This year, I'm on a mission to abandon as many non-natural cleaning products as possible, and I'm trying to spread this mission around.
A lot of household cleaning products are made with bleach, petroleum products, and caustic chemicals.
Here's what to avoid and why:
-Detergents - detergents are different from soaps. They're very caustic and contain chemical surfactants. Real soap contains saponins, or naturally soapy elemental compounds that clean gently.
-Ammonia - ammonia is used to clean floors and sometimes other hard home surfaces. Ammonia is dangerous to breathe in and may cause nerve damage. It's bad for people and animals alike.
-Scented carpet powders - carpet powders are usually made with chemicals that can annoy skin and lungs. The fragrances are usually highly chemical-based and can be dangerous to anything that breathes it in, like babies or pets that spend a lot of time on the floor.
What to use instead:
-Borax - borax is a soap booster and all-natural home cleaner. It can be used to clean up pretty much anything, especially when combined with washing soda, baking soda, and all-natural soaps.
-Washing soda - washing soda is great in the laundry. I've posted a tutorial on how to make your own powdered laundry soap using washing soda, borax, and soap.
-Baking soda - baking soda is great for all kinds of house cleaning. It can be used in the kitchen to clean greasy messes. It can be mixed with essential oils and sprinkled on carpet to freshen carpets before they're vacuumed. And of course, it foams when combined with vinegar, so it makes a great tub and tile cleaner.
-Vinegar - vinegar is a natural cleaner that can be used to replace window cleaner and other liquid cleaners. It is also a great laundry booster when used on soiled clothing, especially baby clothes.
-Essential oils - different kinds of essential oils can give your home a natural, fresh scent. Many oils, like eucalyptus and tea tree, fight bacteria and fungus so they're great for use in kitchens and bathrooms.
Not only is there an ecologically-friendly aspect to cleaning with all-natural supplies, but there's a wallet-friendly aspect to it, too. Large boxes of borax, washing soda, and baking soda are all typically $4 or less per box. Vinegar is also cheaper compared to chemical-based liquid cleaners and it can even be mixed with water so a bottle lasts longer. Essential oils can be pricy, but they're not necessary to clean with--they just make everything smell really nice.
I have 2 kitties and hate using chemicals so I try to clean as green as possible so far I use
Vinegar to mop and clean windows
Baking soda for carpets, and litter boxes
Lemon juice and baking soda to get stains out of porcelain sinks (smells great!)
Baking soda and vinegar in baths and counter stains
Hydrogen Peroxide to kill mold in tile grout or window seams
1/2 Vinegar & 1/2 water to neutralize cat spray smells
Baking soda added to laundry loads to brighten whites and neutralize smells
Baking soda and vinegar also works well as a laundry detergent you just mix half of each directly into the washer (my hubby only likes tide though)
Don't know if you would count this but I use rubbing Alcohol to get sticky stuff off items.
I always use just plain baking soda to neutralize any carpet smells and freshen the floor but I haven't tried adding essential oils yet, will try that this week!
I have also been wanting to try this green way of cleaning shower heads, but haven't had the chance yet.
I have VERY sensitive skin, and am actually about to embark on making a borax free detergent. I found a great recipe. I also found a great one for a citrus scrub for practically cleaning anything.
I too want to switch to chemically based, harsh cleaners ( I used minimal before) but when you really step back and look at what you use on your body, and around it (inhalants) it is a lot of bad stuff.
I also just ordered some homemade goat cream soap for handwashing instead of the liquid ones, and I love it so far.
I have sensitive skin as well but have never had an issue with borax, so that's a surprise to me.
I've found a really nifty all-natural replacement for Lysol wipes made by Seventh Generation... it's $3 for 35 wipes or something, so it's just a little more expensive than Lysol and Clorox but it's scented with lemongrass which I love in my kitchen!
Soon, being the natural soapmaker that I am, I want to make my own cleaning wipes.
oh yeah! I bought some of those wipes, and man, I got the yellow ones and they smell like....poultry seasoning hardcore! I need to try another scent.
Yeah my skin is SUPER sensitive, even baby lotion bothers me.............
but here is a cool cleaner my husband is currently making, it smells yummy! this is where we got the recipe! It takes 2 weeks to make, but it is because you allow it to ferment and such.
I have seen some of your soaps! :) and your sugar scrubs! :) do you think craft cafe is better than etsy? I post on etsy but not sure if it is cheaper to do craft cafe.
I prefer CC over Etsy because CC has a lot of Facebook groups meant to help their sellers, and CC is also diligent on keeping resellers away. It's $2.99 a month on CraftCafe to have a handmade shop, and I was spending at least that much on Etsy every month just listing new items--more if I actually sold something.