Eco-Cleaning Made Easy

Have you thought about switching over your traditional cleaning products but find it overwhelming thinking about cost and confused by the number of ‘eco cleaning products’ on the market? If you are still using Windex spray and traditional chemical cleaning agents for your bathroom, kitchen, floors, etc., put them away in a big box, high up where little hands can’t reach them and replace with very few products. The total cost can be under $20…in addition to pantry items that help like baking soda, olive oil, and vinegar. You will notice immediate improvements with your health from removing products that off-gas with ‘cleaning’ chemicals and fragrances.

Dr. Bronner’s Magic Pure Castile Soap

I can’t say it enough how much I love this brand. They’ve been around forever, USDA certified organic, making fair trade and wonderful organic products for 60 years.  I’ve used their classic liquid soap for a few years now – my favorite is the Peppermint Liquid Soap because the scent is like you’ve cleaned with candy canes. <smile> There are so many uses for Dr. Bronner’s soaps but it’s been a life saver for me with replacing all of my store bought traditional cleaning supplies. I use it in the bathroom, kitchen, floors (even hard wood), and to dust with (diluted in water). The price tag for this product is on the higher end in the greener stores but if you’re eliminating all other products…it’s so worth it.

The combination of ingredients from Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap are organic extra virgin coconut, organic olive, jojoba and hemp oils, with pure essential oils. Doesn’t that sound lovely to inhale and ingest while you’re cleaning rather than toxic fumes? The essential oils added to the liquid soaps are for those that still enjoy scent associated with cleaning – without the headaches that a chemical fragrance will give. You will also notice that their isn’t the action of foaming or bubbles because it doesn’t contain synthetic foaming agents. From an environmental standpoint, Dr. Bronner’s is fantastic because they are completely biodegradable and vegetable-based. So not only will you enjoy better health for your family, but the environment will also be improved from you making this switch.

Microfiber Cloths

Norwex isn’t the only company that sells microfiber cloths, but with the number of Nowex representatives in most communities, it’s easy to find someone selling these products. I was introduced to Norwex over 2 years ago by my friend Michelle and I was the mom at the meeting asking “But HOW does it clean?”  I didn’t get it. The idea that a microfiber cloth + water will clean your house is hard to wrap your mind around at first. But once you try the cloths – there’s not going back. The silver agent in the cloths traps the bacteria and dirt and these cloths will last literally years. I clean my walls, kitchen, bathroom, countertops with a dab of Dr. Bronner’s and my microfiber cloth. For my windows I use water and the microfiber window cloth (Norwex brand too).  I can’t imagine using Windex to clean glass or my windows – the thought literally makes me sick.

Norwex and Nanoparticles

I have written about Norwex products a few times, but recently did some investigation about Norwex and their rumoured link to nanoparticles after being asked by a friend about the products. I always want to write in full disclosure when recommending a company or product. I could not find anything linking Norwex to Nanoparticles. I saw a few articles from respected sites questioning if the two are related because of the antibacterial properties within the cloths. Here is the article from the Treehugger forum and an interview with Adria Vasil author of Ecoholic. Norwex has publicly stated that their products use micro-silver technology rather than nano-silver and that cloths do not leach silver while being used.

I also agree with the mind-set that while the technology is still widely untested (the world of nano-particles and micro) – I appreciate the fact I’ve been using a reusable product that has saved me money and my health with eliminating traditional cleaning products containing chemicals.

Baking Soda

I can’t believe how much baking soda I use on a daily basis. In additional to freshening up my laundry with a sprinkle, I use on tough-to-clean stains, sprinkle on my carpet before vacuuming, make paste to clean my oven, and over the last few month…I’ve been using it to wash my hair. Baking soda is such an effective odor removing product – it’s a great arsenal with household cleaning products.

Vinegar

Vinegar is great for everyday cleaning. Household cleaning recipes that contain vinegar have been around forever and the list of vinegar solutions continues to grow every year. My favorite uses for white vinegar is to kill weeds along my driveway (fill up a spray bottle and let the kids have fun), fixing CDs or DVDs when they’ve started to skip (wet a rag with vinegar and wipe the CD and dry), along with baking soda to unclog drains, and a natural fabric softener.

Olive Oil

The only way to clean stainless steel, pour olive oil on a paper towel or rag and wipe along the grain of your stainless steel appliances. This is the most effective way I’ve found to clean stainless steel. It’s not cheap, since olive oil is rather expensive, but the results are fabulous and you are polishing without chemicals.

Related Articles:

Home Made & Eco Friendly Cleaning Solutions

Self Cleaning Oven – Toxic for Humans or Only Birds?

Home-Made & Natural Home Air Fresheners

No Poo Anyone?

Tips to Improve Carpet Health

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5 Responses to Eco-Cleaning Made Easy

  1. Terri Lee October 14, 2010 at 5:02 am #

    thanks for the tips.
    I use BS and vinegar – but have discovered a super line of products called Better Life – two guys out of the MidWest made the products – they are fantastic – and their stainless steel cleaner rocks.
    No – Im not affiliated with them – just love the products – biodegradable and nontoxic – smell great – all essential oils no fragrances . . . thought I’d share.

  2. Julia Girdler October 14, 2010 at 5:52 am #

    Fantastic summary of all we need. I am one of those people who has wanted to go this route but needed a roadmap!

    Thank you!

  3. Maryea @ Happy Healthy Mama October 15, 2010 at 11:07 am #

    I recently found your blog and it’s been a great help to me. Thank you for what you are doing!

  4. Janice Kenny February 15, 2011 at 12:41 pm #

    Great blog!! I also use Norwex products and found the cloths to be the best use for cleaning my stainless steel appliances!! Wash with the Enviro cloth and polish with the window polisher!! Save the oil for cooking 🙂

  5. Melissa February 3, 2014 at 1:24 am #

    I never heard of Norwex… until I went to a friend’s house for a party the other night. I am very skeptical of many home-based businesses, but after doing a lot of research, this one actually interests me. What made me cringe, though, was that you said you use Dr Bronner’s soap WITH the Norwex microfiber cloths… this is a big no-no as the soap will block the anti-bacterial quality of the lcoth from working (unless you’re using an old cloth, then it’s not going to matter). .. I do like Dr Bronner’s products, but you shouldn’t be using anything but water with your Norwex microfiber. … I am also a fan of Eco Max… my fave eco-cleaning line, to be honest.. … … When you switch to enviro-friendly home cleaning products, regardless of brand, you will be more sensitive to the smell of chemicals.. walking down the detergent aisle makes me want to run through because the chemical smells are just so overpowering. … Don’t buy into Clorox’s Green Clean… or President’s Choice eco line.. they both still smell very chemical=laden. .. … great site, btw, will keep you on my bookmarks. . =)

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