Hello Beautiful Peeps!
It has been a long time since my last post…way too long. I asked on Instagram what you peeps wanted my next post to be and I got a request for natural cleaners so lets discuss my journey into “green clean” for a little bit.
Over the past couple of years, I have really tried to be more conscious of what I put into and onto my body. This has lead me to swap out all of my toxic cleaning products for less toxic ones. Some people may argue that they don’t ingest or come into contact with the products they use to clean, but that couldn’t be more wrong. The clothes you wear, the plates you eat off of and the floors you walk on have all come into contact with these cleaners and fumes are released into the air when we use them as well. Since we can’t control what is used in the world around us (hand soap in public bathrooms, detergents used on restaurant cutlery, etc), the least we can do is clean up out act inside our own homes.
The Environmental Working Group’s website, http://www.ewg.org , is a great resource for analyzing if the products you already use are safe or not. I’m not going to argue that the products on this list are the safest or have the cleanest ingredients, but they are definitely better than the stuff I used before and they all work! Upon doing some investigation for this post, I actually discovered that some of the products I used were not as “green” as I thought they were. However, you would be surprised by how versatile and well some of the most basic products you probably have in your cupboard right now, actually work. That’s right, natural/non-toxic cleaners can actual do a great job of cleaning.
If you are interested in finding out what I use in my home, just keep scrolling 🙂
The MultiTaskers-these products can be used for a variety of purposes. They tend to be the most cost effective as well.
DoTerra’s OnGuard/Young Living’s Theives Concetrated Cleaner
These companies are basically each other’s competitors and you have probably heard of one or both of them. Though each cleaner has slightly different ingredients, they are both essential oil blends mixed with a mild detergent.
The Pros-These concentrates are both multipurpose cleaners that can be used for just about any hard surface (kitchen counters, bathroom sinks/toilets/showers, etc). Because they are concentrates, they are meant to be diluted and therefore produce lots of cleaning solution. I use the OnGaurd at home and my office I work at usually stocks the Thieves concentrate so I have used both. They both smell great and do a pretty good job.
The Cons-Though these are concentrated cleaners that are meant to be diluted, DoTerra’s OnGaurd Concentrate will run you about $20 for 12 fl oz & Young Living’s Thieves Concentrate will run you about $30 for 14.4 fl oz. In addition, you must purchase these through a representative of either company.
Liquid Castile Soap
Liquid Castile Soap is basically a soap that is made exclusively from vegetable oils and lye (don’t be scared, lye is in just about every soap you have ever used). This soap is safe to be used on tons of areas because of it’s pretty clean ingredient list. You can use this soap to bathe, wash clothes, wash dishes, and even wash your hair! Now-a-days you can find a lot of options of liquid castile soap including scented versions that use essential oils for fragrance. I prefer the fragrance free versions or the almond scent from Vitacost.
Common now, you didn’t really expect to read a “green clean” post and not see this usual suspect??? I love using white vinegar to clean. For starters, it is cheap! You can usually buy a gallon for just a couple of dollars and a gallon can easily be diluted to stretch your savings even further.
I usually make a mix of 50/50 water and white vinegar and put it in a spray bottle. This has become my most handy multipurpose cleaner since I usually always have vinegar on hand. In its most basic form, this stuff is great for cleaning kitchen counter tops, bathroom surfaces, mirrors, windows and most hard surfaces. I also use it undiluted to disinfect cutting boards and any areas of mold/mildew as well as using it as a finishing rinse for my dishwasher and as fabric softener if I am out of my usual softener.
I sometimes add some essential oils (lemon, tea tree, wild orange, etc) to boost cleaning/disinfecting properties as well as to add a more pleasant scent. The vinegar smell will disappear once the vinegar evaporates but the essential oil scent will be left behind.
Another usual suspect, baking soda can be found in multiple places in my home. Besides keeping a box in the fridge to deodorize, I usually keep a box in my kitchen, bathroom and laundry areas. In the kitchen, I use it mostly for baking and making my homemade natural deodorant (blog on that Here). In the bathroom, I use it mixed with liquid castile soap for scrubbing the shower/tub/toilet/sink. In the laundry room, I use it in the washing machine to boost my detergent as well as help soften the water. I also use it on my carpet before vacuuming. Between it’s cleaning properties and very low price, this makes it one of my most used products.
We all like our clothes to smell fresh and clean after washing, but did you know that all those artificial fragrances can be toxic? Anything labeled with “fragrance” or “parfum” is a huge red flag to stay away. These fragrances are created in a lab with hundreds of ingredients that are not required to be disclosed. Opt for something that is scented with essential oils or simply use an unscented detergent.
Those of you who think you are using a better product because it is “Free & Clear” need to think again. Laundry detergents don’t usually disclose their ingredients on their labels and that is another red flag…I mean, what do they have to hide? Just because it may be unscented, it doesn’t necessarily make it less toxic. I use these:
Vitacost The Clean Collection Laundry Detergent-Fragrance Free
Vitacost The Clean Collection Fabric Softener-Lavender
Again, maybe not the best but definitely better than what I used to use before. I have also tried the Seventh Generation Laundry Detergent and that worked out well. I hear ECOS is a better, “greener” brand but I haven’t used it myself.
This area is where things get the most complicated for me because I want something that works but that is also kinder on me and the environment. I have used several different detergents and have found that these work the best for me:
Seventh Generation Natural Dish Liquid-Lavender Floral and Mint (The free and clear also works really well)
Honest Dishwashing Pods-Fragrance Free
All of these products perform really well but I won’t lie, they are still not the “greenest”. However, they are still safer than some popular brands I used to use before (I’m looking at the soap with the commercials washing ducks after an oil spill).
I encourage you all to do your own research and find something that works for you. Nothing frustrates me more than trying a “greener” product that doesn’t get the job done. What good is it if I still have to work harder to get my stuff clean?
I highly suggest using Vitacost for purchasing these products as you can pretty much find them all and cheaper than in the stores. As an added bonus, you can shop through Ebates which gives you cash back.
If you haven’t yet signed up for Ebates, I would appreciate you using My Link
If you haven’t yet signed up for Vitacost, I would also appreciate you using My Link which gives you $5 off your first order of $30 or more (if you spend $25 worth on Vitacost brands, you get free shipping!!!)
That pretty much sums it up for this post. Phew…That was a long one!
Thanks for sticking with me through this post. I hope you have learned something new and find the information useful.
Stay Awesome Peeps,