Monday, May 13, 2013

Reducing Toxins Part 4: Household Cleaners

This is the 4th and final post in my series on reducing environmental toxins.  Today I will be sharing ways to clean with simple, inexpensive, fragrance-free, non-toxic products.  Not only can dollars be saved by not buying a lot of commercial cleaning products, you can also save yourself trips to the store and cabinet space.  Almost all of my household cleaning is accomplished with baking soda, Dr. Bronner' soap, vinegar and hydrogen peroxide.

Cleaning sinks, bathtubs and dishes:  Remember the pumps with Dr. Bronner's liquid castile soap and shakers of baking soda by each sink/tub that I mentioned in part 3 of this series?  Sprinkle baking soda on whatever needs to be scrubbed then squirt with liquid soap and scrub. (cheap, simple and effective)

Cleaning windows and mirrors:  a spray bottle of vinegar.  I also have a concentrated cleaning product made with essential oils from Young Living that is mixed in a spray bottle with water.  It smells better than vinegar, but vinegar is cheap and easy and the smell doesn't last long. 

Sanitizer:  Vinegar is an effective sanitizer against various bacteria, yeasts and molds.  Here are some ideas for using vinegar for cleaning, sanitizing and freshening.  Hydrogen peroxide is also a sanitizer as well as having many other cleaning uses.  This article gives some ideas.
Dishwashing detergent: I purchased a 50lb. box of Biokleen dishwashing powder,  a natural, non-toxic biodegradable cleaning product from Azure Standard for less than $120.  I use one Tbsp. per load.  One box will do well over 1,000 loads (probably more like 1,500).  This box will probably last me 3 years, saving numerous trips to the store because we ran out.  Unlike most commercial detergents, it does not pollute our water and does not leave toxic chemical residue on our dishes. 

Laundry detergent: I have a 32lb. bucket of all natural, scent-free, biodegradeable Charlie's Soap Laundry Powder which also only takes 1 tablespoon per load.  I have been working on this bucket so long that I don't have any idea where I purchased it.  Amazon carries it for $120 with free shipping.  It says it will do 1,000 loads, so this is probably close to a 3 year supply for our family.  (Update: I no longer purchase Charlie's Soap due to new information I have learned about the ingredients.  Read here for more information and alternatives.)

Dryer static control:  We have recycled wool dryer balls from Azure Standard. 

Air Freshener:  Tate's the Natural Miracle Odor Eliminator.  I purchased this locally at Drug Emporium.

This concludes my 4 part series on reducing environmental toxins in your home.  I set out to write a short post on the toxicity of fragrances and ended up writing 4 posts and spending much more time and many more words than I intended.  For those who know me, this will not surprise you.  I hope you have found the information useful and motivating. 


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