Spring is here and with the change of season comes the opportunity to throw open your windows, let the sun shine in and enjoy the feeling of giving your home a good scrub. The grime that collects over winter is all too easy to see now that the sun is out and when you are scrubbing at the sticky spot on the carpe, it is important to use cleaning products that are not only safe for you and your family, but also good for the environment. Why? – check out this article by scientific America on the toxins in common household cleaning products.
At the bottom of this guide you will find DIY cleaning recipes that are not only environmentally friendly but simple, easy to make and cheaper than buying the store-bought equivalent. Chances are you already have the ingredients in your home!
Your first step is to plan, by making a plan we can decide which tasks to delegate (where possible) and which to tackle ourselves and in which order. Think of this time as your homes yearly check-up. A chance to check and replace smoke alarms, light bulbs and to make note of any repairs that need doing.
After de-cluttering (see our previous guide to living minimalist life) move all furniture to the centre of the room, clean the ceiling, any light fixtures and extractor fans. Clean the walls, and windows then polish the furniture. Did you know your mattress should be replaced every 10 years? Spring is a good time to upgrade your bedding, and clean your mattress cover. Koala’s mattress cover is removable, and machine wash safe! However, we do highly recommend that you use cold water to wash your sheets, and covers which you can read more about here.
Lemon essential oil
There are two ways to use these ingredients, you can mix a few drops of essential oil with ¼ cup of baking soda and sprinkle over your carpet – allow to sit then vacuum up. Alternatively, you can mix baking soda and vinegar at a 1:1 ratio to spray onto any stubborn stains then blot away.
Follow the same principles as above including spot cleaning any upholstery (see our recipe below). Having a sofa like the Koala Sofa with washable covers makes this task a breeze. Just unzip the covers, pop it in the wash, air dry or dry under 40 degrees, and put them back on without any fear of piling, shrinking, or deforming! Next, pull books off their shelves, and dust other ornaments, clean any rugs, and paintings that need tending too.
1/2 cups of warm water
1/2 cup of white vinegar (double strength)
Mix together in a spray bottle and blot clean with a cloth
This can seem an overwhelming task however once you have decluttered it can become much simpler ( it’s also a good time to listen to a podcast). Clean the interior of cupboards including doors, and checking hinge, polish your tap ware and sink. A small strong bristled brush does well in these circumstances. Clean any dining and high chairs, remember to check your oven, hob fan, appliances, fridge and pantry.
All purpose kitchen + bathroom spray
1 litre of water
1 tsp of baking soda
1-2 drops liquid castile soap
10 drops of tea tree oil.
Remember to shake before use to ensure the essential oils are dispersed correctly.
1:1 ratio of olive oil and vinegar
10 drops of eucalyptus oil
Apply to a cloth and wipe wood surfaces clean.
We all want our toilets smelling fresh, and oh so clean. Using an old toothbrush will make light work of any cracks and grooves in tiles and skirting, replace old shower curtains, clean towels, hand towels and find appropriate storage for each. Soap scum comes off with ease using eucalyptus oil, and vinegar.
Source: Cotto D’este
¼ cup water
¼ cup white vinegar (double strength)
Few drops of dish soap or one drop of castile soap
Mix together in a spray bottle. Pro tip: scrunched up newspaper works a treat for leaving a streak free shine if you do not have a squeegee.
Now is the perfect time to clean your washing machine, and drier adding vinegar to your rinse cycle acts as fabric softener and is cheaper and kinder on your skin, finding glass and tin containers to store your homemade cleaning supplies means you can buy in bulk and reduce your plastic consumption.
Source: Jenna Sue Designs
If your house is feeling a bit…tight you can read about the items you don’t need in your home here!
About the writer
Genevieve spends her days enjoying the organic farm life she leads in rural New Zealand along with her husband and three young boys. Genevieve is passionate about ensuring she leaves the world a better place for the next generation. With a background in neuroscience and a deep understanding (thanks kids!) of the importance of sleep working with Koala on the marketing team is a natural fit