When it's time for a little spring-cleaning, do you reach for the jug of bleach? Harsh chemicals can wreak havoc on your home — not to mention those living in it! Try these eco-friendly cleaning tips using some natural cleaning aids.Did you know that lemon juice can remove stains such as grease and sweat from clothes? Baking soda is a great all-purpose, non-toxic cleanser and even works on clothing to deodorize, clean and soften fabrics. Vinegar softens water and removes stains. If you don't like the smell — consider adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil.
Do you have a recycling system set up for your garbage? Get out some old bins or buckets from the garage and label them for recycling — glass, plastic, paper and aluminum.
Do you dine on paper plates and toss napkin after napkin? We know — the last thing you want to do at the end of a long day is the dishes! But using cloth napkins at the dinner table will dress up even the most casual supper, and if you soak your dishes, pots and pans (in the sink with a little water mixed with a drop of natural dish soap) while you spend some quality time with the kids before bedtime, they will be a breeze to clean up after the kids go to bed.
When utilizing appliances, max them out! Be sure to do a full load of laundry or run the dishwasher only when it's completely full to save energy. Consider hanging your linens to dry on a clothesline in your backyard versus tossing them into the dryer every time.
Instead of spraying pesticides in your garden to rid it of bugs, consider nature's helpers â€" ladybugs! These spotted creatures love whiteflies and aphids that can damage plants. You can purchase them at your local nursery or hardware store, if it has a nursery. Be sure to water your plants first, and release the ladybugs in late afternoon or early evening.
Give your home a good once over. If you have a leaky faucet or a space under a door where air can flow in and out, have it fixed immediately. This will not only help save the planet, it will help you save on your water and electric bills as well!
Try to limit the time when you run the heater or the air conditioning. In the heat of the summer, keep blinds closed to block out the intense sunlight. Take advantage of the amazing weather in between extreme seasons and open those windows to let the fresh air in!
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