The Clean Sweep – Creative Spring Cleaning Tips

Clean Sweep MADE SAFE Blog

Springtime is synonymous with a clean start; it can be a great opportunity to clean out the corners and details of our homes that don’t receive daily attention. We would like to share some our favorite creative cleaning and freshening ideas to keep in mind in this fresh new season. Bust out your mop and scrub brush and get down to business with these tips from our team. 

Open windows

Many household cleaners contain ingredients that can irritate the lungs [1] and contribute to poor indoor air quality. You can help curb this effect by opening up the windows while using cleaning products and also by choosing safer cleaning products . Another good practice to incorporate into your life is to open your windows daily for at least 10 minutes on good air quality days [2] in your area. According to the EPA, indoor air is on average 2-5 times more polluted [3] than outdoor air. Making a habit of opening the windows daily can allow fresh air to circulate throughout the home.

Vacuum with a HEPA filter

Dust is an unexpected source of pollution [4] in the home. It can contain flame retardants from furniture and household goods, phthalates from personal care products, traces of pesticides tracked in from outside, and more. A vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter can suck up settled particles effectively rather than kick up pollutants [5] into the air as is the case with many inefficient vacuums. (If vacuuming isn’t an option, use a wet mop on hard surfaces.)

Wash the walls

Cobwebs, dirt, and dust can settle on your walls so it’s important to occasionally give them a good clean. Wiping down the walls every spring not only makes a visible difference in cleanliness, it also removes invisible compounds such as volatile organic compounds and flame retardants that can ride in on dust particles. Our favorite way to wash the walls is to wrap a broom with a damp cloth and clean from top to bottom. Be sure to clean the baseboards and mop the floor after this step. Always work from top to bottom when cleaning.

Vacuum your mattress

In the springtime (or whenever you change your sheets, if you’d like to incorporate this practice regularly), freshen your mattress using a vacuum that has a HEPA filter. It will prolong the life of your mattress by sucking up dust bunnies and mites. This is especially important if you’ve invested in a nontoxic mattress or topper to help you get the most life out of these products. Finishing off with a home spray on the mattress is always a great way to refresh your bedding too.

Wash the washing machine & dishwasher

It may sound silly at first, but even our cleaning machines need a good clean every once in a while. You can wash your washing machine by running it on hot once a month with nontoxic dishwasher detergent powder or a vinegar and water solution. To do this, put the powder or vinegar solution (about three tablespoons) directly into the drum and run it on the hot or sterilize setting. Wipe down any gaskets as well. You can clean your dishwasher by wiping down the interior with cleaning solution or vinegar. Make sure you clean out the filter (usually located in the bottom of the dishwasher), as this can accumulate lots of particles and build up over time.

Attend to the forgotten spaces

There are many places that are easy to overlook as part of our regular cleaning routine. There’s no time like the present to apply a little extra elbow grease in these areas. Behind or on top of kitchen appliances, around door and window frames, and beneath picture frames are great places to start.

Upcycle old clothing or towels for cleaning rags

When tackling big projects like a good spring cleaning, using disposables such as paper towels can really add up. Be kind to your budget and the planet by using rags wherever you are able. Rags don’t need to be fancy or expensive – in fact, the less fancy, the better. Our team gets creative by cutting up old t-shirts and sweatpants, or towels that have gotten just a little too dingy. Another hack for people worried about using the same towels used to dust your nice bookshelf that you used to clean your bathroom floor is to utilize a color coded system. For example, only white cloths for dusting (like old t-shirts or retired cloth diapers). Lastly, our team also recommends utilizing a drying rack in the laundry room to ensure that used rags can properly dry out if you are not washing them immediately after use. Just rinse them out and hang to dry. This can help prevent mildew in-between washes – and that discourages that pervasive musty smell from taking root in the washer.

Use “clean” cleaners

Before you get started, it’s important to know that conventional cleaning products can contain carcinogens, endocrine disruptors , allergens, and more. Choose MADE SAFE certified products or make your own [6] to reduce your exposure to harmful ingredients. Plus, you may be surprised to find that nontoxic cleaners are enough to get the job done in most cases in your home. If you do use harsh conventional cleaners, it is of the utmost importance to have proper ventilation and follow manufacturer instructions carefully.

Once you’ve checked the final item off your spring cleaning list, light your favorite MADE SAFE certified candle or diffuse some MADE SAFE certified essential oils , and enjoy your feels-like-new home throughout the spring and seasons to come.


[1] Association, A. L. (2023, November 22). Cleaning supplies and household chemicals. American Lung Association.

[2] Air Quality Data Where You Live. (n.d.).

[3] Why indoor air quality is important to schools | US EPA. EPA. (n.d.).

[4] Werner Butte, & Birger Heinzow. (n.d.). Pollutants in house dust as indicators of indoor contamination. Reviews of environmental contamination and toxicology.

[5] Roberts, J. W., Glass, G., & Mickelson, L. (2005, January). A pilot study of the measurement and control of deep dust, surface dust, and lead in 10 old carpets using the 3-spot test while vacuuming. Archives of environmental contamination and toxicology.

[6] Green cleaning recipes. Women’s Voices for the Earth. (2020, January 24).

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