Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Cleaning Green

Inspired by Kate, several months ago I decided to start replacing my old cleaning products with "green" alternatives. I'm almost finished - all that's left is dishwashing, mainly because I didn't have the heart to throw out huge, new containers of dish soap and dishwashing powder. But I've replaced all the other cleaning supplies and laundry stuff. Here's what I like:

Bon Ami for showers/tubs, toilets, and kitchen sinks and counters. If you don't like the (lack of) smell, add a little scented liquid castile soap (I like lavender Dr. Bronner's) as you clean.

Clorox Greenworks bathroom cleaner for bathroom sinks and counters

Clorox Greenworks floor cleaner

Method furniture polish

Ecover limescale remover

Vinegar and newspaper for the windows (I also want to try Method's glass cleaner - haven't done that yet)

Baking soda sprinkled on the carpets for an hour or so before vacuuming to help with odors

Murphy's oil soap and water for the wood floors. I don't mop them too often, but I keep a sprayer bottle with the right amount of Murphy's diluted in water for small messes. The Swiffer wet mop works great - just skip using the Swiffer cleanser and spray the Murphy's mixture on the floor instead. You can even wash the dogs in Murphy's - it's that gentle.

For laundry, I use Biokleen Citrus powdered laundry soap, 1/2 cup white vinegar in the wash and another 1/2 cup in the rinse. The vinegar replaces fabric softeners and cuts soap residue, eliminating the need for a 2nd rinse cycle. I use Oxyclean for stains - a girl with 2 small boys can't live without it - except for food stains and grease: regular old dish soap works best on these.

For quick cleanups I like Method lavender wipes. They're compostable, too.

The 2 best things about this switch-over: first of all, the boys can help me clean! We did a full-blown cleaning on Friday last week - the first day we had power. They cleaned all the sinks, mopped 1/2 the wood floors and cleaned their playroom all by themselves - it was a huge help. I can also let Two clean up after himself with the Method wipes - he has a little aiming problem in the bathroom and always makes a mess. The second best thing: I don't have a headache or sore throat and I'm not dizzy when I finish cleaning. None of these items, in other words, make me sick.

That's what works for me.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this list! As I finish up each container of cleaner now, I'm trying to find an alternative. So glad to have this!

Marcus and Meg Asby said...

Awesome! We just switched to method products, and I love them. I am still using a heavy-duty cleaner in my shower, though . . . I'll make that switch in the next few weeks hopefully.

Miss you!

Venomous Kate said...

I love the Clorox Greenworks stuff. With that and microfiber cleaning cloths we can get most of the worst stuff spic and span.

I'm too cheap for Bon Ami, though. I just use baking soda for scrubbing, sometimes with a little lemon juice and table salt for stains. I clean the drains with baking soda and vinegar now, too.

I'll have to check out the Method stuff. I've been wanting to try it.

Thanks, and thanks for the link!