There is something about a weekend afternoon in the springtime that makes me want to clean. It might be the fresh air that flows through my apartment when all the windows are wide open. It might be because we have spent over a year sequestered within the same space because of the pandemic. Or I might just be in the right mood for a refresh. Regardless of your motivations, zero waste cleaning is likely easier than you think!
I approach cleaning in one of two ways: a quick tidy or a deep clean.
A quick tidy usually happens once per week. It’s when I need to push the reset button after a hectic week. Since my living room is also my office, a yoga studio, and a cat cafe, chaos is inevitable. A clean indoor environment is proven to both improve your mood and your productivity. If you’re feeling distracted or unfocused, take some time to reset your space. It will help you get work done more efficiently.
My cleaning tricks are simple. For a quick tidy, I begin by setting a timer for 20 minutes and blast my favorite playlist or tune into my favorite podcast (it makes the time fly!). I always feel so productive when the timer goes off. I like to focus on one room at a time. Start by clearing off all the surfaces. It is incredible what a difference it makes when you can actually see your tables, countertops, and floors! Vacuum, sweep, and return all those miscellaneous items sprawled around the room to where they belong. Be sure to have containers and organizational solutions that you love (likethis gorgeous catchall dish by Haiti Design Co.) where all your odds and ends like loose change, paper clips, and matchboxes can go.
Then, finish up by cleaning those surfaces with a 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and water. This simple mixture works for most surfaces except for granite, marble, and waxed wooden surfaces. If you’re concerned about causing damage to any surface in your home, test it out on a small area. Or opt forBlueland’s zero waste multipurpose cleaning spray. It is a just-add-water and reusable cleaning solution that's designed to be refilled forever. These products will cut down on the plastic waste that comes from most other cleaning products. Finish up by wiping those surfaces down with some cloth rags. You can make your own rags for free from an old t-shirt or towel.
Next, if you’re like me and like to leave dishes in the sink to “soak” for a couple of days, take a moment to take care of that corner of the house. You can hand wash witha wooden dish brush from Eco Collective with a compostable and replaceable brush head. Or let your dishwasher have all the fun withthese plastic-free dishwasher tabs. Once your timer ends, polish off your quick tidy by burning one of these wood wick candles by Prosperity Candles to bring some aromatherapy into the mix.
A deep clean only happens a couple of times per year. It’s when you’re reminded of all the dirt and grime that accumulates in such a small amount of space. The two areas in my apartment that get worn down the most are the kitchen and the bathroom. Using ordinary household ingredients like baking soda and white vinegar will simplify your cleaning routine. Use this hack to clean your microwave with vinegar or this three-ingredient recipe to clean your oven. These two versatile ingredients work for cleaning your shower and toilet too!
Once you knock out those challenging spaces, move on to more general areas in your home. Clear dust from the baseboards with a bamboo toothbrush by BKIND. Use the toothbrush for your teeth first to get the most value out of your purchase. Since you’re already taking a closer look at your floors, sprinkle your carpets with this carpet freshener from The Old White House. I love this product because it leaves your home with a faint smell of lavender. It’s also completely safe for kids and pets.