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Spring Cleaning Checklist: 7 Dirty & Allergen Filled Places You Don’t Think To Clean

cleaning

We all know the obvious dirty places to clean up on the regular; the toilet, sink, garbage cans, floors, counter tops, but there are many places in our homes that we don’t think to clean when we are making our chore rounds. Dust build up indoors can cause you even more suffering during the already tough spring allergy season. Dust allergies make it difficult to breath and can trigger other symptoms like wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing, runny nose, itchy eyes and asthma. There’s not much you can do about the allergens present outside your home, but inside is a different story. We love getting into the spring-cleaning spirit this time of year, but we may only be scratching the surface of the dirty and dusty areas that really make a difference for our air quality.

Deeper cleans every once and awhile can cleanse your living space of even more dust and germs and can have more of a positive impact on your indoor quality of life than you may think. Studies show that eight out of ten people are exposed to dust mites, and six out of ten are exposed to pet dander while indoors. You can’t really avoid these build-ups, it’s just part of life, but just a few more aggressive cleans, more often, can drastically improve your indoor breathing and help relieve asthma and allergy symptoms.

There may be a little silver lining when it comes to having chronic allergies; studies have shown that people experiencing allergy symptoms often have a slightly lower risk of developing cancer. Luckily, there are many natural remedies, like these from Wellness Mama, helping to relieve our terrible allergy woes, but cleaning out these commonly used nooks and crannies can help even more! Here’s your Spring Cleaning Checklist.

coffeemaker

Drip Coffee Machine

We clean out the parts we use every day, but the water that runs through isn’t hot enough to kill all the bacteria and mold that can thrive in those wet and dark environments. All you have to do is pour a 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and water through the machine once a month, let it sit for about an hour and then continue the brewing cycle.

pillows

Pillows

Pillows are a huge factor for avoiding indoor allergy symptoms and it has been discovered that most fungal exposure happens at home from bedding. It doesn’t help that we spend all night every night drooling and sweating and shedding skin on our pillows, which dust mites seem to love. All you have to do is regularly wash your bedding to keep conditions less attractive to those mighty dust mites.

dirtyshoes

Shoes

Anything we bring from the outside world can track bacteria and allergens, but studies have shown that shoes can carry large amounts of bacteria that can infect clean floors and bring more pollen and dander in your home. There isn’t a perfect way to deal with this, but washing shoes that are washable is a good idea and also having a no shoes indoors policy. Those moms who made us leave our shoes at the door had it right all along!

books

Books

The books we leave on the bookshelf look great, but they often collect a lot of dust. If you’re just dusting around the books on the bookshelf than you could be missing a lot of dust on top of the books. The easiest way to get rid of that pesky dust is to use a vacuum attachment and vacuum the tops of the books, or remove them for a deep clean.

lamp

Lampshades

Have you checked your lampshades out lately? They can collect dust and dander faster than you can sneeze. You can use a vacuum cleaner just like the books to take care of this or Apartment Therapy has some easy ways to take care of this without one.

toothbrush

Toothbrush & Toothbrush Holder

Aside from our toothbrushes cleaning all the bacteria in our mouths, it lives in one of the germiest parts of the house, the bathroom. Bacteria build-up in your toothbrush holder can contaminate your toothbrush and should be cleaned regularly. The ADA suggests that we keep our toothbrushes in a cabinet where they are out of reach from fecal contaminates in the air and to replace toothbrushes every 3-4 months. To clean your toothbrush holder, simply soak in three parts water and one part vinegar for an hour.

teapot

Tea Pot

Similar to the coffee maker, we often use this every day and probably don’t give it the deep cleaning it needs often enough. It stays on our stove for easy access, but that causes it to accumulate dust, grime and grease from cooking. Soak the tea pot inside with 50/50 white vinegar and water and use an all-purpose spray to scrub down the outside once a month to keep your tea only full of yummy health benefits and absent of bacteria build-up.

By simply cleaning these few things in your every day life, you can cut down on allergen and bacteria significantly, helping you stay healthier and happier during the months with high allergy struggs. Check out the essential ingredients, you may already have, to make your own super non toxic and bacteria fighting DIY cleaning products.

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Spring Cleaning Is Here: 8 Must-Have Natural Ingredients That Will Help Get The Job Done

lemonsqueeze
For the most part we can’t control outdoor air pollution, but inside our own homes, we can control what we are exposed to on a daily basis. There are a lot of home cleaners out there that claim to be non toxic, but still contain many volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and other harmful ingredients such as artificial fragrance, phthalates and formaldehyde. Making your own cleaning products is an easy way to take control of your personal environment by improving your indoor air quality, eliminate hazardous ingredients that could poison children or animals, and keep chemicals from entering the water supply.

