Safer cleaning products

My laundry/cleaning supplies
I have been happily chemical cleaner-free for over two years now. For me it isn't about being green as much as it is about having a safe home for my kids. I did some reading on what is in regular cleaners and I switched to natural versions (and eventually went on to make my own) and never looked back. This is one area where going green and being thrifty go hand in hand. Many of the ingredients you will need to make your own cleaners are in your kitchen already. If you don't happen to have them, most are very inexpensive.
Money saving tip: Some food items used for cleaning, like lemon juice, can be bought very cheap at discount grocery stores. Since you aren't eating them it does not matter if they are expired.

Safer floor cleaner - A squirt of Dr. Bronners in a sink or bucket full of hot water works great for cleaning floors. If you prefer an "actual" cleaner, Method makes a diluted cleaner and it works great on floors. Vinegar and water also work well and the smell goes away almost immediately.

Safe bathroom cleaner - Vinegar works great for cleaning the toilet. You can also add some baking soda for a nice fizz. Regular toilet bowl cleaners are very, very toxic. My favorite cleaner (if I don't make my own) is by 7th Generation.

Safe multi-taskers - My favorite all purpose cleaner is very simple. Fill a spray bottle about 3/4 with water, add a few squirts of Dr. Bronners (any scent, but tea tree oil will have anti-bacterial qualities) and about a teaspoon of washing soda. If you make your own laundry detergent, you will already have washing soda on hand. Otherwise it is very inexpensive. You can always add essential oils for a nice scent or to make the spray anti-bacterial. Method and 7th Generation both also have good all purpose cleaners.

Safe window cleaner - I use Method, but vinegar/water and club soda/water (mixed half and half) work just as well.

Safe wood cleaner - Again, I use Method because I LOVE the smell (almond.) However olive oil mixed with a few drops of lemon juice work just as well and smell really nice too.

Safer laundry - You can always make your own detergent so that you will know exactly what is in it. There are also many safe detergents out there now. Most big brands have "free and clear" detergents that do not contain dyes or perfumes. I use Rockin' Green for my diapers (and sometimes kids clothes) and it works great! Since it is a little pricey (although worth it!) I use All Free&Clear for my other laundry. I plan to make my own as soon as I run out. I also occasionally use Method Fabric softener on towels or sheets/blankets since my husband likes it. We don't and never have used dryer sheets but I have about 12 dryer balls.

Safer kitchen cleaner - I love using lemon juice and baking soda to clean nearly everything (stove, cutting boards, etc) in the kitchen. For counter tops and just about anything else I use the all purpose cleaner that I mentioned above. Most companies that make dish soap also make "green" versions but it's good to read the ingredients because some of these aren't as safe as they seem. Again I would recommend Method or 7th Generation.

Safer room sprays - I would strongly advise that you stay away from most room sprays if you have little kids. They are extremely toxic. The best way to keep a house smelling nice is to make sure to open to windows as often as possible. Soy candles with essential oils are also good, although obviously caution is needed with kids around. I fill a small spray bottle with water and put a few drops of essential oils in it. Lavender is a nice scent or citrus scents like orange and lemon smell fresh. This can be sprayed on curtains/furniture or just in the air. My 2 year old likes to spray it all over the house.

I've never had a problem with the safer products working any less successfully. I feel much better that I don't have anything in my house that needs to be locked away. I do keep my cleaning products out of reach of course but I feel better knowing that they aren't horribly toxic. Does anyone have any natural products that they use and love that we should try out? Comment and let us know!


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