Toxin Free Spring Cleaning (and how to make your own cleaning supplies)

Let’s hope that spring is really right around the corner. I love when it gets to be the time of year that allows me to open windows and really deep clean my house. Seasonal changes are a great time to tackle different areas of your house and maintain spots that might need some attention. After a long winter there are usually spots that could use some deep cleaning both indoors and outdoors.

I also love using the spring as a reminder to plan for summer gardens and projects around the house. If you haven’t downloaded my Project Planning Worksheet, you can get it for free on my resource page. It’s a great way to plan out any projects you might want to do over the spring and summer.

There are two concepts that come into play when we talk about cleaning a healthy home. The first is to remove anything that could be causing indoor air pollution and anything that is hazardous to our bodies in any way. The second concept is to avoid introducing harmful chemicals to your home. A lot of times spring cleaning means using really harsh solvents and chemicals to deep clean your home, which may remove some dust and dirt, but does more of a disservice to your house as it adds chemicals and toxins.

So let’s take this spring cleaning to the next level and really use it to promote health and wellness within our spaces at home. A home that is limited in its number of toxins is a home that promotes a naturally healthy body as well.

Spring Cleaning Projects for your Healthiest House

Basically the idea behind most of these mini projects is to remove dust and maintain areas of your house that might be otherwise forgotten.

Dust:  Dust is more than a problem with cleanliness within our walls.  Dust actually contains various cleaning chemicals, pesticides and toxins from other products and goods within our home.  Dust can contain flame retardant chemicals and formaldehyde from our furniture too.

By removing dust on a regular basis, you can prevent the chemicals and toxins from residing in your home. Spring cleaning is a great time to reduce dust in the forgotten about places too:

  • Ceiling Fans
  • Door Frames
  • Window Frames
  • Baseboards
  • Shelves
  • Kitchen Cabinets
  • Laundry Shelves
  • Bath Fans and Laundry Room Fans
  • Office desk, cabinets and shelves
  • Blinds
  • HVAC vents and grates

The best way to clean up dust is by using a wet microfiber cloth or a dusting spray.  This is the best way to completely get rid of the dust on surfaces.

Vacuuming:  Chances are you vacuum on a regular basis.  Spring cleaning vacuuming might mean you get out that crevice tool and vacuum corners of rooms or stairs.  It might also mean you pull off the sofa cushions and vacuum inside. However you decide to do it, using a HEPA filter vacuum will ensure the dust and dirt are removed from your home and deposited in the garbage.

  • Corners and edges of carpets
  • Underneath rugs
  • HVAC vents and returns
  • Steps and stairs
  • Cushions on upholstered furniture
  • Underneath cushions on upholstered furniture

Air Out: The sunshine is a natural disinfectant and fresh air outside is often a great way to freshen and clean some parts of your home.

  • Rugs
  • Cushions from upholstered furniture
  • Pillows
  • Stuffed animals

Laundry: Some items that  can be washed rather than left out in the sun.  These items you most likely should wash with either baking soda or a plant based laundry detergent in hot water and dry completely before returning them to their place.  This list includes:

  • Bedding
  • Curtains and drapes
  • Throws and decorative pillows
  • Washable rugs
  • Washable stuffed animals
  • Pet bedding

It’s important not to add chemicals to your laundry that will get embedded into the fibers of your fabrics.  Instead, opt for all natural cleaning products or you can make your own cleaning supplies:

Laundry Soap:

You can also buy a few key ingredients and make your own detergent quite easily.  The nice thing about mixing up your own is that it’s very cost effective and can last for a VERY long time:

RECIPE:

  • 1/2 Washing Soda
  • 1/2 Cup Baking Soda
  • 1/2 cup Thieves Laundry Soap
  • 1/4 cup Thieves Cleaner
  • 5 drops Thieves Essential Oil
  • 4 drops Lemon Essential Oil

In a 2 gallon glass dispenser: mix together powder ingredients with a cup of hot water. Add the remaining ingredients. Fill the rest of the container with distilled hot water.

Use 1/4 cup per load.