Fortunately, you may already have some of the ingredients you need for most DIY cleaning. And if you don’t, they are easy to get because you can buy them at your local grocery or convenience store.

Baking Soda

You may have baking soda in your fridge to cut down on odor, but it does a lot more than that. Baking soda is great at scouring stubborn surfaces like tub or tile. It can be used by itself or mixed with castile soap for tough spots. Be sure to by the natural stuff and avoid the cheap stuff that has been heavily chemically processed. Then make this rockstar tile and tub cleaner from PopSugar.

Distilled White Vinegar

White vinegar is one of the most versatile ingredients in DIY home cleaning, it cuts grease, disinfects, removes stains and removes residue. It’s the perfect ingredient for an all-purpose cleaner is tough on any hard surfaces in your home that need some TLC. Check out this great all-purpose cleaner recipe from Wellness Mama.

Essential Oils

Environmental Working Group found that 75 percent of products that list fragrance as an ingredient contain phthalates, a hormone-disrupting chemical. If you get allergy type symptoms when you are around artificial fragrance sprays, you may have fragrance sensitivity and using essential oils to make your cleaning products smell the way you like is the ideal alternative. Lemon and Tea Tree essential oil are great additions to cleaning products because of their antibacterial properties and lavender is a calming and refreshing choice for any room. Check out this window cleaner recipe from Aura Cacia!

lemon

Castile Soap

Castile soap is a made with plant oils and without animal products or chemical detergents. Castile soap cleans gently while still cutting through grease. It is fragrance free so you can make it smell however you’d like with your choice of essential oils and use it in your all-purpose cleaner recipe or even as a body wash. Care2 has recipes for 12 awesome sues of castile soap.

Lemon Juice

Organic lemon juice is the gift from nature that keeps on giving. There are many uses for this fresh ingredient such as scrubbing grout, fix discolored brass and enhance DIY dish soap with its degreaser properties. It kills mold and mildew and shines hard surfaces while smelling great. Good Girl Gone Green has some lemon recipes for floor cleaner and wood polisher!

melcleans

Olive Oil

Olive oil is always a great go to for cooking, but that’s not all it can do. It can replace toxic oils that you would usually use to lubricate a squeaky door, or bring a silence steel sink to a super shine. It’s also a go to ingredient for polishing wood furniture (if you want a lemon scent like you are used to, you can add some lemon essential oil). Check out these 6 easy ways to clean with olive oil from Apartment Therapy.

 

Coconut oil

Coconut oil is known for its ability to be helpful in almost every situation, and that is also true in cleaning. You can mix coconut oil with baking soda to make a stain remover, use it to remove labels and their residue, rust and to polish bronze. It can also be very useful for personal cleaning, check out these awesome coconut oil uses from Organic Authority.

Citric Acid

Citric acid is derived from crystallized fruit sugars. It is a natural preservative, so it prevents water hardness and water spots as well as creating foam, which makes it useful in soaps and laundry detergents. Homemade dishwasher detergent works great with this recipe from Six Figures Under.

Now that you have the list of must-have spring cleaning ingredients, you can make your own cleaning products with super simple recipes on our website. It’s easy to take control of your indoor air quality when you know exactly what is going into your products, if you want to rate your existing products you visit the EWG cleaning products database and see if your cleaners pass the toxin test.

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Smiles Are in And Toxins Are Out: Spy Partners With Non Toxic Revolution On Eco-Conscious Sunglasses

SPY + Non Toxic Revolution

SPY® is Happy to expand its eco-conscious Recompose Collection with the SPY + Non Toxic Revolution (NTR) Discord—a limited edition eco-conscious frame made from 100% biodegradable Plantate™ and featuring the Happy Lens™.

“It’s so amazing that SPY has created a pair of sunglasses that share the same values of Non Toxic Revolution,” says Shaney Jo Darden, founder and CCO of the Keep a Breast Foundation. “We’re proud to partner with them and we’re hopeful this collaboration will inspire others to follow SPY’s lead and make a difference by increasing happiness and creating less waste.”

Non Toxic Revolution Heart & Soul

Inspired by the posters created by Studio No. 1 exclusively for Non Toxic Revolution, the NTR Discord is constructed from an all-natural plant polysaccharide material, printed with eco-friendly material and arrives with two different lens options—Happy Grey Green and Happy Grey Green with Red Spectra™—inside fully recycled packaging.

Part of SPY’s ongoing collaboration with Non Toxic Revolution and Keep A Breast Foundation, a portion of each sale will go toward helping its mission of informing, educating and inspiring young people to choose non-toxic products to help reduce instances of breast cancer. Now available in stores and online here.

Non Toxic Revolution Education Young People

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