Now that I’ve gone green, one big change I made is in the cleaners I purchase to clean my house. I’ll be the first to admit that my house isn’t the cleanest in the world. I could use the excuse that I have two kids, but it’s always been like that, so I won’t.
However, now that I’ve switched to natural, cheaper cleaners, I find that I actually clean more often. I always hated the smell of Pledge (too fake lemony) and Comet (blech! Too bleachy) and whatever other chemical laden cleaner I was using at the time.
The picture above depicts all the cleaner I use in my entire house now. A squeegee, vinegar, baking soda, Arm and Hammer Essentials laundry soap, a squirt bottle with a 50/50 mix of vinegar and water, microfiber cloths and Swiffer Sweeper refills.
I use vinegar as a fabric softener in the washing machine and as a rinse aid in the dishwasher. I use the vinegar-water spray for windows, mirrors and the bathroom shower stalls. Ryan was a bit doubtful about this at first, afraid that the house would smell like a pickle. But amazingly, the smell disappears as soon as the vinegar dries.
The microfiber cloths pick up dust fabulously without the assistance of any cleaner at all. I bought them in the automotive department at The Evil Megastore. I also use them to wipe counter tops, clean windows and mirrors, and whatever else needs swiping.
Baking soda makes a great scrub for the tubs and sinks in the house. I think it cleans my stainless steel sink even better than Comet ever did, because it doesn’t leave that funky film that needs to be rinsed multiple times before it disappears.
The Arm and Hammer Essentials is a plant-based laundry detergent, and was the greenest detergent I could find. I use about 1/4 the recommended amount and my clothes are perfectly clean. (Anyway, if we smell, no one says anything to us.) However, my best friend has shared a recipe for making laundry detergent at home, and as soon as my Essentials is gone, I plan to try it.
You may be eyeballing the Swiffer refills, wondering how that plays into green housekeeping. Well, I bought that box almost two years ago, and it’s still half full. Don’t worry, that doesn’t accurately represent how often I sweep the floor. I prefer to use a regular broom for sweeping, and I’ve pretty much given the Swiffer to Wesley. He’s not picky about how clean the pad is, so it doesn’t get changed too often.
The best thing about it, I don’t have to worry about my kids getting into the cleaning cabinet and eating poisonous chemicals. Baking soda and vinegar are food items, and although they may not taste good in large quantities, I don’t think they’ll kill anyone.