Your mission, if you choose to accept, is to make one change in your cleaning routine to be more kind to the Earth.
I’ve been “green” for a few years in most of my cleaning with my triple threat cleaners, but I had a few areas that I still needed to tackle when I started writing Kitchen Stewardship. Last year you all watched the torturous path I trod to find an earth-friendly dishwasher detergent (aren’t you glad I spared you the trouble?!), and I’ve been pleased to find a few natural options that work for the laundry. (Soap Nuts and Charlie’s Soap Powder both rank high on the recommendation list.)
Now it’s your turn. What is left in your cleaning cabinet that needs “greening up”? Dishwasher detergent? Laundry? Maybe carpets? If all your cleaners are eco-friendly (hoorah for you!), maybe you can look at using less water or fewer paper towels.
Here’s a list of basic cleaners and some green options:
My basic three all-purpose green cleaners; a must-read if you do nothing else!
|dish soap||any brand natural dish soap, NOT antibacterial (Mrs. Meyer’s is one option)|
|countertop cleaner/all-purpose spray||vinegar and hydrogen peroxide, sometimes Seventh Generation for for quick jobs. Soak in straight vinegar for hard water stains, but not on grout.|
|dishwasher detergent||Biokleen automatic dish powder|
|Jet Dry/rinse agent||straight white vinegar in the dispenser|
|oven cleaner||baking soda, salt – see How to Clean Your Oven for details|
|glass cleaner||vinegar and water or a damp then dry microfiber cloth|
|all-purpose surface disinfectant||50/50 hydrogen peroxide and water, straight vinegar|
|toilet bowl cleaner||straight vinegar, baking soda/lemon juice paste for tough stains|
|daily shower spray||straight vinegar|
|bathtub cleaner||straight vinegar and baking soda to scrub|
|laundry pre-treat||Biokleen Bac-Out diluted to 1/3 strength in a spray bottle; any basic oxygen bleach for soaking tough stains|
|laundry detergent||Soap Nuts|
|bleach||Don’t do it! Use oxygen bleach for stains on clothing and peroxide and vinegar for sanitizing. Tea tree oil diluted also sanitizes.|
|body soap||? I just use a bar soap for now…|
|hand soap||NO antibacterial soap; regular handsoap is a good option and diluting a concentrated natural soap like Dr. Bronner’s castille soap or Shaklee H2 is even better. I use a foaming pump.|
|toothpaste||a frontier I haven’t yet crossed – some people go flouride-free, but I have flouride in my water anyway (a future personal Monday Mission = get the water filtered properly, but it’s a complicated issue)|
|face soap||I use the minty face wash sold at Natural Momma, but have you heard about the oil cleansing method? I use straight coconut oil as an eye makeup remover, and it’s the most effective product I’ve ever tried for that purpose.|
|shampoo||baking soda and apple cider vinegar (“no ‘poo” resources) NaturOli also sells a shampoo bar and liquid shampoo.|
|baby wipes||I make my own from Viva paper towel cut into thirds, 1 1/2 c. boiled water and a squirt of either Shaklee H2 or castille soap plus a splash of white vinegar. An even greener option would be to use flannel/cloth and wash.|
Another update to this list including LOTS more personal care products and soaps: Green and Natural Body Products
UPDATE: The cleaning update with every natural cleaning product I can think of.
Remember, just choose one major thing you need to “green up” for this week and start exploring your options. If you want to go baby steps style, you can wait until whatever you’re using is gone, but keep looking and make a decision about what you’re going to use in the meantime.
Green cleaners work for me!