Spring is Right Around the Corner
The anticipation of spring and all its newness is in the air! All around us the world is preparing for newness. The winter months makes humans sleepier and slower, as fewer hours of daylight trigger the release of melatonin in our brains, aka the hormone that causes sleepiness. We literally don’t have the energy to deep clean during the darker, colder months. But once the days start getting longer, we’re energized by more sunlight and melatonin production subsides. Not to mention all that sunlight streaming through the windows probably makes the dust we’d forgotten about highly visible. There are also many cultural practices around spring cleaning. So for many the time for spring cleaning has begun, and in an effort to be more earth-friendly, I wanted to share with you a list of natural solutions that will make quick work of your cleaning chores.
When life gives you lemons…besides making lemonade here are a few uses for lemons.
- To increase the grease-cutting power of your dishwashing detergent, add a teaspoon of lemon juice.
- To remove the odor from touching fish, rub your hands with lemon juice.
- To brighten your laundry whites, add ½ cup lemon juice to the rinse cycle of a normal load.
- To bleach stains from plastic ware, rub lemon juice and let dry in the sun, then wash as usual.
Using essential oils…they are very strong, so don’t go overboard. One drop of peppermint oil is as potent as 30 cups of peppermint tea.
- To clean combs and brushes, fill a container with 1 ½ cups water, ½ distilled white vinegar, and 20 drops of melaleuca (tea-tree), or lavender, or eucalyptus oil. Soak for 20 minutes, then rinse and air-dry.
- For a nice bathroom spray, mix 2 teaspoons of tea-tree oil, or your favorite scented oil, and 2 cups of water. You can also put a few drops on the inside of the toilet paper tube so every time it is used the scent is released.
- For windows, mix 2 ounces water and 10 drops of lavender or lemongrass oil to wipe off grime. Bonus: these oils may also repel flies.
Vinegar…the acidic wonder. It creates an environment that inhibits bacteria growth.
- To clean drains, and the pipes, pour a cup of distilled white vinegar down them once a week (or as needed). After 30 minutes, flush with cold water.
- For moldy walls, spray vinegar on the affected area. After 15 minutes, rinse and dry thoroughly.
- To combat mineral deposits on shower heads and faucets, pour vinegar into a plastic bag and secure over the shower head with a strong rubber band. Let it soak overnight and rinse with cold water in the morning.
Now, let’s get a fresh start on spring.
Until next time…