This is a photo of most of the household cleaning products we actually use. Not too green, I know. I've tried using "green" cleaning products like an all-purpose cleanser called "Simple Green" and almost coughed my lungs out. Seriously, it seemed more toxic than any of this.
But this stuff has got to go. I now know that it's a better idea to use simple, natural products like baking soda, vinegar, and water. Give up the chemicals altogether.
And it's time. Because it's the beginning of the month, and I don't have too many challenges left. I'm ready to tackle this one.
Back in April, I wrote this post about how even though I'd joined The Compact and pledged to Buy Nothing New this year, I didn't feel like some of my daily habits were very green at all. I vowed to go beyond recycling and using cloth bags at the grocery store, and start living a more green lifestyle. And the best way for me to succeed at a goal is to 1) focus on it, and 2) do it in small incremental steps.
That's how I came up with my baby steps challenge idea. Each month I would tackle a habit I wanted to incorporate into my lifestyle. So far, I've taken steps to get rid of junk mail and catalogs, started air-drying the laundry, and set up a composting bin.
During August, I plan to switch over to more natural household cleansers, to improve our health and be more environmentally friendly. Here's my baby steps plan:
1) I will read a couple of websites and blogs I've bookmarked about natural cleaning products,
2) I'll read a fantastic book a friend gave me about creating natural cleansers that also incorporate aromatherapy, and
3) I'll ask my readers for tips!
So dear readers, I've heard that all you really need is baking soda, vinegar, water, and maybe some Borax. But in what ratios? And for what tasks? Specifically, I need to replace the following:
Clorox for sinks and toilet
Windex for glass and mirrors
409 for kitchen counters and surfaces
Murphy's oil soap for wood floors
Pine Sol (my husband swears by it for mopping the kitchen floor)
Old English furniture polish for a few fine wood pieces
Oxi Clean for soaking tough laundry stains
I can't imagine cleaning without Clorox or Windex. And I can't imagine doing laundry without Oxi Clean. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Oh, and I don't see any way around purchasing a few empty spray bottles for some kind of vinegar/water solution and something else for floors. I suppose I can use jars or plastic yogurt containers for some concoctions.
Do you already use natural cleansers or do you swear by the toxic stuff we've been using up until now? I would love to hear your tips, ideas, and advice. Please weigh in with your expertise in the Comments section. And let me know if you want to join me in the challenge.