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Natural Cleaning Products/Recipes

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  • Since having our baby, we've become pretty passionate about being greener. We' re not totally there yet but we're on our way. One thing we've done is started using environmentally safe household cleaners- Seventh Generation and Ecover, specifically. I'm pretty happy with the results and just have to get used to the idea that it's ok that everything doesn't smell like bleach (crazy how much I associate that smell with cleanliness).



    We just bought Dr. Bronner's Sal Suds and are liking it so far (only used it on counters). What other products do you recommend? Also, I'd love to try some natural recipes for cleaning our home (baking soda, vinegar, etc.) Anyone have any recipes that they've found to be effective?



    So excited about this group!



    Thanks,

    Carla
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Carla on 20th December 2007
  • I love Dr. Bronner's peppermint soap for everything -- if you're missing a scent to associate with "clean," that's a good one to try! I use white vinager to clean my stainless steel appliances in the kitchen (the smell dissipates in less than a minute, and it cuts grease and leaves everything nice and sparkly).



    Sun & Earth makes some good citrus-oil based cleaning products that smell great and work really well...
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Lylah M. Alphonse on 21st December 2007
  • I use baking soda on a cloth for sinks. If you do this regularly, it keeps everything sparkling.



    I use soapy water with a vinegar rinse for windows. Rags or newspapers (like my grandmother taught me!) to shine them.



    For drains: pour 2 T baking soda down the drain, followed by 1/2 cup vinegar. When the fizzing stops, pour a kettle of boiling water. Done once a week, this keeps the drains running free.



    Green products tend not to be as strong as regular commercial products, which means you need to be systematic. And use a little more "elbow grease", to quote my gran again!



    What I refuse to use are antibacterial products, particularly soaps. We need exposure to garden-variety household bacteria to keep our immune systems in good shape. I clean all food preparation surfaces frequently and scrupulously -- and that is sufficient to keep the germs at bay. Antibacterial products are overkill, and bad for us in the long run.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by MaryP on 21st December 2007


  • Now that you've asked....



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    Just one comment about antibacterial soaps... The sad fact is that most of us don't wash our hands long enough. I agree that antibacterial soap should not be used every single time you wash your hands. I also am a believer that a certain amount of bacteria is good for you and helps the body build a certain resistance to illnesses.



    BUT there is a benefit from washing with antibacterial soap if your handling raw meat or poultry. If one of your kids is sick with a cold/flu and you wipe their nose, it's not a bad idea to wash your hands with antibacterial soap. Again I don't feel it's necessary every single time but when I'm out in a public place, when someone is sick in the house and most especially when your handling raw meat or poultry I just feel it's worth it.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Mary Jane on 21st December 2007
  • MaryP I'm so with you on the antibacterial stuff. We don't use any of that. Antibacterial soaps are part of the problem when it comes to the creation of supergerms. Other than that I found this great website. I have used some of the tips with great results. I also used to buy from melaleuca. I loved their products, but couldn't continue to meet the monthly quota for buying things. This is a random question, but I have a bunch of non-natural cleaning products left over from old apartments with roommates. I always wonder to myself, is it worse for the environment to go ahead and use them, or to not use them and throw them away. What do you all think?
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by mamajama on 21st December 2007
  • As an aromatherapy enthusiast, I have discovered a really effective antiseptic that isn't bleach or vinegar. Check this out: Thyme oil. I swear, look it up. It's amazing stuff. I used 10 drops of Thyme, 5 drops of Tea Tree oil and then 5 drops of lavendar to give it a balanced aroma, in a spray bottle that's about the size of a windex bottle. Try it out. It's not oily to work with at all, but do shake it and be aware that natural aromatherapy oils can irritate your skin if they aren't diluted.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by on 21st December 2007
  • That sounds so cool Molly. I'm really going to have try that. It sounds amazing!!!
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by mamajama on 21st December 2007
  • We love Ecos all natural laundry soap... it even has soy based fabric softners.



    Shaklee makes some fabulous cleaning products as well. http://www.shaklee.com/index.shtml



    We love their Scour Off Heavy Duty Paste for tough jobs like bathtubs and sinks.



    I add a 1/4 C. baking soda to my white loads to keep them bright.



    For personal cleansing products, we like California Baby and Tom's Natural.



    And I have to throw this one out there... OB applicator free tampons are much more enviro-friendly and its not that bad to get used to them.





    Here is a link for using vinegar, lemon juice and baking soda for cleaning purposes. http://housekeeping.about.com/cs/environment/a/alt ernateclean.htm



    A great homemade glass cleaner- use 1 C. rubbing alcohol, 1 C. water, 1 T. White Vinegar. Mix and put into spray bottle. Virtually streak free. (Of course you still want it out of little ones reach.)



    And a furniture polish- 1 C. Olive Oil and 1/2 C. lemon juice.



    Mamajama... using those products vs. disposing of them will have similar environmental impact. The more important issue is that using them could pose a risk to your family. When we made the switch, we did it gradually... one cleaning product at a time. The choice is yours.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Yes, Mommy has to work today on 22nd December 2007
  • For years I've used Jeff Campbell's The Clean Team http://www.thecleanteam.com/ The Red Juice is amazing. I use it on everything from the bathroom to treating spots on clothes. I feel completely safe using it around the baby.



    I've also recently tried a product called Greening the Clean and it has a really pleasant scent. And I just tried an all purpose cleaner that I found at Shaws from a line called Organix.



    I am having trouble weaning myself off comet and bleach for the tub and toilet, much to my husband's displeasure, (he hates all unnatural scents, including perfume ! ) and I know it is bad, but our bathroom (we rent) is kind of old and that is the only way for me to get it clean, it seems. However, I am definitely going to try some of the ideas presented here!



    This a fantastic group- happy to be a part of it!
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Nan on 23rd December 2007
  • I never paid much attention to all this go green stuff until recently. I was introduced to and now market for this wonderful international wellness company that has over 350 products to choose from. Their vitamin supplements are fantastic and we have a lotion that has been clinically proven to out perform Eucerin on chronically dry skin.



    http://AskMeHow-HealthyHomeTour.com



    Check out the above website you can go room by room to see what things you might have in your home that are bad and you didn't even know it.



    It doesn't matter who's products you use, just do something nice for yourself and you family.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Mary Jane on 23rd December 2007

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