Thursday, August 03, 2006

Cleaning naturally

One of the amazing things that I have learned from living by the compact is that I can make decisions about my own life and my own environment.

I had read that there were safer alternative to cleaning the home. I really did not think it was necessary - afterall, wouldn't all of the "supercleansers" be safe for the public? Well, it turns out that they are not. I just found a link on the epa.gov site that mentions a lot of toxic cleaners http://es.epa.gov/techinfo/facts/safe-fs.html Some examples are All-purpose cleaner, ammonia-based cleaners, bleach, brass or other metal polishes, dishwater detergent, disinfectant, drain cleaner, floor wax or polish, glass cleaner, dishwashing detergent, oven cleaner, and scouring powder. They all contain dangerous chemicals!

Until World War II, household cleaners were made out of natural ingredients such baking soda, vinegar, etc.

I have decided that starting in August my new challnege is to use all or mostly homemade household cleansers.

Thus far I have used a combination of baking soda and vinegar with a little essential oil to clean my kitchen sink. It is amazing how clean and shiny it is now! I have also "bombed" my toilet with vinegar, borax, and essential oils. Wow! The toilet was clean overnight! No scrubbing! This amazes me - with a family of 6 (and a little boy who often 'misses' or 'forgets' to flush).

I can tell you that it feels good to be living in an environment that does not smell like a chemical store. I like to know that I am walking on floors that are naturally clean.

We have a high efficiency washing and drying machine. I learned that we really don't need as much detergent as we tend to use. I have started to use cold water, a soak, and a lighter cycle (instead of heavy or normal which use more energy). A vinegar (and essential oil) in the rinse cycle instead of fabric softner. I am now also drying laundry outside (free energy).

The ingredients that I am using are MUCH less expensive then the store alternatives. I can make a soft scrub for pennies. I have decided that some store bought environmentally friendly products are really worth the investment (dishwasher detergent and dishsoap). I am saving enough money by making my own that it is worth the investment.

I also feel good to know that my cleaning products are not harming the environment. These are biodegradable and environmentally friendly. I am making choices for the future generations instead of my own. I am living for my children, their children, and their children.

3 comments:

Through a Glass Darkly said...

I hope you'll do a post later about what you've found to be most effective for different parts of the house.

Anonymous said...

How much vinegar, borax and essential oil did you use? I'd love to try this!

emme said...

1 cup borax, 1 cup vinegar, 10 drops pine, 5 drops lemon. Let sit overnight and flush in the morning.

It is fabulous!