Healthy Green Cleaning For The Holidays
Healthy green cleaning for the holidays doesn’t need to be stressful, it just takes a little extra planning. Your home should have the aroma of that incredible Thanksgiving meal, not the toxic fumes of cleaning products.
Replace Your Typical Cleaners With Natural
Try replacing your typical cleaners with something natural. You may find that cleaning up before and after your party is fun without the strong smell of chemicals. Below are some green cleaning tips and alternatives to use during the holiday season.
Instead of using a typical dusting product, try using a light dusting spray made from 2 tea bags, lemon juice and three cups of water. Boil the water, add the tea bags and leave them in the water until it cools completely. Put the tea mixture in a spray bottle with a teaspoon of lemon juice. Lightly spray the mixture on a microfiber cloth and dust.
Put your curtains in the dryer for a few minutes to remove dust and also kill dust mites. This is faster than trying to wash, dry and iron your curtains and they will look just as fresh and clean.
Launder your tablecloths, napkins, and dish towels that you will be using for dinner in a homemade laundry soap using items like soap flakes, borax, washing soda or baking soda. You can find these items at your local grocery store. Your linens will be clean and fresh without any lingering fragrance from a detergent.
Why not clean your floors with the same type of mop being used by hospitals. Hospitals love microfiber mops because they clean well, get washed in between uses, and prevent cross contamination. By using a microfiber mop you can avoid using heavy, toxic cleaners since the microfiber does the work.
Try using an old fashioned way to clean your silver. Place a piece of aluminum foil in the bottom of your kitchen sink and fill it with 2-3” of boiling water. Add a tablespoon of baking soda and a tablespoon of salt. Place your silver in the sink so each piece of silver touches the foil. The tarnish will disappear off the silver and onto the foil.
If you prefer to rub your silver with a paste, use toothpaste to make it sparkle.
Say yes to any offers by your guests to help you clean up after dinner. It is a great way to have the kitchen cleaned up quickly and to continue to enjoy their company. Mix up your own gentle dish soap for anything that has to be washed by hand. You can make your own by using a liquid castile soap and adding 8 drops of a pure essential oil. Try using peppermint or orange clove essential oils to celebrate the holidays.
You can also mix up your own automatic dish soap by using a tablespoon of salt, borax and baking soda. Place the mixture in the powder dispenser of your dishwasher and then top with concentrated lemon juice. When you see the mixture start to foam, close the dispenser lid and start the dishwasher. The mixture works with the hot water to remove all the grime on your dishes.
Simple Cleaning Tips On Different Areas
High Traffic Areas
When you invite guests for dinner, they probably won’t check your son’s bedroom closet to see if his school clothes are neatly hung, but guests are likely to enter your living room and sit at your dining room table. Begin your cleaning routine in the main areas of your home, including the bathrooms. If you have time left over, you can clean the bedrooms and offer guests the full tour, but if you don’t get around to it, then simply keep the bedroom doors closed on the big day.
You don’t have to clean under your furniture for Thanksgiving, but you should keep the tops of your home’s surfaces looking nice. Dust and clean your tables, counters, bookshelves, entertainment centers and other surfaces before tackling the hidden areas. Any dust or crumbs you wipe off of these areas can be picked up with sweeping and mopping later. Clean the floors in the high traffic areas of your home, but keep this step as close to the arrival of your guests as you can to make sure nobody spills anything after you clean and before you entertain.
Take a look through your bathrooms and make sure they are ready for visitors. This includes setting out an extra roll of toilet paper so guests won’t have to go hunting for it if they need it, and providing plenty of hand soap and fresh hand towels. Close your shower curtain to hide all those bath toys inside, and keep your medicine cabinet closed neatly.
Hallways and staircases tend to gather clutter as family members drop their belongings from one room to the next. Go around and pick up any debris in these areas and then sweep or vacuum them before company comes. If there are any side rooms or closets you don’t have time to clean, walk through your home just before guests arrive and make sure the doors to these areas are closed.
Thanksgiving guests are likely to enter your kitchen, whether to gather and help you prepare the meal or during the process of setting the table. Wipe down your counters and appliances and give the floors a good mopping, then make sure you have an empty dishwasher on Thanksgiving Day so you can quickly and easily put dirty dishes out of sight as soon as they appear. Take a minute to hose down your trash can if you have time, and use a scented garbage bag so the trash won’t add any unwelcome odors to the day’s festivities.