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Toxin-Free Cleaning Tips from Practically Green

Springtime, Clean Time

green ecofriendly spring cleaning!

There once was an obsessive spring cleaner,
Who loved toxic concoctions — none meaner.
When the fumes hit her nose,
She passed out in sick throes
And woke up with the wish she’d gone greener.

The annual polish ’n’ purge needn’t be so noxious. In honor of Earth Month, we asked local Susan Hunt Stevens, founder of Practically Green, to share some easy-to-implement eco-tidying tips.

Clothing
Forget last week’s freaky snow squall; it’s time to clean and store the outerwear. For a gentler dry-cleaning experience, Stevens looks for spots that employ “wet cleaning” (such as Clevergreen Cleaners) and skips plastic garment bags for reusable carriers from The Green Garmento.

Windows
Spray down grimy panes with a mixture of lemon juice and vinegar (works great on patio furniture, too). Keep those windows wide open: Indoor air, she reminds us, can be up to five times more polluted than its outdoor counterpart.

Carpets
To rid your rugs of six months’ worth of snow tracks, Stevens suggests the Peabody-based Drysdale’s company, which uses only bio-based products (she vouches for their ability to purge crayon, nail polish, and wine).

Basement
Rather than sending those never-used skis to a landfill, log onto Freecycle and pass them along to a grateful neighbor.

Car
“It actually saves water to get your car washed professionally,” Stevens says. When desalting your ride, choose a haunt like Shield System Car Wash that participates in the international WaterSavers program.

For more everyday earth-friendly tips, go to practicallygreen.com.

Photo: Daniel Grill / Getty Images