The bestselling author of “Sort and Succeed” is a fan of the DIY. On her website (heartworkorg.com), the certified professional organizer, decorator, speaker, and owner of HeartWork Organizing, LLC shares her own tips and recipes for a green clean. “Natural is hip again,” says DeMorrow. “Grandma would be proud.” One of her favorite tips? Using her beloved steam machine (she likes the HomeRight SteamMachine) to clean everything from baseboards and bathroom tiles to ovens. “Getting in all the little nooks and crannies is next to impossible by hand, but steam can go where you can’t,” she says. “And bonus, if you want to remove wallpaper, this steamer can do that, too!”
DeMorrow’s DIY Shower Spray
- 1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide
- 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
- 2 squirts of liquid dish soap
- 8-10 drops of tea tree oil
The LA-based organizer swears by the “D-Day” motto: Discover, Disinfect, Discard or Donate. “Of any item you haven’t worn or used in the past year, ask yourself ‘Does it improve your life?’ ‘Does it hold sentimental value?’ ‘Would it be hard so to replace?’ If the answer to those questions is no, it’s time for that thing to go,” she says. She also recommends taking care of what she calls “toxic accumulation” of dust and clutter. “A simple, ineffective solution can be to use baking soda on your carpets and/or rugs, vinegar (white) on your hard surfaces, and lemon sprinkled in and throughout.) Minimizing toxic accumulation within your home can help you, literally and figuratively, breathe a little easier.
Baillie’s 3 Simple Ways To Keep Your Home Cleaner
- Everything in its place: Always put things back in their proper place after each use. This means that dishes should be washed and put away as a function of every meal, and that even clean clothes belong in your dresser or closet—not unfolded, in the laundry.
- Use the “Three Bucket” method: In your home (not to mention your office, your car, etc.), keep one of three buckets or bins on hand:
- Trash it – If it’s worn out or broken, just toss it.
- Recycle it – If you no longer need it, but it’s otherwise usable.
- Sell it – Make some money off or donate your unused items via local marketplaces like 5miles.com.
- Make it routine: Continuously do a little mental inventory of what you own. Regularly discard things that you don’t use (say, within the last six months). And remember, cleaning up and clearing out clutter can have a host of benefits—mind, body and home.
Floridian Duffy (who blogs at ifescarousel.com), is no stranger to the sniffles that each season brings. The mom of three (and teacher) put together her own list of natural disinfectants to kill cold and flu germs. One of her main points to readers is knowing the difference between cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting. “Cleaning removes dirt, debris, grease, and germs; it can physically remove germs from a surface, but doesn’t kill them. Sanitizing reduces the number of germs on a surface to an acceptable level; this reduces the risk of spreading infections. Disinfecting kills the germs on surfaces so there is no risk of spreading the infection,” she writes. “A clean surface might not be sanitized, and a sanitized surface might not be clean.”
Duffy’s Top 5 Natural Disinfectants
- Citric Acid
- Steam Cleaning
- Hydrogen Peroxide
Greg Shepard’s Top All Natural Cleaning Supplies
The founder of Dallas Maids shares his top picks:
- PolyCare: This is absolutely the best hardwood floor cleaner we’ve found in our 15 years of being in business and it’s all-natural! It dries streak free leaving a shine that will blind.
- Vinegar: Vinegar is the perfect, natural all-purpose cleaner. How to make your own spray? Pour one cup of vinegar into a spray bottle; add four cups of water; squeeze a lemon for a fresh, citrus clean smell and some extra cleaning oomph. Whether cleaning hot cocoa spills on the living room coffee table, a quick wipe done of kitchen counters, spot cleaning the carpet, or removing stains from clothes (soak the stain for a few minutes then blot dry), vinegar is the ultimate green cleaner.
- Rubbing Alcohol: One of my favorite and easiest cleaning hacks to spot clean a carpet. First blot the stain. Second, poor rubbing alcohol onto the stain (actually, any type of clear alcohol will work such as vodka or even white wine). Third, blot to dry. Better than any over the counter product!