It’s the New Year, and it’s freezing cold outside! What’s a girl to do while stuck at home and dreaming of all things fresh? Here are four quick and easy ways to purify your home so that it feels extra inviting.
1) Clean your shower head
If you have a shower head you can easily detach, wipe down, disinfect and reattach, by all means take that route. Otherwise, follow these four super easy steps:
Grab a strong plastic bag, like a gallon-sized ziplock, and a strong rubber band.
Fill the bag halfway with distilled white vinegar.
Use the rubber band to attach the bag to the showerhead. It can be a bit tricky as you maneuver the bag and the rubber band, but it shouldn’t be too bad.
Leave the bag and vinegar in place for approximately 12 hours. Then, remove the bag. Turn on the water for a little bit to rinse out the vinegar, and you’re done!
If you have a particularly stubborn shower head, you can also use a toothbrush to further clean the nozzles.
2) Change your kitchen sponge
Did you know “there can be spots on your kitchen sponge with just as high concentrations of bacteria as in a toilet” (See source)? To make matters worse, throwing your sponge into the dishwasher or microwave may actually do more harm than good as “it may nuke the weak ones, but the strongest, smelliest and potentially pathogenic bacteria will survive” and reproduce.
The only thing to do is to chuck the sponge.
When you get a new one, make sure it’s cellulose. Cellulose sponges are made from wood pulp, which is an abundant and renewable resource. They also biodegrade in landfills. Make sure you look for sponges that are 100 percent cellulose and have no polyester filling.
3) Put essential oils in your air filter, or diffuse essential oils.
I am a huge fan of Young Living essential oils, and I especially love them during the winter. I like airing out the rooms in my house every morning. When it’s too cold to open the windows for more than a few minutes, I turn to my essential oils. Essential oils not only make the house smell fresh, certain essential oils--like therapeutic grade eucalyptus, lemongrass and tea tree--have also proven to kill airborne bacteria and viruses. In addition to diffusing in all of our rooms daily, I always put a few drops of lemongrass on our air filter when we change it. This is such an easy way to freshen up your home and it has the added benefit of lifting your spirit as well.
4) Clean your washer and dryer
Cleaning your front loading washing machine is a cinch with this method.
2 cups vinegar
1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup water
Mix together the baking soda and water in a small bowl. Pour this mixture into the detergent container of your washing machine.
Pour the 2 cups of vinegar into the drum.
Set your washer to a normal load with the hottest water setting.
When it’s done, use the sponge to rub around the opening of the washing machine.
The dryer is a tiny bit more complicated, but still relatively easy.
Toss any collected lint from the lint trap.
Use a dry cloth to wipe the lint trap and around the vent.
Use the hose attachment on the vacuum cleaner to further suck out any lingering lint that's stuck around the lint-trap area.
After vacuuming, use a damp cloth to wipe the inside drum of the dryer.
Before replacing the lint trap, give it a quick cleaning with warm, soapy water. Wipe clean and replace. Clean around the lint trap with a damp cloth to remove any buildup.
BONUS: Clean your cell phone!If you aren’t in the habit of doing this, start now: at least once a week, but daily if you can get to it, wipe down your phone. Turns out the soles of our shoes and public toilet seats are cleaner than the average phone screen (See source). So, grab a paper (or unpaper) towel, spray it with disinfecting spray (I am crazy about the all-natural, completely non-toxic Force of Nature spray), and wipe your phone down.
Since you’re stuck at home anyway, doesn’t it feel great to be in a space that’s nice and clean?