Spring has sprung (well, mostly*) in New England! The days are getting longer, and we Badgers are celebrating the return of the light. There’s just one little problem…
…all of that light illuminates every speck of dust in my home! So it’s time for some natural spring cleaning. Let’s get busy because soon it will be time to garden – and we definitely won’t want to stay inside and clean then!
Since I’m a big fan of mindfulness (and not such a fan of cleaning), I’ve found ways to apply those techniques to natural spring cleaning. Being in the moment helps to transform simple spring cleaning into an extension of spring’s renewal.
I only have two “rules” for natural spring cleaning:
Rule # 1 – DIY cleaning supplies
This is a big part of mindful spring cleaning. Preparing some DIY cleaning supplies will connect you more to the process, save you money, and feel more rewarding! Some of the best non-toxic cleaning ingredients are already stocked in your pantry; and they are highly effective while being safe for you and your family (including pets). Check out my three favorite natural spring cleaning recipes below!
Rule # 2 – Fun is good
This is one of Badger’s founding principles and a good rule-of-thumb for anything in life. How you make spring cleaning fun is up to you, but here are some ideas:
- You can get others in on the fun by hosting a spring cleaning party! (Just make sure to return the favor if they invite you over for one.)
- Good music sets the mood. Here, I made a playlist for you.
- Make it a family affair and hand out prizes for different achievements, i.e., “You found the secret lair of the DUSTBUNNY – 10 points!”
Whatever methods you choose, just remember to focus good energy, love, and care into the walls of your home. It’s just as important to keep clean energy as it is sparkling tiles!
Natural Vinegar All Purpose Cleaner
The acetic acid in vinegar kills viruses, germs, bacteria, and mold – all while being safe for you and your family. Depending on what you’re cleaning, you can modify the concentration of vinegar to suit your needs. More vinegar = more grease-cutting power. The following is what I use for my everyday cleaning.
What you will need:
- 32 ounce spray bottle
- White vinegar
- Essential oils of your choice
Simple solution: mix 16 ounces of white vinegar with 16 ounces of water. Add several drops of your favorite essential oil(s). Be sure to shake the bottle before using since oil and water do not mix.
Jentri’s non-vinegar, vinegar solution: Place 16 ounces of white vinegar into a sterile container. Add fresh or dried botanicals and let steep for two weeks. The more botanicals you add, the stronger and less “vinegary” the scent will be.
I make my cleaning solution with four thieves® blend, so I infuse my vinegar with cinnamon sticks, fresh rosemary, clove, and lemon peel. These potent herbs, spices, and citrus really mask the vinegar scent. After two weeks, I strain the vinegar, dilute with water and add the essential oil concentrate. Sure, my cleaner is brown – but it works and smells great, and it was cheap to make too! That being said, be careful with dark-colored spices and botanicals as some have the potential to stain!
Note: do not use this blend on marble surfaces. I don’t know why (I don’t have any marble in my house since I live in the granite state), but everything I’ve read says to avoid this. And I believe the internet.
Also, for things like wood, precious heirlooms, and tile, test your cleaner on a small area first.
Natural Scouring Powder
I reach for this stuff in my kitchen, bathroom, and just about every room in the house; and use it on anything from pots and pans to porcelain. Baking soda is the hero here, as it scrubs and disinfects at the same time. I like to make this in small batches since it’s so simple and effective, but this recipe can easily be doubled or tripled for a day of natural spring cleaning. Bonus: it’s a powder, so it never goes bad.
What you will need:
- Canning jar
- Baking soda
- Kosher salt
- Borax or Washing Soda (optional)
- Essential oils (optional)
In a canning jar, combine 1/2 cup baking soda, 1/4 cup kosher salt, 1/4 cup Borax or Washing Soda (if using) with a few drops of essential oil. Stir or shake to combine. Apply directly or with a wet sponge. You can also sprinkle this mixture on white vinegar and let sit for a couple of minutes. The foaming action helps lift really bad messes and grease.
Again, please test surfaces before using, and don’t use this scrub on anything that doesn’t want to be scrubbed.
Natural Wood Polish
This is the easiest “recipe” there is! I use this on wood to polish, protect, and make my home smell delightful.
What you will need:
- Any tin of Badger Balm (I like to use older tins that have been open for a few years)
- A cloth or rag
Using a cloth or rag, apply a small amount of balm to wood and rub in small, circular motions. Let it sit for a few moments then wipe any excess off.
This works on treated wood and helps protect untreated wood, too. Whenever I get a new wooden spoon or cutting board, I coat it with olive oil topped with Badger Balm Unscented and let it sit for a week before using.
* – it did snow earlier this week, but that was short-lived. Snow after the first day of spring is very New England.
Do you have any natural spring cleaning tips? Join the conversation in the comments!