Posted on | May 24, 2012 | 2 Comments
I won’t go on about the dangers of mainstream cleaning products. Just consider the smell when you use them and that should be a big clue. I prefer cleaning solutions that don’t require opening all of the windows. (OK, unless you really don’t like the smell of vinegar, but I promise you’ll get used to it!) A bonus is that my favorite cleaning products are also inexpensive, and last a long time.
Baking Soda + Vinegar
Baking soda and vinegar are my go-to for cleaning pretty much anything. At this point, most people are aware of these cleaning powers, but if not…
* The same reaction that was so much fun for creating volcanoes is also amazing for sinks and toilets. My best friend swears by these “sink bombs” to clear drains as well as polish sinks. Sprinkle sink or toilet bowl with baking soda, then slowly pour in the vinegar and enjoy the chemical reaction! I look forward to this part of cleaning – It’s still fun as an adult! And what is better than being pumped to clean your toilet. This recipe will remove gross stains with little to no scrubbing/touching, and leaves surfaces more sparkling than a nu-school vampire.
* Vinegar is perfect for neutralizing pet and baby odors and pulling up spots. To remove pee (or whatever) from carpet: Fully saturate the area with vinegar and water (recommendation is 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water but I prefer more vinegar), let sit for a few minutes then blot up with a clean rag. Repeat for larger accidents, then soak with just water and continue blotting until dry. When area is mostly dry, sprinkle the area with baking soda. Wait about an hour, then vacuum up.
* Vinegar will work to clean glass, although it takes a bit of elbow grease to get a streak-free shine. Spray vinegar directly on mirrors and windows, then rub hard with a soft cloth or gently with a wad of old newspaper. (Paper towels don’t work as well but you can make it work if you apply enough friction.)
* Baking soda and vinegar makes a great multi-purpose cleaner, and works on almost anything. Vinegar alone works well enough to disinfect kitchen counters, and is safe and gentle enough to use around pets and kids. (My toddler loves to carry the vinegar bottle around, pretending to spray things, and I love knowing that it’s OK even if he sticks the nozzle right in his mouth.)
Hydrogen Peroxide + Dawn
Dawn is the only commercial product we keep in our cleaning arsenal. The soapy smell is a bit of a guilty pleasure as we don’t use any other products with fragrance. (The husband and I secretly take a huge whiff whenever our neighbors do laundry with scented detergent. I know it’s bad but it smells so good.)
Equal parts hydrogen peroxide + Dawn (original dish soap) is the most amazing stain remover I’ve found. I came across the tip on Pinterest and was skeptical, but this shit works. I used the solution to remove every single stain from our cream-colored linen loveseat and we were blown away by the results. I was about ready to chuck that couch onto the train tracks but now it’s good as new. Better yet, my anxiety is gone. If something new does get spilled or smeared, I know we’ll be able to get it out. (The only stain we couldn’t get out completely was a very old spot of blood. The hydrogen and Dawn solution faded the spot by about 50%, and we got the remaining stain almost completely out by applying a paste of cold water and table salt overnight.)
Products you can buy
I love the above products for their dual-functionality and affordability. Baking soda and vinegar can even be purchased with food stamps/vouchers and are very cheap to begin with. If you prefer ready-made cleaning products, however, here are my top picks:
* Mrs. Meyer’s – Although I took some issue with the Mrs. Meyer’s cleaning guide (the unsolicited parenting advice, not the cleaning tips), I LOVE Mrs. Meyer’s scents. We discovered these cleaners several years ago and the smell always takes me back to the first apartment Donny and I lived in together. This is my top pick if you want some aromatherapy along with your cleaning.
* Seventh Generation – Their plant-based cleaners work incredibly well and I love their continued efforts towards more sustainable packaging. Seventh Gen products are available in many supermarkets, usually in the ‘Natural’ or ‘Organic’ section of the store.
* ecoSTORE USA – I haven’t personally tried their home cleaning products, but I have no doubt that they would be as fabulous as their bath products. Their baby and dog shampoos are my hands-down favorites, and all of their products just dropped in price so they are now even more affordable.
* The Honest Co – Indulge your trendy side with this new line of products founded by health-conscious celeb mom Jessica Alba.
~ Want more? Be sure to check out my post on Spring Cleaning tips and get inspired to spruce up your home in a fun and eco-friendly way. ~