Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Naturally Clean

Just finished re-reading the book Naturally Clean: The Seventh Generation Guide to Safe and Healthy, Non-Toxic Cleaning. This is such a well written and informative book.

It breaks down the different hazardous and often carcinogenic chemicals and toxins in most household cleaners and their linked effects on the human body, ranging from asthma to infertility. It's TERRIFYING how few chemicals have been tested by the FDA before the allowance of their use in our household products.

This book is associated with "Seventh Generation" and though I LOVE their products, they can get a tad expensive. Soooo... I decided to put together a few recipes for some of the natural household cleaners I make to clean my house.

I know a lot of people use AJAX or some other form of a bleach based cleaner to clean their tubs and sinks, here is a recipe for an alternative that requires a little elbow grease, but your hands and respiratory system will thank you.

Tub and Sink Scrub

1 cup of baking soda

1/2 cup of fine sea salt ( coarse may score your tub finish)

couple of squeezes of fresh lemon juice

Wet the surface of your tub and sink, apply baking soda mixture along with a few squeezes of fresh lemon juice and scrub with the scrubbie side of a sponge. That's all there is too it. It couldn't be cheaper or easier. Also I like to experiment with different smells. Adding a few drops of lavender oil leaves the bathroom smelling GREAT!

Glass Cleaner
Equal parts water and white vinegar added to a spray bottle

So I know this cleaner probably doesn't smell the best, but cleaning glass doesn't get more natural than this. Also cleaning the top of your counters and stove works well with this mixed with a little lemon juice.

Laundry Detergent
I also found this laundry detergent recipe on one of my favorite blogs. I have four bottles of Bi-o-kleen detergent in the basement now, but when those are done I'm going to give this a whirl! The author of the recipe (linked above) says that the peppermint version is her family's favorite smell.
2 cups (finely) grated castile soap
1 cup borax
1 cup baking soda
1 cup soda ash (washing soda)

It's great to know what EXACTLY is in your cleaning products. And more than that its great to know that all of your cleaning products are really making your house clean and fresh instead of toxic. There are some great all natural household brands out there, but these substitutes are a great, affordable alternative when you're trying to pinch pennies.
Remember- just because you wash something down the drain, doesn't mean it disappears. Think about where your drain water goes and what its putting into our environment.

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