5 home cleaning hacks to save time, energy and the planet

(BPT) – Everyone loves a clean home, but as the weather gets nicer, many of us want to spend less time sprucing up and more time enjoying summer with family and friends. This is when a few good cleaning hacks can come in handy.

In a recent Bona/Harris Poll online survey, most Americans (92%) noted they’d like some type of cleaning “hack” to save time and energy. To help get the job done faster and easier, consider these home cleaning tips and tricks. Bonus: They all take a greener approach to cleaning so you can feel good about your home and your impact on the planet.

Use ice to clean your garbage disposal

A lot of crud goes down your kitchen sink drain. If you have a garbage disposal, it can get dirty and stinky over time. The blades of the disposal system are dangerous to clean directly, so instead, toss in a few ice cubes and run the system for a minute. Better yet, freeze a bit of lemon or orange rind into the cubes to clean the blades and leave behind a fresh scent.

Steam clean the microwave

Instead of scrubbing a grimy microwave, use the power of steam. Place a cup of water in a large microwave-safe bowl or container like a glass measuring cup and add a splash of lemon juice for a citrus scent. Run on high for 3-5 minutes so the water steams the microwave and softens the food and grime. Carefully remove the container and wipe down the inside with a soft cloth — no scrubbing required.

Use biobased cleaners and reusable cloths

Avoid bringing toxins into your home by using biobased products like the new USDA Certified Biobased Bona All-Purpose Cleaner. As one of only a few 99% biobased surface cleaners available, it’s safe for all the surfaces in the home while still being tough on grease and grime. In addition, skip the wasteful paper towel by using washable and reusable microfiber cloths, like the Bona Microfiber Cleaning Cloths. These new cloths are customized for every cleaning chore — from the kitchen cloth’s tight zig zag weaves to catch food particles, to the bathroom cloth’s looser zig zag design to help clean hair and soap scum. Made from 80% post-consumer recycled material, these cleaning cloths can be washed and reused up to 300 times.

Soak shower heads in vinegar

There’s nothing like jumping into a shower and looking forward to a warm cascade of droplets, only to be met with a frantic spray with unsatisfying pressure. Over time, minerals in the water can build up on the shower head and block the flow. An easy solution is to remove the head and place in a bowl of vinegar. A quick soak loosens buildup that you can easily clean off with a small brush so your shower flows again.

Use baking soda to deodorize carpet and more

Baking soda is one of the most versatile natural cleaning ingredients. Known for its ability to absorb scents and deodorize, it’s great for cleaning tough spots around your home. Have a carpet that could use a refresh? Sprinkle baking soda on the carpet, let it sit for half an hour and then vacuum. You can also do this for other soft-surface areas of the home that are hard to deodorize, such as couches, chairs and mattresses.

These hacks help save time and energy cleaning, plus you can feel good that you’re being kind to the planet. The only thing left is to enjoy your summer time fun!