Try Natural Ingredients for Greener Spring Cleaning

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If you are getting ready for spring-cleaning, instead of reaching for household cleaning products that contain environmentally harmful chemicals, first consider giving your home a green spring-cleaning with some eco-friendly, inexpensive products that can be found in your kitchen cupboards.

Clean Kitchens and Bathrooms with Vinegar
Vinegar is an effective cleaning solution for the kitchen and bathroom. Using a mixture of equal parts water and white vinegar to clean bathroom sinks, bathtubs, floors, and taps will remove hard water stains and make your home sparkle. Vinegar is also an eco-friendly toilet bowl cleaner: Pour undiluted vinegar into the toilet bowl, scrub with a toilet brush, and then flush to rinse.

The same solution of vinegar and water can be used to wipe kitchen surfaces and mop floors, but never use vinegar to clean granite or marble. Whenever cleaning with vinegar, always try it on a small area first to make sure it does not damage the surface.

Use Lemon to Clean and Deodorize
Lemons get rid of unpleasant odors in the kitchen easily and naturally. Scrub your old chopping boards with half a lemon and then put the other half in the fridge to remove odors. Deodorize the drains by pouring a mix of hot water and a little lemon juice down the drain.

Bring a refreshing lemon scent into the house by using lemon essential oil for cleaning floors. Lemon oil is a natural but powerful disinfectant, and most people like its fresh fragrance. Add six drops of lemon oil into a 1/2 gallon of lukewarm water, stir well, and use the water to mop the floors or to clean the bathroom. Warning: Do not use lemon essential oil for cleaning wood floors or marble counters as it can cause damage.

Scrub Stains with Baking Soda
Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is an eco-friendly deodorizer and household cleaner that is especially useful in the kitchen. Mix four tablespoons of baking soda with one cup of water and use the mixture to clean your fridge, oven, and microwave, or to get rid of grime on kitchen counters and other surfaces. Let difficult stains soak for a while before wiping them down with a damp cloth. Sprinkle baking soda on pots and pans and scrub to remove the stains.