Green Spring Cleaning

Share this on:

All around us, signs of Spring are evident.  Early-blooming flowers and plants are starting to show signs of life after a harsh winter.  That must mean it’s time for Spring cleaning!  Here are some tips to keep it eco-friendly:


Improve Indoor Air Quality by:

  • Using natural cleaners and air fresheners (either store-bought or home-made).  They’re non-toxic to both your family and the environment.  See my earlier posts on the merits of vinegar and the scouring power of baking soda.
  • Opening your windows on pleasant days to freshen the stale air inside (Also, turn off your heat or air conditioner whenever possible to reduce energy bills).
  • Limiting “dry clean only” clothing and choosing machine- or hand-washable items.  If you can’t avoid dry cleaning, opt to patronize an organic cleaner.  If you can’t find one near you, be sure to air your clothing outdoors before bringing it inside to reduce toxic chemical residues from the dry cleaning process.

Tools of the Trade:

  • Earth-friendly, plant-based cellulose sponges (by Twist or Scotch-Brite)
  • Biodegradable, natural fabric towels, like Skoy multi-use cloths (instead of paper towels.  If you prefer paper towels, opt for those made from recycled paper, like Marcal brand).
  • Recycled plastic bucket

Clear the Clutter by:

  • Recycling stacked up junk mail and other recyclables.  For proper recycling of computers and electronics, see my earlier post.  For hazardous waste, many municipalities offer drop-off days in the warmer months.
  • Removing your name from junk mail lists .
  • Donating gently used clothing, shoes and accessories to your local thrift shop or used clothing bin.  Eyeglasses can be donated to the Lions Club or New Eyes for the Needy.  You can find a new home for household items and toys at, Salvation Army, Goodwill, and Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore.
  • Selling your stuff.  Garage sales, community yard sales,, and are great venues.


Keep it Green by:

  • Cleaning windows with a simple mixture of 1/2 cup white vinegar + 1 gallon warm water.
  • Cleaning up spent foliage around planting beds which provides great outdoor exercise, as well as new composting material.  Learn how to compost here.
  • Planning a vegetable garden which will supply you with fresh produce throughout the summer.
  • Opting to use non-polluting tools, such as a rake (instead of a leaf blower) and a reel mower (instead of a gasoline powered model).
  • Controlling weeds by applying corn gluten meal in early spring.  This not only helps prevent weeds from coming up, but also fertilizes your lawn with nitrogen which helps your lawn grow thicker to exclude weeds.  With consistent applications each year, you’ll see less and less weeds over time.  If you opt for a professional lawn care service, chose one that utilizes natural methods.
  • Waterless car washes not only conserve water, but work very well removing salt, dirt and grime from your car.  Here’s info about one I personally use.

photo by Laura Nolte

Tag(s): Green Cleaning, Greening the Home, The Great Green Outdoors


2 Responses to “Green Spring Cleaning”

  1. Suzanne Holt on March 11th, 2011 1:59 pm

    You’ve got some great tips here!!! I always say….clean doesn’t smell 🙂

    Thanks for the tip on the corn gluten. Vinegar is also helpful for weed control.

    Radically reducing the use of chemicals in personal care and cleaning.

  2. Green Spring Cleaning | Do you need a reputable Eco Friendly Cleaning Service? on July 31st, 2011 1:27 pm

    […] Indoor Air Quality by: Using natural cleaners and air fresheners (either store-bought […] Source: greenstrides » Green Cleaning This entry was posted in RSS and tagged green rss, rss. Bookmark the permalink. « San […]

Comment on this post