Green Tips: Spring Cleaning

Green Tips | March 29, 2019

Spring is here and that means it’s time for spring cleaning! Motivated by warmer weather and sunshine, many people take time in spring to do a thorough cleaning of their homes, removing any lingering buildup or dirt from the winter months.

It’s not just a time for washing and scrubbing, but people also clean their home by clearing out any unused items and reducing clutter. Make sure you’re practicing a green spring cleaning routine this year by following our tips:

Cleaning Products

Cleaning products can be harmful to the environment, as many of them contain harsh chemicals. After using these products at home, the chemicals are rinsed down the drain, which leads to a wastewater treatment plant. The plant removes the majority of contaminants before releasing the water back into rivers and lakes. Unfortunately, not all contaminants from these cleaning products are removed, which can negatively impact marine life, not to mention the health of you and your family.

  • When preparing for spring cleaning, purchase non-toxic or biodegradable cleaning products that use natural ingredients. Check out this list of eco-friendly cleaning products. Check how your existing products rate by using the Environmental Working Group’s guide to products.
  • You can also make your own cleaning supplies from natural ingredients at home. White vinegar can be used to remove tough mold or mildew buildup in the bathroom, get rid of smudges on glass or porcelain, dissolve rust, or deter insects. Baking soda can scrub out baked-on residue from pots and pans and can be made into a paste with a little bit of water to get rid of mold. Add lemon juice to baking soda and use it to polish metal, chrome, or stainless steel in your kitchen. Read more ways to use baking soda around the house here. Add some essential oils for fresh and natural fragrances.
  • Ditch synthetic air fresheners and make homemade potpourri. You can customize your potpourri with this easy recipe, creating a cozy and nontoxic atmosphere in your home.


The average New Yorker produces 25 pounds of trash per week. This spring, avoid sending things to the landfill!

  • Avoid paper towels as much as possible. Instead, use sponges or convert old t-shirts and towels into washcloths. Reuse old toothbrushes to clean smaller nooks and corners. You can even turn an old towel into a reusable cover for a Swiffer.
  • When organizing your closet, basement, attic, or any messy place in your home, figure out what things you actually need and what things you no longer use. Before throwing anything away, see if you can reuse it or up-cycle the old item into something with a new purpose. Read our up-cycling tips here.
  • Can’t reuse it? Recycle, give it away to a friend, or donate items to your local thrift shop, charity or nonprofit. You can find places to bring your old stuff in New York City here.
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