I’ve been doing the “green” cleaning thing for a while now, since before Kaelyn was born. I decided that I didn’t want to be using all kinds of chemicals around her and I also read some different things about how those chemicals don’t necessarily make things any more clean.
Now, the main things I use for cleaning are vinegar and baking soda. In addition to not using harmful chemicals in my home, I am also saving money because commercial cleaners are pricey$$! Vinegar has natural disinfecting properties, and some things I have read say that anti-bacterial products are not the best things to use because they remove the good bacteria that we need and the bad bacteria is changing to become resistant to it. I read somewhere (I’m sorry I can’t remember where) that kitchens cleaned with anti-bacterial cleaners were actually dirtier than those that were uncleaned. This is a pretty good article with good information and tips for green cleaning
One of the things I like the most about this change is that I don’t have to have a dozen different products for every different type of cleaning job. I now clean the bathroom with vinegar and water, and baking soda. Everything from top to bottom gets sprayed with vinegar and I don’t have to have glass cleaner, sink cleaner, tub and shower cleaner, toilet cleaner, floor cleaner, etc. This makes cleaning a lot simpler and actually faster because I don’t have to waste time switching from one product to another. I also use it everywhere in the kitchen. It is my all-purpose cleaner.
One issue with vinegar that some people (including my wonderful husband) might have is the smell. It is not a pretty, pleasant smell, and it is not a chemically/bleachy smell. I have heard some people say that if it doesn’t smell like chemicals they don’t think it’s clean. I now think, if it smells like chemicals think about what you are breathing into your lungs, getting on your hands, putting in your mouth, etc. Personally, the smell of vinegar doesn’t bother me at all. It dissipates very quickly and it actually neutralizes any lingering odors there may be (like in the bathroom). I have tried to make the vinegar & water combo smell better by putting a few drops of essential oil in the bottle, but then I felt like it was making things greasy. So, I mostly use it when my hubby is not around and plan on buying either Seventh Generation or Clorox Green Works cleaner for him to use (waiting for them to go on sale!).
We have also switched to trying to use less paper as in paper towels and paper napkins. We use rags and bar mop towels in place of paper towels, and cloth napkins in place of paper napkins and paper towels.
Going “green” around the house is actually easier than you might think, and I am always thinking of new ways that I can reduce the amount of chemicals that are in our home as well as reduce the things that we use and then throw away. If you have homemade “green” cleaners that you use, or ways that you have reduced your trash, please tell me about it! I love hearing and sharing ideas!