaning with a natural approach.Cleaning Surfaces
I use 4 natural alternatives for cleaning the surfaces around my home. The great thing about them is that they are all non-toxic, and can be used around pets and children without concern. For windows and mirrors, I prefer to use White Vinegar undiluted, as well as using it diluted 1 to 5 with water for hardwood floors and surface cleaning. For stubborn spots in the kitchen and bathroom, I like to use baking soda mixed with enough water to make a thin paste, adding lemon juice to stains on counters which I let sit for 5 minutes before I clean the area. Odor Control
Baking soda can also be used as an odor controller on carpets and upholstery; just pour a thin layer over carpets and let stand for 20 minutes, and then vacuum it up. For natural air fragrances, try simmering a saucepan with 2 cups of water and 5-6 drops of essential oils in a fragrance that you like. Essential oils can also be added to your water and vinegar solution in very small amounts for a natural fragrance boost; some essential oils such as eucalyptus can be added to your solution as a natural bacterial inhibitor as well. This solution can be stored in a spray bottle for every day cleaning. Springtime Bedroom Cleanup
Get that bedroom healthy and clean. You can wash your wool overlay and your wool knop filled pillows separately in a washer using a natural, environmentally friendly laundry detergent. Dry your pillows 2 at a time in your dryer on medium, and they will fluff right up again. Dry your overlays individually until completely dry without fabric softener, which has numerous chemical components such as formaldehyde. If your dog or cat has been sleeping on your wooly, or has one of their own, you can boost the cleaning power and odor removal of your detergent by soaking your woolies in a vinegar solution before you wash them. Spring clean your wool filled duvet by removing it from your duvet cover, and shake the duvet vigorously to remove dust. Follow up with a spot clean with a clean cloth moistened with your vinegar solution, and then lay it out in the sun for a few hours - sunlight is an excellent natural cleaner, and will freshen your duvet naturally. Polish Your Silver
I like to use the method for cleaning silver that Jessica Reiss of ecocessories fame recommends. It works very well, and I don't need to use any toxic chemicals. It's also lots faster than taking the silver polish to every piece of silver I have.