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Blog/Opinion: How to Spring Clean the Green Way – Use Strategy to Clean Smarter

By HHI Staff

Now that you've chosen less toxic cleaners to spring clean, you'll need to use them effectively. Here are some smart strategies that will help you get your home clean while keeping things "green."


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Spring is a good time to implement measures to prevent dirt from accumulating. In Healthy, High Performance Cleaning Practices for Homes, Stephen Ashkin recommends the following:

  • Buy high quality, outdoor mats. These can remove and trap the dirt from your shoes before it even enters your home. If you already have good mats, make sure they are vacuumed frequently and replaced when needed. For the same reason, it's also a good idea to remove your shoes at the door.
  • Minimize clutter. Clutter can hinder your access to areas of your home that need cleaning. Removing the unnecessary knickknacks and papers will allow you to give those previously covered areas a good scrubbing – removing dust, dirt and bacteria.
  • Lower humidity. Use dehumidifiers, ventilation, windows, and exhaust fans to reduce moisture in humid climates. This will prevent the buildup of dust mites, molds, and other allergens that thrive in moist environments.
Clean Effectively

Now that you've implemented some good preventive measures, you can pursue this year's spring cleaning. Perhaps to start, you've got your spray bottle in hand ready to spray that surface, but hold it! Here's how to make that simple act a little smarter.
  • Grab the right cloth. A microfiber cloth is one of the best cloths to use. Its texture enables it to attract and hold dirt and bacteria rather than moving or smearing them around, as well as, scrub away stubborn dirt. You can also use a microfiber cloth with plain water for chemical-free cleaning.
  • Use your cloth precisely. Fold your cleaning cloth in half and then in half again, leaving one square side to wipe with. Now, you have eight sides available to clean with. Once you've soiled one side, flip to another. This will help you get more use out of one cleaning cloth and prevent dirty portions of the cloth from soiling the surface you're cleaning.
  • Spray into your cleaning cloth instead of on the surface. When possible, use this method to apply cleaner to a surface. This will prevent chemicals being sprayed into the air and can help you use less cleaner.
  • Work from top to bottom. In this way, you won't be working over yourself or accidentally dirtying what you already cleaned.
  • Refill empty bottles. You can reuse your empty spray bottles by refilling them with cleaning solution. One simple way to is to buy concentrated, cleaning product in bulk and make your own diluted solution as needed. (Note: if using a disinfectant, be sure to follow the recommended dilution ratios.)
Additional Resources:
Matting Matters for Reducing Spring Cleaning


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How to Spring Clean the Green Way – Use Strategy to Clean Smarter:  Created on April 17th, 2011.  Last Modified on March 11th, 2014


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