Friday, September 10, 2010

Eco-Friendly Friday: DIY Household Cleansers & Must-Have Items to Get You Started

This might be my favorite Eco-Friendly Friday post EVER because I am a total clean freak. Really...just read my post from yesterday. I lie awake in bed at night thinking about cleaning :)

But seriously...having a clean home is very important to me. It's not just about having toys picked up or laundry done...it's about creating a clean, safe, non-toxic environment for my children. When I was pregnant with Addie, I read an awesome book called Healthy Child Healthy World and it completely changed my life. I had absolutely no idea how dangerous some of the most common household cleaners are and the scariest part about them is that they are still for sale in stores!!!! How can we be cleaning the floors our children crawl on with chemicals that are deadly if ingested? How can we clean our child's highchair with products that can make them sick or cause health problems later in life? I won't go into all the details on this post, but I highly recommend you check out this book. Just be ready to make a huge change :-)

Now, I do understand how hard change can be. People get comfortable in their routines and often don't take the time to explore other options. Whenever someone suggests that you stop buying the products you are use to and by all natural or organic, they think it will either be incredibly expensive, or incredibly ineffective. I told a teacher friend of mine that she has to stop using Mr. Clean on her floor and she said "NO WAY!! I need to kill germs and all those "green cleaners" don't cut it". But in truth...that couldn't be a bigger misconception.

I will admit, in a world of germaphobes, it's hard to convince people to pass up the cleaners in stores that say, "Kills 99.9% of germs" or "Kills the Flu virus". I have been a sucker to those for years. But when you do the research, you will see that not only are you polluting your house with all these unnecessary chemicals, you are also polluting the planet with all of the plastic bottles and packaging you are throwing out every month. And when you can make your own cleansers that kill germs just as effectively...why not opt for the healthier option? You will see that going all natural will save you money...save your family...and save the planet. Have I convinced you to read on? Good.

I started my research for this week's post on Reuseit.com's DIY Household Cleansers link list and I came across some interesting information on the GREEN GUIDE. They wrote, "According to a study at Virginia Tech, spraying hydrogen peroxide and vinegar right after one another is just as effective at killing germs as lung-irritating, stream-polluting chlorine bleach." So you see..studies have confirmed that you don't have to pollute your home to get it "clean". And chances are, you already have hydrogen peroxide and vinegar in your home!

The best part about DIY home cleaners is that you probably already have ALL the ingredients you need in your home. I have consulted a few websites for lists of necessary DIY cleaning ingredients and here is what you will need to get started...

* Baking Soda
* Distilled White Vinegar
* Hydrogen Peroxide
* Fresh Lemons
* Olive Oil
* Vegetable-based liquid soap
* Washing Soda

You see...you probably have most of these in your pantry or medicine cabinet. And whatever you don't have is incredibly inexpensive to buy. Once you have all of your ingredients, it's time to put together your cleaning kit. In order to do that, you will need a few essential items.

For starters, you need a few reusable spray bottles like these from Reuseit...


Or, you could start by buying an entire DIY cleaning kit, like this one by Full Circle...


I think Full Circle's cleaning kit is great because it comes with everything you need, including 2 spray bottles, a mixing bottle, a microfiber cleaning cloth, two juicers (which is AWESOME when you are including lemons in your recipe), sticker labels for your cleaners AND a Clean Home Green Home recipe book. It is an excellent kit for the price, but if you already have spray bottles at home, then maybe you can move on to some new reusable cleaning sponges and clothes.

Full Circle also makes these fabulous Flip Loofah Sponges that are great for cleaning and scrubbing. They are washable, biodegradable, and made of cellulose so they are naturally resistant to bacteria.


And of course, you already know I am a HUGE fan of Mu Microfiber cleaning cloths. Seriously...these may be one of my favorite reusable items ever. They are excellent for cleaning and doing dishes and because they are fast-drying...there isn't time for bacteria to incubate. And if you have stainless steel appliances, these won't leave streaks!! Bonus!


Although I am a huge Mu fan, I may be in the market for one of these kitchen towels from Full Circle because they are so clever. They are made from organic cotton, they are super absorbent and fast-drying (perfect for cleaning) and the best part...they have a built-in magnet so you can just stick them to your fridge or oven!!! Genius!


Now...once you have your cleaning ingredients and supplies together, you can get started on some of your recipes! Care2 and the Green Guide have some great, super easy recipes to get you going. You will notice that some of these cleaners lack the pleasant "clean" scent that you may be use to and the good news is that you don't have to sacrifice that! If fresh lemon just isn't doing it for you, you can also try some of these fabulous essential oils by Aura Cacia.


Right now, they have 12 different scents to chose from. I had a hard time trying to decide which to try first, so I settled on Lemongrass and Cinnamon. I love the smell of lemongrass in my bathrooms and cinnamon just screams kitchen. I can't wait to try them!!!

So...if this post has convinced you to swap your old, toxic cleansers for cleaner, greener ones...then today is your lucky day!! Reuseit.com is offering all of my readers 10% off your purchase!!! Just enter code SOCLEAN at check out. This code is good until next Friday so be sure to stock up on all your DIY necessities before then!!

Okay...I'm off to clean :-) Happy Friday everyone!!!

3 comments:

  1. Your post makes me want to clean my house.....but I'll get over it!!

    Seriously, love, love, love the tips on cleaning products.

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  2. Thanks for the tips...I have been thinking about switching to making my own cleaning products because I cannot stand the sell of bleach and when we have babies, I don't want them around all those nasty chemicals!!!

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  3. Good for you. Going green is healthier and have many advantages.
    Compliments,

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