April 7, 2011
Well, it's that time of year, time to clean and refresh the living space after a long, closed-up winter. I have three cats and two small children, so the idea of having harsh chemicals coating the surfaces of our house is not appealing to me. Most of them could be much more harmful than the grime I'm using them on and, really, they're just unnecessary. My great-grandmother lived a very long life and most of it was spent without the use of these chemicals that so many feel are essential to our existence these days. In addition to being unnecessary and possibly toxic, the increased chemical use is causing bacteria and viruses to develop stronger defenses against the chemicals which results in even stronger and harsher chemicals being developed and sold to the public. Seems like a never ending cycle in which the only winner is the companies that are selling the chemicals.
I'm also not a fan of many of the "green" cleaning products on the market. First of all, many of them are not green at all. They're manufactured in unsustainable ways or they have the same harsh chemicals as conventional cleaners, but they have been deemed "organic" due to their source. The company then throws the word green on the label and charges a higher price for the same old stuff. Not cool. And, not necessary.
So, what is a girl to do? Well, there are certainly options. Check out Seventh Generation's products or some of Trader Joe's cleaning products. Read the labels. If you can pronounce and recognize the items on the list as natural products (i.e. lemon oil, orange oil, baking soda) you're probably ok. You can also make your own. Making your own is going to be the cheapest and easiest option. Baking soda and vinegar is a wonderful "go-to" combination. Washing soda or borax are other inexpensive products that will boost your cleaning power.
If you want to get started with some natural cleaning products check out Tipnut. They have a ton of wonderful, reader-submitted recipes for cleaning solutions.
Give a few DIY cleaners a try. I think you'll find that they're easy to make and inexpensive. In addition, your house will smell fresh and homey; with no chemical odor. Always a plus!