It’s time for THE BASICS, 7 products (and supplies) you should use to get started on your green clean adventure.
This is not as intimidating as it sounds and YES, for all you skeptics, green cleaning can still kill germs and keep your space sanitized.
My arsenal of cleaning supplies started with the most obvious choices, store bought cleaning solutions. For all you beginners, this is great place to start. While most “eco” or “organic” cleaners only have to contain 1% organic materials to allow the manufacturer to label it as such, there are some decent options to choose from. I look at two things when choosing a cleaning product. First the number of ingredients and what I know about them, and second the warnings. If the product tells you to wash all surfaces with soap and water AFTER using the product, it is certainly not safe for you or your family. Warnings like those are there for a reason, they are bad for your health and the company must tell you it is toxic. Read carefully and stay away from toxic products!
OK, so of the few good options, I bought from Seventh Generation and Meyers. Both companies do have a few more additives than I like, but are still certainly more safe than brand name. If you can’t find either of these brands at your local grocery store, Target usually has both.
I bought 4 products right off the bat, and these 4 have pretty much solved all my household cleaning needs! 3 of the 4 are Seventh Generation and include : All-Purpose cleaner, Tub and Tile Cleaner, and Window Cleaner. The 4th item is Meyers all natural dish soap.
Why dish soap you ask?? That little bottle of concentrated soap has enough degreasing power to scrub dog scum off of floors, oily kitchen film off of cabinets and countertops, caked on dust from your windowsills, and so so much more!
There are just 3 more products that I have found to be essential: White Vinegar, Baking Soda, and Borax. These 3 powerhouses do more than just make elementary volcano explosions.
White Distilled Vinegar is a powerhouse for disinfecting. The acidic nature of vinegar makes it self-preserving, no refrigeration required, for an infinite shelf life! With a pH of 2-3, vinegar is considered a weak acid chemically, which makes it non-toxic for animals and humans alike. Even though it is a “weak” acid, vinegar is about 5% acetic acid, which denatures (breaks up) the proteins and fats that make up germs and viruses! Spray vinegar into a dirty microwave, oven, or fridge and let sit to loosen up the grime, or add ¼ to ½ cup to your mop water for added cleaning power.
Baking Soda, now here is an ingredient we all know. Mom used it for years in the fridge to take away odors, or even tossed some in the washing machine to keep it smelling fresh, but this cleaner can be used on so much more. A simple paste with baking soda and a little water will help you scrub off just about any caked on mess. Add a few tablespoons to your toilet or tub before you scrub to easily take off grime and stains.
Borax… now this product was foreign to me, but has been around for over 4000 years. Borax, also known as Sodium borate decahydrate (among other names), is a natural mineral compound found deep within the ground. The mined chunks of borax are then ground into crystals and used in a number of industrial ways. It is odorless, non-flammable, non-reactive, and can be mixed with most other cleaning agents (even bleach- although you should not use bleach because of its toxicity). It is used as a laundry booster, fungicide, herbicide, disinfectant, and multipurpose cleaner. Add a ¼ cup to your toilet and let sit for atleast 15 minutes to dissolve grime and hard water rings. It is also great for cleaning grout (everybody’s favorite job) lol. Just add ¼ to ½ cup borax per gallon of water, grab your favorite scrub brush and use some good ‘ol fashion elbow grease. Let the freshly scrubbed grout sit for 15-20 minutes and scrub once more to really get the crud off.
Next we have tools, I’ll make it simple because there is no need to get fancy when you want a good clean.
I use : household rags (recycled old shop towels or regular towels), microfiber towels (great for dusting), scrub brush (mine is a hand-held plastic bristle model), mop, broom and dust pan, squeegee, and paper towels.
THAT’S IT. 7 Products to get you started.
Stay tuned while I walk you through easy and green ways to clean stubborn things in your home.