Squeaky Clean and Green

I’ve been rather desperate to find some natural cleaning solutions for my old bathroom. Hard water deposits and my resistance to using strong cleaning solutions seem to set me back daily in the effort to keep things white and shiny.

Thankfully, there are plenty of natural and surprisingly cheap ways to clean and sanitize your home. Today I just wanted to share the links I explored, in case you are on the same quest.
Finding Green Cleaners
Natural Kitchen Cleaners – I love that she does everything with baking soda, vinegar and peroxide. How simple and harm-free is that?
Oxygen Bleach – I didn’t realize this was environmentally friendly and doesn’t carry the risk of birth defects like Clorox does. You can read more in Lindsay’s post.

I do most of my cleaning with baking soda, but I think the addition of peroxide and vinegar in handy spray bottles will help me finally get that squeaky clean look I’ve been missing, especially since I ran out of the soda last month. I buy Baking Soda (or ‘Soda Bicarb’) in 50 Lb. bags at the local feed store and keep it in a large crock with a scoop under the bathroom sink. I often pour a cup soda and a cup of Epsom salts (which I also buy in bulk from the feed store) into a hot bath for a cleansing soak. It’s good for me – and the tub! 🙂

I LOVE microfiber cloths, and my husband even bought me a microfiber mop. This allows me to clean windows, polish my stove top, and clean my floor with nothing but water, and leave no streaks. I don’t ever by window cleaner. Talk about economical and green!

We are looking into getting a water softener which would help with all the hard water deposits in our shower and toilet. Meanwhile I’m gonna try a stainless steel scrubby, as Lindsay recommends, as well as a pumice stone, in case the steel scratches my enamel.

Something I find that does work in the bathroom is to just go ahead and give the sink and toilet a wipe down every day. It’s easier for me to fit this 2 min. job into my daily routine than to schedule a weekly bathroom scrub. The two minute wipe down really does keep on top of most of the grunge – I’ll do a serious walls, floor, and shower scrub once a month (my bathroom floor is carpet, so it mostly just gets a vacuum when I have the energy).

One of these days I’m gonna try soapnuts in my washer, and the soap nut oil in my dishwasher. Then I will be completely green with my cleaning supplies from kitchen to bath to laundryroom.

So you see, I’m making baby steps in this area. Slowly, without stressing myself, I’m trying to get the chemicals out and still keep my house clean. It’s a wonderful goal to spread out over a year or two…As you run out of a cleaner, look into replacing it with something natural. That’s how I started. 

How about you? Do you try to keep harmful chemical cleaners out of your home and your kids’ lungs (not to mention your own?) What do you use in your bathroom? Kitchen? What is your pet peeve when it comes to keeping things clean?

4 responses to “Squeaky Clean and Green”

  1. Traci Avatar

    I'm not much of a bleach person, as it mixes badly with our particular hard water (I've been told it must be something to do with the exact mineral composition that we have)… But I do use an awfully strong cleaner for our tub. It only takes about a week of showers before our tub turns completely orange. It's awful. I've tried the natural cleaners on the market (which are what I use in the kitchen, etc.) but nothing seems to even dent it. I've tried some natural recipes on it that involve creating a paste to leave set on it. Didn't cut it either. So please, please, share if you find anything.

    (until then my poor husband has to continue scrubbing the tub for his expectant wife so she doesn't keel over from the fumes)

  2. Trina Avatar

    DelightinginHim – I haven't done a whole lot of research, just trusting what others have published, as well as my own instincts. Fewer ingredients, and ones that I can pronounce are my guidelines when purchasing products (just like food labels).

    I'd encourage you to read some of what Katie over at Kitchen Stewardship has written about germs and bacteria – really eye opening, and it has assured me that simple cleaners really are sufficient for all but the worst messes (she has examples of the few times she uses bleach – something to do with a toilet backing up).

    If my bathroom looks and smells clean, I really feel that's a sign that all is well. And I can get that result with the natural cleaners.

  3. Whitney Avatar

    We've been using Charlie's soap for just about everything: toilet cleaner, anything cleaner, and laundry (the powder). It's cheap and effective. Love it!

  4. DelightinginHim Avatar

    Your plan sounds great…someday I would love to do that too! People have said that things like “simple green” and other “natural” cleaners aren't really….what is your take on that?
    I'm fine with using vinegar and soda and peroxide for most of the cleaning but I wonder about the toilet and other icky places that might need something stronger.

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