Slip on your rubber gloves and tackle one room at a time. Picture: Af Mil

Finding it hard to get into the spring-cleaning frame of mind? Marchelle Abrahams asks an expert for tips to ensure a clean, fresh home.

Someone once said “a clean home is a happy home”. There’s just one problem with that quote - no one ever mentions the amount of effort it would take to get your home clean.

Spring-cleaning is feared around these parts, mainly because it means turning out, throwing out and getting into those hard-to-reach places.

It’s also the proverbial start of new beginnings - out with the old and in with the new.

But no matter how many spring-clean quotes you Google to get you in the mood for that once-a-year gargantuan task, it’s still not enough to inspire you to slip on the rubber gloves and get down and dirty.

So, we’ve enlisted the help of zero-waste warrior and blogger Colleen Black for tips to ensure a seamless and greener spring cleaning experience.


Before even tackling your cleaning tasks, declutter the various rooms in your home.

“Don’t just chuck everything out for kerbside collection - see what can be given away to those in need or to charity shops,” advises Black.

No to abrasive products

Loofahs and cotton cloths are just as effective as plastic sponges and microfibre cloths. Eco-friendly products are not only good for the environment, but for your health as well. Keep this in mind when shopping for cleaning products. Black suggests all-round products such as triple orange gel, as this saves money in the long run because of its all-purpose use.

The best pay-off with eco-friendly products is that you can empty the leftover water from your buckets into your garden beds.

“Also, be aware of products containing microbeads to limit microplastics ending up in our waterways and oceans.”

Less is always more

When it comes to cleaning products, this adage always rings true. Black cannot stress this enough, saying “otherwise it leaves a build-up which dirt then sticks to”.

Instead, she proposes alternatives which work just as well, if not better.

“Vinegar diluted in a bucket of water is great for leaving floor tiles streak-free.

“Ditch the aerosol furniture polishes - these just create a build-up. Where you have solid wood furniture, you can use a light amount of suitable oil to give your wood a feed.”

Hacks for tough jobs

Grubby bathroom tiles? Just a sprinkle of bicarb can be used to scrub away grime. Bicarb’s miracle properties don’t just end there: “To give drains a spring clean, pour down a cup of bicarb followed by hot water,” says Black.

Have an ant invasion? Use essential oils such as eucalyptus to deter insects, she advises.

Instead of throwing away old store cards, why not repurpose them? “Reuse old plastic club cards for scraping down shower screens and grime off tiles.”

Old toothbrushes? Boil them to disinfect and keep for cleaning jobs around taps, plug holes, grouting, grooves of shower doors, etc.

Breathe in the fresh air

There’s no better smell than that of Mother Nature. Invite the outside in by opening all your windows. “Mix some essential oils of your choice in water and spray in a bottle to lightly mist rooms” as a delightful finishing touch to a clean room.

* Visit Colleen Black’s blog for more zero-waste hacks: