Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Elizabeth Street


Best Spring Cleaning Tips

Mar 18, 2013
Green Cleaning, Storage Baskets

Best Spring Cleaning Tips

After we sprang forward last weekend, I’m officially in the mood for spring! And with warmer temperatures on the horizon, I’m inspired to take on some serious spring-cleaning and spring organizing. I’ve got dust in places that haven’t been seen in months, my kitchen could use a re-org and I need some storage baskets to hold all my stuff. I’m pretty particular about my cleaning products—I want them to smell good and get the job done, but I also want them to be non-toxic and safe for my kids. Below is my spring-cleaning checklist and some great spring cleaning tips from Alexandra Zissu and Michelle Kohanzo. Melissa Schweiger

The main thing I worry about when my kids eat things off the floor are the toxins from cleaning products that may be polluting their food. According to eco-lifestyle expert Alexandra Zissu, conventional cleaning products “can contain a mix of potentially hazardous, often petroleum-derived chemicals including ammonia, synthetic fragrances, and the synthetic antibacterial agent triclosan. These ingredients have been linked to, among other diseases, asthma, cancer, and hormone disruption.” She suggests using DIY cleaners instead.

Once a month or so put half a cup baking soda followed by half a cup vinegar down the drain. Allow this to foam up as it eats away at whatever might be in the drain, and then pour a few cups of boiling water to wash down the crud.

Make a 50-50 solution of white distilled vinegar and water.
Furniture polish
Mix a quarter cup lemon juice with half a teaspoon olive oil in a glass jar. Dab solution onto a soft rag for use. Make only as much as needed; it doesn’t keep.


Sprinkle a good layer of baking soda over grease and grime in oven. Spray with water until damp, then re-wet occasionally. Allow to sit overnight. In the morning, grease and grime will wipe away easily.


I’m a sucker for great-smelling laundry, but I can only imagine the chemicals that go into most conventional laundry detergents. Enter the Good Home Co, their collection of amazing-scented laundry detergents and laundry fragrances are free of phosphates, phthalates, parabens, and sulfates. Their new scent is Summer House, a lemon verbena medley that truly smells like a fabulous summer house in the Hamptons.


“You can never have enough baskets, and if they have lids even better,” says Michelle Kohanzo, managing director of Land of Nod. My affinity for baskets crops up in every corner of the house (just ask my husband). For spring, I’m coveting these pastel-hued Charming Baskets from Land of Nod and the Round Belly Baskets from Serena & Lily.