Spot Treater:

  • Attitude (Amazon)
  • Babyganics (Amazon)
  • BuggyLove (Amazon)
  • Earth Friendly ECOS Stain & Odor remover (Amazon)
  • Fit Organic (Amazon)
  • Meliora Cleaning  Products Laundry Stain Removal Soap Stick (Amazon)
  • Nature Clean Oxy Stain Remover (Amazon)
  • OxiClean Laundry Baby Stain Soaker (Amazon)

Bleach: The trick with using a bleach that is safe, is to find one that does not use chlorine and is not chlorinated.  These are some really great options to keep your whites white without adding harsh chemicals to them:

  • Biokleen oxygen bleach plus (Amazon)
  • Ecover non-chlorine bleach (Amazon)
  • Grabgreen bleach alternative pods (Amazon) (Target)
  • Seventh Generation chlorine free bleach (Amazon) (Target)

You can also use some of these household staples as an alternative to bleaching:

  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Lemon Juice
  • Tea Tree Oil
  • Natural Sunlight

 

Fabric Softener: I recently just started using this brand below for fabric softener, and I couldn’t be happier.  I just wanted a little something to soften the clothes just a bit more than vinegar and this one does the trick without adding toxins to the fibers:

Fabric Softener Alternatives: Vinegar works really well as does ice-cream salt.  Just replace your typical softener with these in your washing machine and do laundry as normal.

Dryer Sheets: This is another part of my laundry routine I’ve completely given up.  I use wool dryer balls and I’ve been really happy. Some tricks you might not know about dryer balls:  If your clothing has static cling, you can fasten a safety pin to one of the dryer balls to help prevent this.  You can also add a few drops of essential oils to your dryer balls to add a fresh scent to your clothing.

Kitchen: The kitchen gets used so frequently that it gets cleaned on a regular basis as well.  This is why it’s important to step back and get a fresh perspective by doing a deep clean.  Removing everything from your counters can be a really good way to do this. Other areas you’ll want to focus your attention on are:

  • Kitchen cabinet doors
  • Cabinet handles
  • Tops of kitchen cabinets (if you have them)
  • Inside cabinets (especially ones with food or spices)
  • Pantry shelves (great time to toss expired food or change plastic storage to glass)
  • Fridge Shelves & doors
  • Clean exterior of appliances
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Stovetop
  • Underneath kitchen sink
  • Vented fan grates
  • Change water filters
  • Underneath and behind fridge
  • Corners and edges of floor

Using a non-toxic all purpose cleaner is a great option for your kitchen.  I love Thieves and mix it up to be a little stronger than the typical version.  I also add a few drops of purification oil in order to get my surfaces sparking clean.

Besides all these alternatives, you can make your own all-natural cleaner in a pinch.  Most of the ingredients you’ll likely have at home:

RECIPE:

  • 2 Cups Hot Water
  • ¼ Cup White Vinegar
  • ¼ tsp Tea Tree Essential Oil
  • ½ tsp Lemon Essential Oil

Bathrooms:  I consider this to be similar to your kitchen in terms of taking a step back and deep cleaning and removing items to detox the space a bit.  Some areas to deep clean include:

  • Tile grout
  • Underneath cabinets
  • Toss unused toxic products
  • Recaulk around tub/shower, toilets and countertops
  • Dust light fixtures
  • Dust and clean bath fan
  • ​​​​​​​Wash fabric shower curtains
  • Refresh towels by washing in hot water with baking soda for detergent and vinegar for fabric softener
  • Deep clean shower doors with non-toxic cleaner

Be sure not to add other toxins to your indoor space by using unsafe cleaners.  You can purchase store bought ones or make your own cleaning supplies with the recipes below:

 

I use Thieves Household Concentrated cleaner in my bathroom as well, but you could also mix up your own with some ingredients from around your house with this recipe below:

BATHROOM CLEANER RECIPE:

  • 2 Cups Hot Water
  • ¼ Cup White Vinegar
  • ¼ tsp Tea Tree Oil
  • ½ Lavender Oil

Mix the ingredients into a spray bottle and clean normally. You may have to shake the bottle to mix the ingredients every now and then.

Toilet Cleaners

Thieves Toilet Fizzies Recipe

  • 1 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1/2 cup citric acid
  • Thieves cleaner (mixed to use in a spray bottle)
  • 1 tsp castile soap
  • 10 drops Orange Essential Oil
  • 10 drops Thieves Essential Oil

Mix together the baking soda and half the citric acid.  Spray with 5-10 sprays of Thieves Cleaner.  It should resemble wet sand.  Next, mix in the remaining ingredients and spray with 5-10 sprays more of the Thieves Spray.  Form in either an ice cube tray or a tablespoon and let dry completely before storing in a glass container.

