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In one of my biggest changes, I now use natural bristled brushes. (Image: Ashley Hafstead)
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Make your spring cleaning a bit more eco-friendly this year

With spring in full force outdoors, I am in hard-core spring cleaning mode indoors -- nothing feels better than airing out the house and deep cleaning every corner after a long winter. But this year, I have adopted a more eco-friendly and sustainable way of cleaning. Instead of harsh chemicals, I have found natural alternatives (see my favorite recipe below) and in one of my biggest changes, I now use natural bristled brushes.

Natural bristled wooden brushes are made by hand with all-natural ingredients. They are easy on the environment (which is always a bonus) and they are really beautiful. The natural texture and neutral aesthetic makes them the perfect accessory to adorn a countertop. Plus, there is a brush designed for every use in your home (yes, even the toilet) which enables design flow throughout your home.

The bristles on a natural brush are made up of either animal hair or plant fibers. We'd recommend steering away from the brushes made from animal hair unless you can 100 percent confirm that the company is not contributing to animal cruelty when making the brushes. Alternatives to animal hair include coco husk, sisal, palmyra, tampico and aregna fibers; these natural fibers are incredibly strong and durable, and are resistant to water and heat.

All-Natural Cleaner Ingredients

  • 1 tsp borax
  • 1/2 tsp washing soda
  • 1 tsp liquid castile soap
  • Essential oils of choice (I use 4 drops lemon, 4 drops lavender and 10 drops orange)
  • Glass spray bottle for storage

Instructions

  1. Place borax, washing soda and soap in a spray bottle (preferably glass).
  2. Add 2 cups of warm water. Distilled is best, but any water that has been boiled will work.
  3. Add essential oils of choice.
  4. Cover bottle and shake well. Use as needed. I use as bathroom cleaner, floor pre-treater, kitchen cleaner and on toys.

For The Bathroom

  • Light cleaning of water spots or dirt: Get a damp sponge, dip in a bowl of regular baking soda and wipe down tub or tiles. Rinse with warm water.
  • Tough stains or set in dirt: Use a damp sponge in full-strength white vinegar to wipe down entire surface. Immediately scour with baking soda and a brush or sponge.
  • Really tough stains and spots: Mix 1/2 cup baking soda with 2 tbsp of washing soda and 2 tbsp of borax. Add 3 tbsp of Liquid castile soap and stir (if you don’t have liquid castile soap, you can use liquid dish soap). Pre-wipe with full-strength white vinegar and scrub with baking soda mixture. For tubs, wipe with white vinegar, sprinkle with mixture and let sit for 15 minutes. Scrub with heavy-duty brush and rinse.
  • Moldy Grout Stains: For mold on grout, make a mixture of 1 part hydrogen peroxide (3 percent) and 1 part water in a spray bottle. Spray on grout until saturated. Wait 45 minutes and wipe down with sponge and rinse well.

Happy spring cleaning!

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