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Go Green - Spring Cleaning

March is the month I consider the unofficial start of spring! While anxiously awaiting warm weather, the dreaded "spring cleaning" words come to mind as well.

Typically the bathroom and the kitchen can be the dirtiest, but you don't need toxic chemicals to get them clean. There are a few things you probably already have hanging around your household that can shine up your kitchen and bath and you might not even realize it. Not only are they easy on the wallet, but also they're easier on your environment compared to those bottles of commercial cleaners you find at the local superstore.

Pull out the baking soda, vinegar and bleach and get ready to clean!

Baking soda is the mother of all cleaners. Pour some onto your stainless steel and scrub. You'll be impressed at the shine! If you have stubborn water stains in your sink, try wiping it down the a cloth dampened with rubbing alcohol or vinegar.

Clean out the refrigerator before that food walks itself to the trash basket. Wipe down the inside of the fridge with a vinegar-dampened cloth. Toss in a box of baking soda, it will attract the odors and keep your fridge smelling fresh. Replace the box on a monthly basis for long lasting freshness. You can also throw a few drops of vanilla extract on a cotton ball for the same effect!

To clean your white porcelain, line the area with paper towels and pour on some bleach. Let it set overnight and rinse the next morning. Obviously use caution if you have little ones around, and make sure the area is well ventilated.

Does the microwave embarrass you even with the door closed? Spray the inside of the microwave liberally with a bleach mixture. Two parts water to one part bleach works best. Heat on high for about 20 seconds and let it stand for about one hour. The stains should come right off. If you're uncomfortable using bleach, warm a bowl of vinegar inside and let it stand for about an hour. The food should wipe right off!

Take a good look at your pans. Do they have food baked on that you thought would never come off? Place a dryer sheet in the pan, fill with water and let it soak overnight. The next morning, clean your pan and the food should wipe off easily! The anti-static compounds in dryer sheets weaken the food and make it easier to clean. To clean a burnt or scorched pan, sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda and add just enough water to moisten it. Let it stand over night and clean the next morning.

It doesn't have to be difficult or time consuming to use a more natural approach in your life. All it takes is a little willingness to try new things! Just as important, green living can be done frugally to leave your dollars in your pocket!

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Ann Safford

Ann is a writer who lives in Massachusetts with her husband, three children and a multitude of pets including her dog, two cats, a horse and six chickens. She enjoys writing about natural living, simple lifestyles and frugal living. Her hobbies include spending time with her family, horseback riding and gardening.

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