It’s finally time to greet warmer weather and our favorite way to celebrate is with a thorough spring clean of our home.
But is your spring cleaning plan as healthy as it seems?
It turns out most common cleaning methods actually put our health (and our family’s health) at risk. This is because most cleaning products fail to protect us from a dangerous flaw that lies within their ingredients–while we are warned that direct contact with cleaning products is unsafe, we aren’t told about the lasting effect the chemicals in cleaning products have on the air quality in our homes.
Your home’s indoor air should be it’s cleanest feature–but it usually isn’t. In fact, indoor air can be 5x more polluted than outside–affecting allergies, asthma, concentration, sleep quality, and much more.
Don’t worry! It’s easy–and cheap–to clean your home the healthy way. To help you get started, we’re creating a series of simple checklists to help you clean your way to a healthy home–one room at a time. If you haven’t checked yet, our Healthy Living Room Checklist is a great place to start.
Or if you’re ready for the next room, read on for our Healthy Kitchen Checklist:
1. Disinfect surfaces
Countertops and cutting boards can collect bacteria throughout the year, so it’s important to make sure disinfecting them is at the top of your spring cleaning checklist. Before you reach for the bleach, opt instead for one of our favorite disinfectant recipes:
In a glass spray bottle, add 1 part water, 1 part vinegar and 5-15 drops of 100% essential oil (we recommend lemon for a fresh kitchen scent). Spray your surfaces thoroughly, let the disinfectant work for 10 minutes, then wipe down with a microfiber cloth.
2. Polish appliances
Ammonia and chlorine are popular ingredients in cleaning products that help you polish and shine your kitchen–but they come at a cost. Both can instantly irritate your lungs, and long-term exposure can lead to bronchitis, asthma, and thyroid issues.
Baking soda and even vodka are highly effective at polishing your metal appliances, leaving your kitchen both safe and sparkling.
3. Unclog your kitchen sink drain
Sodium hydroxide is very effective for unclogging drains, but it comes at a price–fumes have been known to cause sore throats that last for days.
A mixture of baking soda and vinegar can effectively unclog a drain. After the bubbles disappear, run hot water through the drain.
4. Dust above cabinets and shelves
Dust can unknowingly collect in high places–such as cabinets and shelves–throughout the year. Dusting is incredibly helpful for reducing allergies, which can be especially strong in the spring. How you choose to dust, however, will determine how effective the dusting is. Avoid using dry dusters, because they’ll spread dust into your air instead of eliminating it. Instead, use a damp cloth to trap your dust on the spot.
5. Hang herbs for a natural and fresh scent
We might be tempted to use air fresheners in our kitchens so help eliminate any lingering food odors, but this can do more harm than good! Most common air fresheners contain harmful chemicals known as VOCs, which can dissolve into your air and cause health problems like eczema flare-ups, allergies, asthma, and headaches.
A great natural alternative to air fresheners is hanging herbs around your kitchen. We recommend creating a bundle of pine, rosemary, thyme, sage, and a slice of dried orange tied together with a piece of twine for the perfect fresh kitchen scent.
For more spring cleaning tips, be sure to follow us on Instagram @getawair and check out our Healthy Bedroom Cleaning Checklist.