Spring means beautiful flowers, warm weather, sunshine… and time for spring cleaning! Zuri Girl has some green tips for how to make this year’s spring cleaning completely eco-friendly.
Great Natural Cleaning Products
While Ecover is an excellent brand found in multiple locations around Zurich, we love picking up our green cleaning products alongside our health foods from Müller Reformhaus. Lately, we have been interested in the vegan brand, Uni Sapon for products that are safe for your home and family.
Sparkling Windows Without Chemical Cleaners
Purchasing a microfiber cleaning cloth that has small bits of silver in it will help to make it easy to wipe reflective surfaces like mirrors, windows, and oven fronts without having to use anything but water. An added bonus is that the silver has a natural anti-bacterial effect that will help to keep the cloth free from accumulating germs. Here’s one option found on Amazon.de.
Bye Bye Lime Buildup
Switzerland is (in)famous for all of the lime in our water (you may hear people calling it “kalk” in German). To prevent build-up in your shower, simply turn the dial to the coldest water setting and spray the glass doors, then squeegee as you normally would. This stops the kalk from setting and makes the stains much milder when you do finally have to scrub.
Hello Fresh Smelling Home-Sweet-Home
No one likes walking into a stale apartment, or one that smells like last night’s dinner. Get into the habit of opening those windows every morning when you awake for some fresh air to pass through. For best – and quick results on a colder day – create a cross-breeze by opening a windows in multiple rooms. Sure, aromatherapy and candles are lovely…but there’s nothing more fresh than nature’s clean air…especially here in Switzerland!
Clean with Steam!
Goodbye dirty mops and buckets…hello steam cleaning! Make mopping the floor easier with new tools like this steam mop from Black & Decker, available at Fust. This green cleaning helper requires no chemicals, kills 99% of germs and best of all…no buckets of dirty water! Check it out here: Black & Decker steam mop
“Recycle” What You Don’t Need
Purging some of your unworn clothes and unused household items can make a big difference in feeling calmer and more organized at home. Though TexAid occasionally delivers white collection bags directly to your mailbox, you can donate year-round at any TexAid drop box (to find the one nearest you, visit their website). You can also donate clothing, household items, and furniture to Caritas leaving you with a freshly organized space at home, while helping to make someone else’s home feeling like new too!
Zuri Girl Insider Tip: If you want to upcycle some fabulous second-hand clothing, check out Luxury-Shops.com and Nicht Neu for their latest pre-loved designer offerings at a fraction of the price of new items. You can feel good about shopping “green”, especially after you made all that extra space in your closet!
Make your own “Non-toxic” Cleaners
Avoid products with harsh chemicals and make your own cleaner…a great way to save money and the earth! Easily say goodbye to those hard water marks around your stainless steel sink with a baking soda + vinegar mixture. (Buy this familiar baking soda at American Food Avenue) Simply wet the sink, sprinkle baking soda over the surface and scrub, then rinse. For a deeper clean, here is a terrific recipe to use to easily scrub away scum and mildew: 1-2/3 cups baking soda, 1/2 cup liquid soap, 1/2 cup water, 2 tablespoons white vinegar, squirt bottle.
Happy Spring Cleaning!
Article originally published on 3 April 2015 by Lisa Christen. Updated 2 April 2018.