Throughout the northern hemisphere, people are waking up to spring. It’s been a long, hard winter for many of us. There are moments we all love about winter (the coziness of a fireplace, the steam coming off a mug of organic hot chocolate), but for the most part winter keeps us tucked away from nature and just itching for a return to the outdoors.

Spring offers that, and as we open our doors and windows and prepare for a lighter and brighter season we must take one last look at the state of our homes. It’s easy to ignore dust and dirt when the lights are dim and the heat is turned up high. But as spring offers us a new start, filled with daytime breezes and sunny natural light, it’s time to take up spring cleaning.

Spring cleaning is more than just a box to check, though. If you’re going to invest a weekend or more into preparing your house for the season ahead, you should make sure to do it well. That means no chemicals that can cause allergies, rashes, asthma, or cancer. No strong smells or water pollutants, nothing too dangerous for our children to stumble upon. After all, whatever you choose as your cleaning agent will literally coat the surfaces of your house!

For a list of natural cleaning solutions, here’s Mother Earth Living:

A Fresh Start: Natural Spring Cleaning

Lemons

Lemons are natural disinfectants because of their antibacterial properties. For many, the refreshing citrus smell exemplifies cleanliness.

Kitchen
• Cut a lemon in half and use it to clean wooden chopping boards or to help remove stains from countertops. Let the lemon juice sit for a while, then wipe clean. Avoid marble and granite surfaces because the acid can be corrosive. (Try club soda instead.)

• Dip a cut lemon in coarse salt and scrub copper-bottomed pots and pans. Use the same preparation to help dissolve soap and hard water stains in sinks. Throw the used lemon into your compost pile for eco-friendly waste disposal.

• Odors and bacteria can build up over time in your garbage disposal. Place a whole lemon in your garbage disposal and turn it on for a quick, easy way to clean this hard-to-reach area (chop it into chunks if your disposal has trouble processing large items).

Laundry
Lemons are natural bleaching agents that can help brighten white linens and clothing. Add 1/2 cup of lemon juice to the rinse cycle to brighten whites and give them a fresh citrus smell.

There’s so much more where that came from! According to Mother Earth Living, you really only need a few things to make your way to a clean, safe house. To learn more about how you can clean your house with not only lemons but also salt, vinegar, baking soda, and tea tree oil, check out the original article here. Happy cleaning!