Living a healthy lifestyle does not stop at eating real whole food, although that’s the best start! Achieving optimal health also extends to your immediate environment. Think about it – does it make sense to work hard at purifying your body by eating real whole food if you’re inhaling toxins and slathering chemical-laden products on your skin? No. It was after doing research about the dangerous chemicals in beauty/home products that I rid myself of them immediately. I’m not taking any chances with my health or the health of my family.
I’ve been asked many times about the cleaning supplies I use. There are plenty of options out there and I’ve tried many. What I find interesting is how my sense of smell has changed. I find that when I’m in some people’s homes (or around some people themselves) that the smell is too much for me now, because they wear strong cologne or they use air fresheners or home cleaning products full of chemicals. I never picked up on that before because I used them myself… but I do now and it’s hard to be in places (or around people) that smell toxic. Everyone is on his/her own journey however. Heck, it wasn’t that long ago that I threw away my favored perfume. I concentrated on the food I was eating and my physical fitness routine for a long time before venturing into the territory of changing my beauty and home care routines.
Furthermore, let’s talk about the environment. What’s so great about using bleach or chemical-laden products to keep your toilet and counters clean, if you’re polluting and damaging the environment (including your drinking water). Every little step we can take to help our environment is great – from recylcing to using our own bags at the store to air drying our clothes to using eco-friendly cleaning products.
Last but not least, you can save money by making your own products (and it’s so easy)! Yes, there are a number of green cleaning products you can buy (for example… Mrs. Meyers brand is lovely and popular), but it’s cheaper to whip up your own. I’d rather save the money by making my own, then treat myself to organic produce! Either way, if you’re buying or making green cleaning products you’re making a world of difference for your health, your family’s health, and the earth. Now, that’s just plain SMART!
Here are some of the things I’m doing to keep my home clean:
Laundry – 1-2 caps of Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap. I have tried many brands, like Seventh Generation, soap nuts, making my own off google recipes, but I can’t imagine it getting any simpler than Dr. Bronner’s unscented soap. Note: for extra brightening power, add 3 oz of chlorine free bleach by Seventh Generation as the water fills up (before adding your clothes if you have a top loader, otherwise just put in the bleach compartment of your front loader washing machine.
Scrubbing – baking soda does the trick. Or, another good one is Bon Ami Polishing Cleanser.
All-Purpose Cleaning – Get a 32 oz spray bottle and put in the following: 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar, a small squirt of Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap, 1/2 cup chlorine free bleach by Seventh Generation (or there’s another brand… Ecover, I think), and fill the rest with water. Optional: add 10-20 drops of tea tree oil (and/or 10-20 drops lavender oil). I use this recipe for counters, bathrooms, tile floors, walls, etc.
Extra Basic All-Purpose Cleaning – Get a 32 oz spray bottle and put in 1 cup distilled white vinegar, a small squirt of Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap, and fill the rest with water. Use this recipe the same as above. This (and the recipe above) are great for disinfecting and deodorizing.
Mirrors – Get a 32 oz spray bottle and fill it halfway with water and top off the second half with distilled white vinegar. How easy, safe and great is that???
Ant Deterrent – Put peppermint scented Dr. Bronner’s soap in a spray bottle with some water and spray along windowsills and cracks.
Toilet Cleaning Power – Baking soda and distilled white vinegar. Scrub away the germs and enjoy a shiny toilet bowl.
Dishes – I love washing dishes by hand because it’s relaxing to me. And, with raw food, washing dishes is a snap! My routine is generally to let them soak in a sink of water which has a squirt of Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap. For extra cleaning power, add a splash of chlorine free bleach by Seventh Generation
Heavy Duty Cleaner – Get a bucket of hot water and add a squirt of Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap, 1/2 cup baking soda, 10-15 drops tea tree oil and optionally, you can add 5-10 drops lavender oil.
Of course, use towels for wiping (paper towels are wasteful) or tear up some old t-shirts.
That’s it! It seems like it should be more complicated, but it is really all about simplifying.