Spring Cleaning

Spring is here! Time to pull back the curtains and open the windows. Give a hearty welcome back to the robins and the chipmunks that have just returned from their long winter's nap.

Also, let's welcome back the age-old ritual of spring cleaning. I remember my mother going full force in her spring cleaning. She would clean every window inside and out of our home. First, she would remove the window screens, bring them outside and use the garden hose to wash them clean, leaving them outside to dry. Next, she would clean the windows on the inside, then work on the outside. Now, we had a two story home, so this always freaked me out to see my mom hanging on for dear life just to clean the windows.  To do this she would sit on the window sill with her back facing outside. She would balance herself with one hand, holding onto the window while leaning back to clean the outside upper window.

Luckily, our home has windows that fold back into the house so I can clean them. No hanging outside for me.

When my mom did her spring cleaning, everyone had to leave the house. Even our dog, Buck, spent most of the time in the backyard. I don't think she did this because she was private in her cleaning. It was because as soon as she would clean one room, we would dirty it up before she started on the next. I think she wanted the whole house clean for at least a few hours. Also, I do believe she wanted us out so she could blare her Elvis records without any complaints from her children or husband.

When we were allowed to re-enter the sparkling home, you would get blasted with the smell of lemon. Back then I liked the smell - who doesn't like the smell of refreshing lemon? But now I look back and think: yuck, that was a fake, chemical-induced lemon smell.

I have a better idea! Let's use the essential oil of real lemons to clean our homes. Lemons are naturally antibacterial and provide antiseptic qualities.

To clean your floors, add a few drops of organic essential lemon oil to a gallon of water. You can also clean your woodworks and interior doors with this solution.  You can also use the essential oil of orange and grapefruit.

To make a room spray, take a small amber bottle that has a spray nozzle.  Fill with organic vodka, add 30 drops of organic peppermint essential oil with 25 drops of organic lemon essential oil.  Shake bottle before using.

For a carpet deodorizer mix 20 drops of organic lavender essential oil with 1 cup baking soda.  Let sit overnight.When you are ready to use it, sprinkle onto carpet, let sit a few minutes, then vacuum.

Cleaning the home is not one of my favorite activities, but I do love a clean home. I do not banish my family from the home when I clean, but I do play my music, (not Elvis), on a record player. I am my mother's daughter, naturally.

I do believe by using organic essential oils and making my own cleaners instead of buying the traditional cleaners, I am not exposing my family to harmful chemicals. And that is what I call a healthy spring cleaning!

When you are done cleaning, your home will smell like a bouquet of spring flowers!

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