Green cleaning and green living, in general, is becoming increasingly important to moms and women around the world. However, many of us were not taught eco-friendly cleaning habits growing up. Instead, many of our family cleaning supplies were locked away in a cabinet or out of reach. We were taught that the smell of bleach meant that the room or offending object was clean. If you assumed that these cleaners were both effective and safe, you are not alone –
But you have been misled.
Here’s a quick look at some of the dangers of bleach:
- Bleach is highly corrosive to the skin, lungs, and eyes, as well as to other materials. It can actually cause frost bite, chemical burns, and ulcers.
- It increases asthma and allergy symptoms.
- When mixed with ammonia (which is naturally present in urine) it creates a deadly gas
- Because of this, bleach in the toilet puts you at significant risk for creating a toxic gas that can arrest your lung functions
- When mixed with dish soap, it can create a mustard gas – a deadly gas that was used as a weapon during World War 2!
As moms, we not only have to worry about our own health, but also the health of our littles. The products that we use in our home must be safe for everyone even in a home refurbishment. Now that we are all sufficiently scared by the dangers of bleach (…sorry about that…), rest assured that there are easy, green alternatives to get your house sparkling clean!
5 Eco-Friendly, Green Cleaning Tips
1. For Your Dishes:
The substance you use to clean your dishes ultimately comes into contact with your food. Because of this, it is important to use safe but effective cleaners. Whether you are washing baby bottles, sauce pans, or dinner dishes, you want to know that your dish soap is doing its job well! For baby bottles (and other baby dishes, pump parts, and so on), I love the Dapple brand. Their Pure ‘N’ Clean Bottles & Dishes provides a safe, eco-friendly clean and is pediatrician recommended. For your other dishes, I recommend starting with a good clean sponge to rinse plates, paired with an eco-friendly soap such as Orange House, featured in our January 2017 Boxes.
2. For Windows and Mirrors:
This is a great opportunity to DIY! It will save you money as well as your family’s health. This DIY is literally effortless: mix equal parts vinegar and water, then pour into a spray bottle. You’re done! To get bonus points for green living, recycle old newspapers for drying and shining – they work better than paper towels with this DIY cleaner.
3. For Your Laundry:
There are many laundry detergents out there, but few are eco-friendly and truly safe for your littles. Because of this, I love Dapple’s Natural Baby Laundry Booster Pods coupled with Orange House’s liquid laundry detergent for that extra boost.
4. For Mold:
Here’s another DIY! Showers and bathrooms often suffer from recurring mold. Use the same mixture you created for the window and mirror cleaner (equal parts vinegar and water). Using just vinegar is also an option, but fair warning: the scent isn’t pleasant. If you have a hard time stomaching it, try mixing 10 drops of lavender essential oil OR grapefruit seed extract paired with two cups of water in a spray bottle. For a guide on using essential oils, visit here.
5. All Purpose Cleaner:
Last but certainly not least, every household needs a good all-purpose cleaner that is strong enough to handle grease and unsightly messes without introducing toxins and harmful chemicals into your home. Our go-to all purpose cleaner is a delightful Lavender All Purpose Cleaner that not only smells clean and fresh, but is perfect for virtually any surface in your home. We especially love it for surfaces that are frequented by little hands.
We hope this list is helpful – hopefully it can help you streamline and “green” up your home. If you have any feedback on these products, as well as additional tips and suggestions, we would love to hear from you. Chime in and let us know what you think!
Kelsey Packard is a project manager in Austin Texas with a Masters in Human Development and Family Studies and certifications in parent-child attachment. She is a mama to two littles. She enjoys writing in her free time and supporting other mothers. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org