Thursday, February 19, 2009

Really Green Cleaning Products

Cleaning products are really scary for the health and development of young children. According to a 2005 Body Burden study, children are exposed to toxic chemicals even in utero and "Chemical exposures in the womb or during infancy can be dramatically more harmful than exposures later in life." Indoor air is often more toxic than outdoor air because of the chemicals used in cleaning and the modern materials used in furniture and building materials. 

Replacing the cleaning products under your sink with less toxic ones can be an inexpensive way to green your home. But sometimes going green doesn't mean buying the latest and greatest product--it means turning back the clock to a pre-Ajax era. Baking soda is a terrific cleanser for the sink, stove, and bathroom. It is not only safe to clean with but it is also used as a detoxifying bath. It takes a little more elbow grease, but its so healthy you can bathe in it and you can even have your kids clean the bathroom with you! Adding a little vinegar to the baking soda makes a great paste to clean your stove. Putting a little vinegar in a spray bottle with some water works very well instead of windex or fantastic. And although your kitchen might smell like a salad, at least you can give the bottle to your kids to help you clean the cabinets without worrying about them getting poisoned.

Here is a link to some cleaning product recipes that will allow you to replace some of the toxic products in your home with green, homemade versions:

I truly believe less is more when it comes to cleaning products for the home. This is not one problem you can easily shop your way out of because green cleaning products are sometimes environmentally more conscious but not safe. But, Mountain Rose Herbs sells Baking Soda for use in organic products that you can buy in bulk. They also sell Epsom Salt. And you can buy the book Better Basics for the Home: Simple Solutions for Less Toxic Living to get more information about homemade cleaning products. Amazon even has the recipe for a homemade silver polish !


Our Family Is His said...

Lemon, baking soda, vinegar and so on our are cleaning friends in this house. You can make an awesome soak for cloth diapers by putting 1 gallon of hot water (doesn't have to stay hot, but it helps for dissolving the baking soda), a dash of baking soda and a dash of lemon juice. And, if you want to have lots of fun, put the baking soda and lemon juice in first and let your kids watch. It foams way up, would make a great substance for those volcanoes schools are famous for requiring. We even use vinegar instead of Jet Dry products.

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