Spring is upon us! It’s finally time to drink cold liquids and swap out the muted knit sweaters with some new bright wardrobe items.
Oh, and clean. That’s not the part I most look forward to in the season, but it is necessary. I never really understood the concept of spring cleaning because, it’s like…stuff also gets dirty in winter? But I guess it’s kind of that freezing-level cold has (the illusion of) a sanitizing effect. Spring is when things first start thawing after the New Year, and whatever nastiness that was frozen is now more pliable (in theory). Apparently, the practice of spring cleaning has its roots in spring religious festivals—all of which are tied up with harvests and the theme of renewal.
Anyway, spring cleaning must be done! Because your mom will ask you about it!
This year, I beat my mom to it and asked her about spring cleaning. (Just kidding, my mom has never checked in to make sure I’ve completed spring cleaning. She knows me well enough to know that the answer is no.) But this is a new year and a new me! I wanted to know what nontoxic products she, master of cleanliness, might have to recommend to me, harsh-chemical-fearing master of laziness.Here are some mom-approved nontoxic cleaning items:
My mom uses this product to clean sinks and tubs, but you can also use it for counters, appliances, stainless steel, sealed granite, chrome, cooktop hoods, and toilets. It’s 98% naturally derived.
Jana (my mom) uses this stuff to clean…glass. Which is good! The folks at method want to make it very clear that this is a GLASS CLEANER and “no mouthwash!” (Thanks guys!)
Yes. Hot (distilled) water does wonders. My mother recommends a steam cleaner like this one to do the job on tile floors.Vinegar Water
Okay, full disclosure: I sort of pushed this one. Jana didn’t volunteer vinegar water, but it is a personal favorite of mine (it’s cheap! it’s simple! you can eat it!), and when I asked her if she, too, used the concoction as I seemed to remember she had when I was a child, she said yes. She uses a vinegar-water solution to clean fruits, vegetables, and, “I think I used to use a little bit to clean windows.” Vinegar water also serves as a pretty decent general disinfectant. And as you’ve learned, “pretty decent” is good enough for me.
This biodegradable stain remover can take out anything from berry stains to oil from most fabrics. Environmental Working Group gives it an A grade.
It’s easy to justify using harsh chemicals like bleach when it comes to cleaning up the bathroom area, but it’s not necessary. This plant-based formula is made especially for a toilet bowl and it does the job without caustic chemicals or fumes.
Since you eat off plates, you want what you’re washing them with to be free of toxins. This dish soap really lives up to the gentleness of its name—it’s free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates, toxins, mineral oil, petrolatum, nuts, gluten, and artificial colors and fragrances.