4 ways to simplify your non-toxic spring cleaningPro Parent Tip: Clean your windows first. Could there be a more boring chore than washing windows? Even worse, window cleaners commonly contain harsh toxins like ammonia hydroxide, a respiratory irritant and allergen that has been linked to skin and eye burns. But, armed with a safer window cleaner, giving your windows a good cleaning is a surefire way to let that sparkling spring sunshine into your home and boost your mood, increasing your motivation for future cleaning tasks. In the words of one mom, “I usually do it on the first really nice day each spring because I want all the windows open and all the fresh air in my face! It’s perfect motivation.” As if you needed another reason to grab that feel-good feeling, letting the fresh air in is a great way to combat indoor pollution in your home caused by household items like scented candles, toxic cleaning supplies and carcinogens from cooking. Pro Parent Tip: Swap out (and purge!) your seasonal clothing. As the temperature changes and you stop reaching for your puffy coat and flannel pajamas, you know it’s time to break your warmer weather gear out of hibernation. Before you just pack away your winter duds, do a quick purge of anything you didn’t wear this season. Chances are, if you didn’t wear it this year, you’re not going to wear it next year. Anything that has holes or bad stains either gets put straight in a bag to go to the cleaner or tailor, or keep driving it straight to the nearest donation center. As you take your spring clothes out and put them away, do a quick scan for holes and wear, so you can include them in your donation if they’re not in good enough shape to see you through the season. Why it works? “It makes me so excited for the spring and the warmer weather. It just feels like a fresh start.” Pro Parent Tip: clean all your bathrooms at the same time. Not only are bathrooms a backbreaking cleaning chore with all the bending and crouching, there are just a lot of surfaces in one small room that really need to be cleaned well. Because of this, bathroom cleaners contain some of the most toxic ingredients found in household cleaners such as bleach, ammonia & fragrances. There’s a reason bathroom cleaners have such pungent fragrances in them – they have to mask the eye-watering fumes from the caustic cleaning chemicals. You should know that the masking fragrances can be just as dangerous as the cleaning chemicals themselves. Across multiple studies, chemicals used to make fragrances are classified as allergens, hormone disruptors, asthma triggers, neurotoxins & carcinogens. Fragrance chemicals can pass from the skin and into the blood. And there really isn’t a good way of screening fragrance safety yourself, because manufacturers are not required to list their fragrance ingredients on product labels. The word “fragrance” can hide a cocktail of more than 100 toxic ingredients. That’s why we always recommend skipping fragranced cleaners. And we love one parent’s tip to clean all your bathrooms at once to just get them DONE! Start by spraying sinks, mirrors, toilets, tub or shower stalls and grout with a non-toxic cleaner. Working on one area at a time, clean sinks, then tubs/showers, then toilets. Finally, mop your way out of each bathroom. You’re done! As this ingenious mom told us, “I do it this way because I feel like toilets are the dirtiest so I do those all last. Just the way my mind works.” For a potent bathroom cleaner that can handle all these surfaces without toxic chemicals, check out our family safe, multi-purpose cleaning system, Force of Nature, or find a highly rated option in any category through a resource like EWG’s Healthy Living App. Pro Parent Tip: Outsource the stuff you really, really hate. It’s a huge understatement to say that, as parents, we wear a lot of hats. So we say, don’t wear the hat that says “vacuuming and hating it.” There are only so many hours in the day, so if you can swing it, sweep that chore right over into someone else’s bin and use the time to do something you enjoy like rebuilding a fort out of couch pillows for the 845th time. Two we heard over and over?
- Vacuuming! As one dad said “the best kind of vacuuming is the kind a robot does while all the mess-makers are asleep.” We love the idea of waking up to a crumb-free house every morning thanks to a robot vacuum! And, best of all, this once high-end luxury is getting some competition at a range of prices.
- The car. There’s no feeling like watching a team of pros attack your car and turn it into a showroom floor model in the span of minutes, knowing it would take you hours. Except maybe the feeling of not having to be the one to contend with all the mashed up cereal and please-stop-fighting bribe candy that’s cemented into your upholstery.
- Outsource to your kids! Kids can do more to help clean than you might think, even at young ages and (even if they grumble) it can reduce frustration overall in your home! It’s also another reason to love our safe, effective cleaning system, Force of Nature, gentle enough for even your littlest little to “help” with spring cleaning chores!