Earth Month: Golden Rules of Natural Cleaning from Ivette and Seventh Generation

To celebrate Earth Month, Seventh Generation would like to introduce you to Ivette, a trainer at Women's Action to Gain Economic Security (WAGES), a non-profit organization helping low-income women in the San Francisco Bay Area establish cleaning service cooperatives that use environmentally-safe methods to protect everyone's health. Housekeeping may be a chore, but it's one you can finish a lot faster with Ivette's Five Golden Rules of Cleaning. They'll put the sparkle in your home the natural way, in keeping with this month's focus on Earth Day. Rule 1: Go Top-to-Bottom. Whether it's a room or a bookcase, clean from the top to the bottom and you won't have to go back and pick up any stray dirt or errant dust that falls as you go. Rule 2: Go Back to Front. Always clean from back to front for similar reasons. If it's a room, start in a rear corner and work toward the door. If it's a cabinet, begin in the back and clean out toward the edge. Rule 3: Work Clockwise. Pick a starting spot and work in a steady clockwise direction. Working systematically in this way will ensure that you don’t forget anything and won’t have to spend any time thinking about it! Rule 4: Don't Use or Do More Than You Need To. Always start with a small amount of cleaning product and use more as necessary for tough spots and other challenges. Using more than you need to start only creates more work when it's time to rinse everything off! Rule 5: Look Before You Leap. If you're cleaning something you've never cleaned before and/or using a product for the first time, you'll save a lot of aggravation by always testing things first to make sure you won't cause any damage. More from Ivette 5 Cleaning Hotspots - and how to clean them Top 3 Cleaning Myths