Simply drop in the toilet and scrub as usual.

Windows: Windows are a great season cleaning item as they usually need it after a long summer or a long winter.  This is why I love cleaning windows in spring and late fall. A clean window really is a great way to brighten your home and remove dust and grime that comes in from roads and dirt outside.

  • Window pane outside
  • Window pane inside
  • Window tracks
  • Screens inside
  • Seal wood window frames on the inside

As for a cleaning product, I use an outdoor cleaner for the outside of my window and for the inside I use my trusty Thieves Cleaner and a microfiber cloth.

Miscellaneous:  Spring cleaning is a great time to look at those areas and items that get overlooked the rest of the year.  This list might include:

  • Check batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Change furnace filters
  • Change whole house water filters
  • Check grading around the house (make sure your house is built up around the foundation)
  • Clean out window wells
  • Check basement for moisture or new cracks in foundation walls
  • Check seals on exterior doors and garage doors
  • Plan gardening areas for the summer
  • Repot indoor plants if growing too large
  • Clean linen closets
  • Clean coat closets
  • Deep clean carpets with baking soda carpet refresher
spring cleaning checklist

Other Great Resources for Cleaning

What is a safe and healthy option for cleaning your home?

Thieves Household Cleaner by Young Living is my favorite part of a non-toxic cleaning routine. You can mix it with other ingredients you likely have at home to make just about cleaning product you need.

This Post Has 62 Comments

  1. I have a few more spots to clean. Your DIY non-toxic dusting spray will come in handy. ✔😊

    1. I’m so glad it’s a helpful recipe!!

  2. I am totally guilty of using “TOXIC” products. They’re just so handy since they’re already made. Our house cleaner uses natural stuff though and it always smells so much better!

    1. Mixing up your own can definitely be a lot of work. I’m so thankful there are natural cleaners you can purchase too!

  3. Sometimes those natural, homemade products work better than the ones you buy in the store! I found that out while cleaning my gas stove top. The commercial degreaser did nothing to touch burnt on grease but good old baking soda and dish soap did wonders with a little added elbow grease.

    1. Isn’t that amazing!? I’ve had the same experience.

  4. I try to use non-toxic products in the house as far as possible… Will definitely check out some of your recommendations though as I haven’t heard of some of them.

    1. That’s great! Anything is a positive change 🙂

  5. I know it sounds strange, but I can’t wait to get my spring cleaning done! I just had a minor surgery last week so can’t do a lot, but I do need to get my cleaning supplies put together soon. A few of these recipes are new to me, so I am going to try them! I bought Thieves cleaner with my last order, but haven’t had a chance to really use it yet.

    1. I completely get it! I actually love to get things really deep cleaned once in a while. You will LOVE Thieves – it has been one of my favorite healthy changes.

  6. Thank you for this guide! I am trying to go much more toxin free in my home but sometimes it is hard to know where to start!

    1. You’re welcome! I was the same way – I really didn’t know where to start, but sometimes just picking one small thing makes a difference and give you momentum 🙂

  7. Seems like I have a lot of work to do now after reading this, lol! Thanks for the thorough checklist. It will be a handy reference for me as I spring clean!

    1. Ha! Yes it does! I feel like once we get going, we’re more motivated to get it all done 🙂

  8. Oh man… Thanks for sharing this! I hate cleaning (and I’m pretty mediocre at it) and this made me realize just how much I need to do… I better get to it with the spring cleaning!

    1. Ha! I’m not a huge fan, but I know it has to be done 🙂

  9. Well, I am definitely starting my Spring cleaning once I come from my mini vacation this weekend. Thanks for your post.

    1. You’re so welcome, Marjie 🙂

  10. I totally agree with you cleaning is important but w should always watch out for the type of cleaning supplies we use. Very helpful I must say.

    1. I’m glad it was so helpful!

  11. This is such a comprehensive post about spring cleaning. It makes me feel like maybe I haven’t been doing enough deep cleaning!
    I really like all the recipes you included. I use Thieves Household Cleaner a lot (as in for pretty much everything), but I haven’t tried combining it with any other ingredients yet. I wonder if something of your recipes would have a deeper cleaning power for things like cleaning the bathroom. I’ll have to experiment!

    1. I love it for the bathroom! (And EVERYTHING, really!) I add a few drops of purification to the cleaner for the bathroom. 🙂

  12. I haven’t used Thieves, yet, but you have shared amazing recipes that I really want to try now! Such a thorough spring cleaning post – thanks for sharing!

    1. You’re welcome! Let me know if you want a sample of Thieves to try – it’s amazing!!

  13. What a great post full of super resources! My youngest made a few of these at her Brownie meeting the other night, so I’m thrilled to see even more recipes along these lines! Have pinned and shared on my FB page! 🙂

    1. Oh that’s so great!! Thank you so much for sharing, Flossie 🙂

  14. Toxin free is so important! We are really trying to do more of that too

    1. I’m always looking for new ways too.

  15. Fantastic post! I often forget about cleaning the ceiling fan and those window frames😛 Would love to try your easy natural cleaner diy ☺

    1. Yes, those places are easy to forget 🙂

  16. Great tips here, I will pin this for later! Must try the Attitude fabric softener because nothing natural seems to help!

    1. The Attitude fabric softener is honestly AMAZING! We love it!

  17. Making your own cleaning supplies is so awesome. I love that you have shared this with us so that we too can have a cleaning experience that is non-toxic.

    1. I’m so glad it’s helpful, Becca!!

  18. With Spring cleaning approaching our household in the next few days, I am loving the thought of using essential oils to help. They smell amazing and have such great health benefits.

    1. I agree! Such a great replacement!

  19. I try to use non toxin products around the house but sometimes its so hard to find them. Will definitely use your recommendation.

    1. It can be tough to track the good ones down. 🙂

  20. I love making my own cleaning products! Thieves is my favorite!

  21. This is such a helpful post! I’ve barely scraped the surface of natural living so these comprehensive tutorials are everything! Thank you!

    1. I’m SO glad this was helpful!!

  22. I love making my own cleaning products because I am very sensitive with strong fragrance and I’m also allergic to almost everything lol. Glad to read this post, this is going to be helpful for my spring cleaning which I’m going to do this weekend!

    1. I’m so glad it was helpful!! Spring cleaning for the win 🙂

  23. I’ve recently becoem more interested in not only eating as healthy as possible, but also reducing toxins in my surroundings as well- so your post is right on cue. I’ve bought essentials oils too, and am planning on using them more for cleaning; but your other tips are also incredibly useful!

    1. That’s how I started too. First making sure what I was puting into my body was healthy and then focusing on my environment. I’m glad you could find some useful tips!

  24. Such a good post! I always look forward to spring cleaning but I always forget about things like shelves and baseboards that need cleaning too!

  25. Toxin free is so important! I love making my own cleaning products.

  26. Very informative and helpful article. You obviously did a ton of research!

  27. Oh my gosh this is SUCH an amazing list of recommendations for every single type of cleaning need! I love all of the recommendations for non-toxic laundry soap – I get so lost trying to figure out what is actually non-toxic and am always paralyzed by the choices when I’m in the store. Thanks for sharing!

    1. It can feel completely overwhelming when your standing there faced with all kinds of options. I’m so glad this was able to help!

  28. This is such a helpful post. Currently in the middle of cleaning so will definitely be using these tips. Especially the DIY dusting spray! <3

    1. It is a really great spray! I feel like I have to dust less when I use it.

  29. Thanks for sharing these, I am currently starting to move over to toxic-free sustainable cleaning and beauty products so these are perfect to add to my list

  30. These are some great tips. I watched your video on Instagram about homemade laundry detergent. I wrote a post with some soap recipes that I need to alter with your tips about why the detergent may not work. Eye opening!
    I’ll be in touch.

    1. Thanks, Stacy! I was shocked about that too — and I need to go through mine and alter them as well. It was really fun to research and learn about. 🙂

  31. This is so helpful. I don’t know where to start but I’m so excited to clean and be organized. My favorite is the recipe for the dust cleaner because it includes lemon essential oil. I really love its smell.

    1. I’m glad it was helpful. Yes, that lemon scent is perfect for a clean feeling house 🙂

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