Monday, July 18, 2011

Detox Series #2 -- Cleaning Supplies, Part 1

So, how did last week go?  Are you reading labels?  Are you starting to wonder what all that "stuff" is -- What is that chemical for? -- What is this that I can't pronounce?  If you are really curious, check out the Environmental Working Group Skin Database.  This will help you out with personal care products and cosmetics.

This week I want to encourage you to  
Rethink Your Cleaning Supplies

Many "regular" cleaning supplies contain dangerous chemicals and give off harsh fumes -- have you ever wondered why all the labels say "Keep Out of Reach of Children"?  Now, I store all my cleaning supplies on the top shelf of our bathroom closet, so I know that my kiddos can't get to them, but what if I get interrupted in the middle of cleaning and they happen to get a hold of one!?  I don't want to have to worry about this -- I have enough other things to think about!  While I really don't want my kids to eat my cleaning supplies...I want them to be safe enough to eat!  

So, here is what we use:
1. Large Spray Bottled filled with White Vinegar
2. Baking Soda in an old Parmesan Cheese container (to make for easy sprinkling)
3. Hydrogen Peroxide with a spray top attached
4. Hand-Held Scrub Brush
5. Toilet Bowl Brush
6. Rags
7. Branch Basics makes a great all-natural and scent-free cleaner!  I love having this on hand and it is quite economical when bought in bulk.

For general cleaning: spray surface with white vinegar, let sit for a couple of minutes and wipe clean with a rag. For added disinfecting, follow up with a spray of hydrogen peroxide and wipe with a clean rag.

For mirrors and glass: water and a clean rag.  If I need something with a bit more power, I use white vinegar -- greatly diluted with water (otherwise you will lots of streaks!).

For showers and tubs: spray walls with vinegar and wipe or scrub with scrub brush -- works great at getting rid of soap scum and hard water build-up.  Sprinkle baking soda in the tub/sink/toilet bowl and scrub to easily lift stains, dirt and other build-up.

For inside the toilet bowl: scrub stains with baking soda and disinfect with hydrogen peroxide.  (I use a small "glug" of bleach inside the toilet bowl...nothing else has really seemed to deal with the smell -- it looked clean but didn't smell clean!)

Cleaning tips: 
1. Use a clean rag for each new job -- you don't want to spread germs around and we have TONS of rags on hand!  
2. Build basic cleaning tasks into your daily routine -- Every morning as I wash my face, I get out a clean hand towel and use the dirty one to wipe off/out the sink (I use vinegar 1-2 times each week).  Every morning while I make breakfast I get out a clean dish cloth and dish towel and put the dirty ones by the washing machine.  I like to sweep the floors after the kids are down for naps or bed -- it goes so much faster this way!

There are many commercial "green" cleaning supplies, which are fine if you choose to go that route -- just make sure to look closely at the labels and to spend some extra money; they're not cheap!
     Life Tree 
     Maid Naturally 

What do you use for cleaning?  What do you plan to change?


  1. These are the same items in my house cleaning arsenal, right down to the parmesan shaker, courtesy of Good Will. Love that Store! I also use Tea Tree Oil and homemade Colloidal Silver (made by a friend and given to me) for disinfecting the nasties. Since we have goats, it gets quite the work out. I've heard you can make ionic silver (not as small of particles but still very good for cleaning) by putting a silver coin or something else pure silver in a glass cup/jar of water and adding a few drops of iodine, apple cider vinegar or lemon juice. The acid dissolves the silver and walah!

  2. Thanks for the tip! I don't know much about colloidal silver but I'll have to look into it -- so nice to know that I can make my own!