May 8, 2017

(ALMOST) ZERO WASTE HOME :: CLEANING




In the past, I used a variety of cleaning solutions (i.e. bleach, Windex, Scrubbles, Comet, Draino, Clorox wipes) that I thought kept my house clean.  I remember my eyes would tear up uncontrollably and my hands started itching every time I cleaned.  I thought "maybe I'm just allergic to cleaning...or dust."  
After much research for natural cleaning alternatives, I realized these products weren't so clean after all.  I wasn't allergic to cleaning.  I was having a reaction to the chemicals.  

Studies have shown that chemical-ladened cleaning products have common ingredients that lead to respiratory problems, skin irritation, reproductive toxicity, and nervous system damage.  In 2014, cleaning products were responsible for nearly 10% of all toxic exposures reported to U.S. Poison Control Centers.  Of these, 118,207 exposures involved children under six, who can swallow or spill cleaners stored or left open inside the home.

With my allergic reaction and having a toddler in the house, I no longer use them.  Instead, I opt for natural cleaning solutions.  I couldn't be happier with the switch.  No more tears or itching.  

These are my go-to products for cleaning my house top-to-bottom.  




STRAW HAND BROOM
For sweeping little messes quickly.

NATURAL WOOL DUSTER
For speedy dusting.  This picks up all the nooks and crannies in those high ceiling corners, baseboard ledges and light fixtures.

GALVANIZED METAL BUCKET
Great for collecting spills, shower water while the water is warming up, and diluting castile soap to mop the floors.




WHITE DISTILLED VINEGAR + RECYCLED SPRAYER
White vinegar might smell horrible to some, but I find it soothing.  It is by far the toughest cleaner I've used.  This go-to cleaner kills bacteria and keeps my windows & mirrors sparkling.  I also use this as a fabric softener, to unclog drains, and clean counters, showers & toilets.

I wish lived near a grocery store that sold white vinegar in bulk.  The next best thing is purchasing it in bulk gallon-size for minimal waste.  The containers are recycled after use.  (Read my post to learn more about how you can save money by buying in bulk.)

The plastic spray bottle was an old Method cleaner solution that I kept.  I refill the bottle with 75% white distilled vinegar, 25% water to dilute the solution, and add a couple drops of lavendar essential oil for a fragrant scent.


DR BRONNER'S CASTILE SOAP
This mild natural soap can be used for floors, kitchen sink, dishes, and laundry detergent.  The label says it can be used as a shampoo and body wash, but it's drying for my skin.  I strictly use this as a household cleaner.  The lavendar or peppermint scents are the most popular.  I also enjoy the rose scent but my husband thinks it smells like old lady.


TOWELS
I collect a handful of old hand towels and recycled baby onesies to wipe up everything (i.e. floors, fridge, mirrors, etc.).


NOT PICTURED
  • natural veggie brush which I use to scrub the shower tile.  The handheld size makes it easy to scrub narrow grout lines.
  • Baking soda in a small powdered sugar shaker.  Combine baking soda and white vinegar for a powerful toilet, sink, and shower scrub.
  • We also have a Dyson vacuum cleaner that we purchased a few years ago.  It works well on hardwood floors and area rugs, keeping me worry-free from the baby picking things off the floor that he's not supposed to eat.



*  SHOP THE PRODUCTS  *


       




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