With summer just around the corner, now is the time to check off the rest of your spring cleaning list. But like most homeowners, you may be hesitant to use the environmentally harmful methods we’re all accustomed to — like cleaning your home with harsh chemicals, or using roll after roll of paper towels.

This year, why not take an eco-friendly approach to spring cleaning? It’s easier than you might think! Here are a few easy recipes for homemade cleaning solutions that will help you keep your home healthy and green all year long.

  • Clean all your windows with a simple solution. Fill a spray bottle with a quart of water, then mix in 1/4 cup of vinegar. If you’re out of vinegar or just don’t like the scent, try substituting undiluted lemon juice or club soda. And for an extra-green clean, trade paper towels for old newspaper or a lint-free cloth.
  • Naturally sanitize your porcelain and tile. Prepare a solution with 2 parts vinegar, 1 part baking soda and 4 parts water and apply with a sponge. For stains or grease streaks, spray lemon juice or straight vinegar, let it sit for a few minutes, and then scrub with a stiff brush.
  • Clean your oven without unhealthy fumes. Coat the inside of your oven with a paste made from water and baking soda and let it stand overnight. Then put on your gloves to scrub away the grime and make it spotless with a moist cloth.
  • Mop your floors the eco-friendly way. With just a gallon of hot water and 4 cups of distilled white vinegar, you’ve got a safe solution for all of your hard-surface floors. Add a few drops of peppermint, lemon or any other favorite oil, and after damp mopping your floors, the vinegar scent will dissipate quickly, leaving behind nothing more than the fresh scent of whatever oil you’ve chosen.
  • Scrub your carpets with homemade spot remover. In a blender, mix 1/4 cup liquid soap or detergent with 1/3 cup water until the solution is foamy. Spray on spots and then rinse with vinegar. To deodorize your carpets, sprinkle baking soda or cornstarch, using about 1 cup for a medium-sized room, then vacuum after 30 minutes.
  • Try an easy mixture for wood furniture. Combine equal parts lemon juice and olive oil, and then apply in long and even strokes for a beautiful, natural shine.
  • Trade your harsh bathroom cleaners for chemical-free alternatives. To clean your toilet bowl, just sprinkle baking soda onto your toilet brush and scrub. To disinfect, occasionally scrub with borax instead. And for the outside of the toilet, all you need is straight vinegar.
  • Fight mold and mildew while staying green and saving money. There’s no need for pricey cleaners – just wipe mold and mildew away with straight vinegar.
  • Make your own environmentally friendly disinfectant. Just mix 2 teaspoons borax, 4 tablespoons vinegar, 3 cups hot water and 1/4 teaspoon liquid castile soap. Use a damp cloth or a spray bottle to apply.
  • Replace your air fresheners with natural scents. Keep your home smelling fresh by sprinkling your favorite essential oil on cotton balls, and hiding them away in corners, cupboards or drawers — just be sure to keep them out of the reach of children, whose skin may be irritated by the oils. Try different scents in every room, and even in your car. Lavender is perfect for relaxation, while peppermint will help to keep you alert.

Sources:The Daily Green, Sparkpeople