I don't know about you, but I get excited about finding products that work to keep my family safe and healthy, protect the environment, and don't break my budget! My kitchen tip this week (part of Kitchen Tip Tuesdays, hosted by Tammy's Recipes) is the first of a series on natural household cleaners, and we'll just start with the kitchen!
Why do cleaning supplies matter so much anyways? Well, just to name a few reasons:
-They're full of toxic chemicals (why else would they be harmful to drink, breathe in the fumes of, touch, etc.?)
-They can have harmful effects on our bodies, anything from a mild rash, hives, breathing difficulties, headaches, to more moderate effects, such as severe burns, to long term effects, such as being carcinogenic (cancer-causing) or causing hormone disruption
- They can combine with other chemicals in another cleaning product to make even more dangerous fumes
- Some chemicals threaten water quality, fish and other wildlife
-Many are petroleum based, which further depletes our natural resources
-Most contain dyes and/or perfumes, both of which can cause skin, eye and respiratory irritation
For all of these reasons, I choose to only use natural, non-toxic and environmentally friendly cleaning supplies in my home. Not only does this benefit our health (I know that my family isn't getting a little helping of chemicals along with their chicken pot pie) and helps to sustain the earth, but it also helps to remove the risk of my young children ingesting poisonous substances, if they happen to be curious and clever enough to try to break into my cupboards.
So, what do I use? I'm glad you asked!
Vinegar- nothing beats vinegar for glass and mirrors. Just plain old white vinegar. I like to buy mine in huge containers (for a very low price) from Costco. I also use it for the rinse cycle in my dishwasher, and for soaking my baby's cloth diapers.
Baking soda- I use baking soda to keep my fridge fresh, but also for scrubbing out my sink and the top of my stove, as well as silverware or platters that are beginning to look dull. I also discovered Tammy's recipe for homemade scouring powder that works great, and costs so little to make!
Biokleen Cleaner and Degreaser- This is my champion of cleaners! I discovered it nearly two years ago, and am still in love! It is a highly concentrated cleaner (less wasteful packaging) and it is so very economical! It also really does degrease- when we moved into our current home, the blinds were filthy. I took them all down and washed them in the bathtub, using the concentrate (a bit more than usual, as recommended for heavier soiling). I was so surprised, but it really did do the trick!
Biokleen Automatic Dishwasher- Again, very concentrated, the best value I can find for a natural dishwasher soap, and it works. What more can I say?
Biokleen Dishwash Liquid- Now, I must admit, this is the only one that I am not thrilled with yet. The price and size are great, but I am not thrilled with the degreasing ability of this soap. I am looking to try a new brand when this one runs out. If you know of one, please let me know!
Biokleen Produce Wash- there are many good produce washes out there, but I just happen to be happy with my Biokleen brand at this moment. I have also used Nature Clean's produce wash a lot, and thought it was great.
If you think that I must spend money hand over fist buying these kind of cleaning products, you'd be very surprised to know how little I actually spend on cleaning supplies, considering the quality of what I use. But I'll save that for another post...