A friend of mine asked me to write a post about natural cleaning and natural and chemical/poison free cleaning products, and I'm happy to do so. In fact, I'm shocked I haven't thought to do it before. There are many reasons to stick to natural and chemical/poison free cleaning products, whether or not you have a child. In fact, I made the switch to natural cleaning products long before Aias was even a thought. Why would you want to breathe in and possibly ingest chemicals when you don't have to; especially when your primary goal is to have things clean so you don't get sick! For a while I was using about 90% natural chemicals (a little Windex here and there), but then I switched to 100% natural products when I got my pets. For a while I had birds and rabbits, and both of those animals are very sensitive to any variety of air pollutant, including the remnants of whatever you may be cleaning with. When I got my dog Max there came there concern of him ingesting some sort of chemical by licking food off the floor or what not. It's just easier to know that you don't have any toxins in your home, that way in the rare event that your pet or child accesses it, you know there won't be a trip to the ER or worse.
One way of cleaning naturally is to purchase products that are non-toxic. Some brands that I've used in the past are Greenworks, Seventh Generation, Bio-Vert and Nature Clean (check specific products for whether or not they are toxic). These products definitely do the job and are convenient if you don't want to take the time to make your own cleaning products. The downside of them is that they cost more money, of course, using more toxic products could have a much biggest cost to your health or to the health of your child or pet.
If you want to use natural products but you don't want to make them from scratch, I strongly suggest buying a bottle of Castile Soap. My two favorite brands of Castile Soap are Dr. Bronner's, Mountain Sky, and Kiss My Face. What is Castile Soap?
"Castile soap is a soap made with fat of purely vegetable origin, rather than animal fats such as tallow. This type of soap has historically been highly prized and viewed as a high quality soap which is gentle on the skin and useful for a range of other applications. Many stores sell castile soap, and this soap is a specialty of several regions in Europe, where it is made with various traditional ingredients. It is also possible to purchase a castile soap base for the purpose of blending your own soaps. - http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-castile-soap.htm"Basically Castile soap is a soap you can use for just about anything, all you need to do is mix it with water. The Mountain Sky website has a great list of water to soap ratios for various uses. For a while I was using Castile soap for absolutely everything from washing my body to washing my floors. The only downside of this is that after a while you may get sick of everything smelling the same. If you go the Castile soap route, I suggest you buy the smaller bottles unless you are 100% certain you want everything in your home and life to smell a certain way for a very long time.
If you want to get even more hardcore and take the time to just make your products, all you need are ingredients such as baking soda, vinegar, and lemon juice. There are recipes everywhere detailing specific "cleaning recipes" but I especially like the ones listed here.
Another tip: if you want to clean your floors without using only water, check out these steam mops!
Oh and by the way, it's not just kids and pets that can accidentally swallow cleaning products; check this personal journal entry from a couple of years ago from when I accidentally ate our laundry soap even when our laundry room was completely outside of our dwelling!
Ok, here is how I swallowed the laundry detergent. This was a long time in the making, really.Irritation did not persist. So yes, it's much better to just not have poisonous chemicals in your home, period. Luckily VIP is a pretty natural-ish brand and I didn't get sick from consuming it. Probably not my most shining moment ever.
When I moved in here, Morgan and I happened to have the same black measuring cup sets. We kept one in the drawer in the kitchen and the other under the sink. We use this laundry detergent called VIP and it doesn't come with a scoop, so I brought the 1/8 cup down to the laundry room to scoop the laundry soap. By the same token, we happen to use the other 1/8 cup scoop to scoop powdered milk, which is the only kind of milk we use because we only use it for coffee and cooking (I know, it's like we are 80).
Anyhow, the laundry soap apparently ran out on Friday so Morgan brought it upstairs, threw the bag out, and left the scoop next to the sink so it could be washed (I don't know why it would even need washing but whatever). When I went to put powdered milk in my coffee, I saw the scoop, and it had like 2 tablespoons of soap in it, but it honestly looks exactly like powdered milk so I put that AND another scoop into my coffee. The coffee tasted weird, but not gross, and it was a brand new blend anyway so I just thought it was weird coffee.
Then Morgan came downstairs and was like "uh, you didn't use that did you" and I was like duh I did, wasn't it for powdered milk, and he explained the whole thing.
I looked at the back of the laundry soap and it just said "If swallowed drink a whole glass of water. If irritation persists, call your doctor."
Now go forth and clean your homes, and rest assured no one will get poisoned as a result!
Vote for us on Picket Fence Blogs!