With spring in the air it can only mean one thing – time to clean!

According to Metro, the average person in the U.S. uses 40.6 pounds of household cleaners each year.

Many of these products include ingredients that can be harmful to those we love and the environment around us. Choosing products that are less harmful are better for you and your family (and saves you money!).

Recipes for a greener clean

Metro has a wealth of information about reducing toxics, including simple cleaning tips and recipes for a safer home. There are many recipes available – and you may already have all of the ingredients you need at home – from window and wood cleaners to drain and oven cleaners.

Combinations of three key ingredients – baking soda, white vinegar and liquid soap – are the staples of natural, green cleaners. Reuse an existing container or spray bottle and label it so you know what type of homemade cleaner it contains.

Part of the cleaning ritual may be the smell of ‘clean’. Perhaps it reminds you of your family home or your grandma’s place. The smell is often the result of synthetic fragrances which can trigger asthma and may contain hormone-disrupting chemicals. By making your own cleaners, you can choose to add an essential oil to your mix for a customized and chemical-free clean smell. Metro’s recipes offer guidance for which oils and how much to use.

Take a look at the Washington Toxics Coalition Top 10 Tips for Safer Cleaning for more inspiration and tips. Get your house clean safely this spring by following these tips to make sure you use the best cleaning products for both you and the environment.

You can hire a green housekeeper, too

If you prefer someone else do the cleaning, check to see if these companies use safer, less toxic cleaners too. Resourceful PDX partner, Chinook Book, has many service-oriented businesses under Home and Garden. Coupons on your phone or in the book include offers for house cleaning services.