Daylight savings time notably marks calendar changes and the much anticipated start of spring. Families go into overdrive with their cleaning strategy, cleaning their home and updating the colors and furniture in the house. The problem with spring cleaning is that many of the current methods are done with old household goods and harmful chemical products-those can’t help your family at all.

Spring cleaning begins with eco-friendly tools and nonabrasive products that will improve the quality of air and health for a family.

Tools of the trade

Cleaning is an easy task when you have the proper tools. This includes a microfiber cloth set, a feather duster and an eco-friendly mop to get the job done. Microfiber cloths are synthetic cloths that catch dust and dirt. They are reusable and washable, making them a lot more eco-friendly than the common paper towel or sponge. They even work well cleaning out the car-I tested one out this weekend and the mibrofiber cloth held up well on the dash and leather seats. After using the microfiber cloth, use a nice duster to get to spider webs in the ceiling and hidden dirt in vents that can really affect your home’s air quality.

Reducing collected dirt helps with breathing problems, especially if someone in the home is asthmatic. And finally, the right mop is an essential tool depending on the floors in your home. Most people run to the local store for a cheap mop for something readily replaceable. Others go to the eco-extreme with the microfiber mop. That is too much for me with my tile floors. I purchase Lieberman disposable pieces. I can connect and disconnect, wash it for multiple use, and dispose of it only after it is completely useless. And the mop heads are cheap and easy to use.

Green products

Bleach might have been your mom’s cleaning solution; however, bleach is extremely abrasive. It is corrosive and there are now new and better, eco-friendly cleaning products around for cleaning your home. The best quality products can be found in your home pantry. Vinegar and baking soda can clean anything. Past or present, these two items are the best for cleaning the walls, floors and the fridge. Mixed with warm water, either of these is the best cleaning solution.

If you aren’t a do-it-yourself kind of cleaner, try Seventh Generation products. They are great for cleaning, even in the bathroom, and are non-toxic and biodegradable. These products can be found anywhere from Whole Foods Market to your local grocer. Changing your products to something more natural will benefit your family, greatly reducing the toxicity of the environment you live in.

Going green is a chore. It takes replacing things in your house one step at a time. It is a lifestyle. It is a way of life. It is a way to life. Going green will save your life. Greening your home during spring cleaning can only make your home bloom with life.

• Angelic Jones is a freelance writer for Austin Weekly News.


I am a native Chicagoan with a love for my city. I was born on the South Side. I am most interested in health and living. I attended University of Phoenix for a Masters in Health Administration and a Masters...