Green Home Experiment: Week 6

Kim Conte

green cleaning productsScience_Spot recently made the decision to go green in her household and blog about her green living experiment along the way.

This week she cleans out her cleaning supply cabinet, replacing older products filled with chemicals with new natural alternatives.

The use of chemicals in my home is rather overwhelming. I find them everywhere. It really is easiest to manage this transition to all-natural in two steps: First, a good clean-out and inventory of what is commonly used. Second, replacing older products with new natural alternatives as the inventory runs out.

This week the focus was on cleaning supplies. This is an area in which I stand to save a lot of money by consolidating to fewer, cheaper, safer products. What I found out is that I do not need to buy expensive name-brand "green/natural" products in order to find safer alternatives.

I started with an inventory of the cleaning supply cabinet. I cleaned the toilet one last time with the little bit of Soft Scrub I had left. I threw out the Comet, last remaining Formula 409, carpet foam, carpet powder and Febreeze. This made room for the variety of cleaning supplies that I wrote about a few months ago in the post "How to Kill a Virus", including hydrogen peroxide, bleach, vinegar, ammonia and rubbing alcohol. I sorted these items, as well as stocked up on a few new spray bottles, a couple sponges and scrubbing brushes/toothbrushes. My cabinet looked a bit different.

I still have at least a 6-month supply of each Palmolive Antibacterial Dish Liquid, Softsoap Antibacterial Hand Soap, Dishwasher Detergent Powercubes and Tide Laundry Detergent. I will switch these will natural alternatives when the time comes. For now, there were enough cleaner changes underway to keep me busy!

After another long stop in the Cafemom group Green Organic Natural Simple Living, I had a really short list of products to use in place of the many I threw out. It seems almost everything in the kitchen can now be cleaned with a solution of 50 percent vinegar in water. Anything that is extra dirty could use a baking soda scrub or 100 percent vinegar and some elbow grease. The toilet will get borax (once I buy it) treatment when needed. I made a nice chart so I could keep track of these uses until it is committed to memory. The charts hang inside the cupboard doors for easy reference!

It turns out the chart was a particularly good idea. My husband needed to clean the stove-top (I didn't ask why), and he used my chart to locate the correct spray to use (50 percent vinegar in water). He said he had to add some baking soda and let it fizz, but it worked very well! When I told him I was glad he used my new cleaner, he stated "I HAD to! You threw everything else out!"

Haha, so I did.


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