The Ultimate Green Spring-Cleaning Guide

Spring-Clean Your LifeHere's everything you need -- and need to know -- to get your house
sparkling, without the usual chemicals.

Plus: Get a Green Home

Dusting
Using a soft, slightly dampened cotton cloth, work from ceiling to floor in each room. Pay special attention to the areas you can't see, such as the tops of door and window frames, high shelves, and ceiling-fan blades, which are often neglected.


Vacuuming

Clean window blinds and baseboards with the vacuum dust-brush attachment. For curtains and furniture, use the upholstery attachment. To avoid damaging delicate curtain fabrics, turn the vacuum's suction to low.

Laundering
Wash throw pillow covers, unlined curtains, and bedding (including pillows, duvets, and mattress pads) following the instructions on care labels. Send lined curtains to the dry cleaner (check the Yellow Pages for a "green" dry cleaner in your area). Freshen items that can't be laundered by hanging them on a line in the sunshine for a couple of hours.

Plus: The Best Green-Cleaning Products

Washing Windows
Start by brushing exterior windows and frames with a soft brush to dislodge dirt and grime. Then, scrub windows with a large sea sponge and a solution of one part hot water and one part white vinegar. Finish by drawing a squeegee down the windowpanes in long, overlapping strokes. Repeat the process inside, first laying old towels along the windowsills to catch the drips.

Cleaning Light Fixtures

Gently wipe cooled bulbs with a soft cloth dampened with nontoxic glass cleaner or a mixture of equal parts hot water and white vinegar. Always spray the cloth, rather than the bulb, to avoid damaging it. Wash the glass shades of interior and exterior light fixtures in a solution of hot water and a few drops of mild dishwashing liquid and dry thoroughly. Dust lampshades with a clean, dry paintbrush: Flick the dust downward and wipe it up with a damp cloth.

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Read More:
Martha Stewart's Spring-Cleaning Basics

Green Your Bathroom Space

Organic Gardening Tips