Spring Cleaning Made Simple

Keep your home clean and healthy.

| March/April 2006

  • Whip up your own cleaning concoction using every day items such as vinegar and lemons.

While this seems like another thing to fret about, the good news is you can unburden your body and protect your children by choosing products that are free of these offending substances.

Spring cleaning made simple

As April showers refresh the earth and birds build nests, you may find yourself succumbing to a seasonal desire for a clean, redecorated home. It’s only natural—and so should be the materials you use. Many conventional cleaners, paints and finishes contain chemicals that can cause symptoms from watery eyes and respiratory distress to headache and dizziness. Household detergents, cleaning products and paints are among the most common causes of the 2.5 million annual calls to U.S. poison control centers, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Stress isn’t healthy, either. So before you whip out sponge, paintbrush and broom, take a little preemptive action: Open the windows to let in sun and ventilate (even the healthiest products can emit irritating vapors), then breathe deeply and promise yourself you’ll proceed moderately rather than trying to do it all at once.
Now, follow these simple steps:

Make over your living room

• For a quick, updated living-room look that’s more affordable than buying new furniture, cover your sofa with a washable, natural-fabric slipcover that also will provide a barrier between you and what’s collected in your upholstery, including dust mites and chemicals from crumbling foam. Wash the slipcover regularly in hot water to kill mites.

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