Greening My Cleaning

I’ve made a New Year’s Resolution of sorts.  And I’m posting about it on January 7th, which shows the depth of my commitment.  I’ve been so busy sticking to my resolution that I haven’t had time for anything else.

I actually decided a few months ago that I would stop using commercial cleaning products around the house.  I had an epiphany one day last summer.  I realized that I only mopped the floors or cleaned the windows while C was napping upstairs, so that she wouldn’t be nearby to inhale all the fumes from the cleaners.  Then I thought “why is not okay for C to inhale all this, but it’s fine for me?” 

I decided to switch over to good, old-fashioned vinegar and water for a lot of my household cleaning.  Baking soda is my new best friend.  And for disinfecting, rubbing alcohol is up to the task.

So why did I wait until now to put this into effect?  Well, we still had lots of commercial cleaning products on hand, and, being thrifty people, couldn’t bring ourselves to throw them out.  Pete and I just couldn’t do it.  As much as we’re committed to our new, green, cleaning regime, we were just too cheap.  Life is full of dilemmas.

Life is also full of challenges, and this new green cleaning commitment has presented a new one for Pete.  I love my Swiffer WetJet, but I want to stop cleaning the floors with the liquid in their cartridges.  I asked Pete whether he could MacGyver me a cartridge for the WetJet that would allow me to use my vinegar and water mixture on the floors.  He is an engineer, after all.  It was on his holiday-to-do-list and he even made a special trip to Home Depot for supplies, but got sidetracked by another project.  I’m still waiting for my green, non-toxic, MacGyvered Swiffer WetJet.

Photo via Swiffer

Photo via Swiffer

So, while I wait, a question for all of you: have any of you undertaken a similar change?  I’m hoping to tackle household toxins in other ways, and I’m eager for tips.  Happy New Year (seven days late), everyone!

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2 thoughts on “Greening My Cleaning

  1. I made the same commitment when we moved to our new house. I’m still using a few commercial project – Mrs. Myers green all purpose cleaner – it cleans everything (one bottle instead of 7) and it smells nice. I still have a few chemically products, mostly Pledge and Windex – for the same reasons as you and Pete, but once they’re gone they’re gone!
    We also use Dr. Bronners All Purpose soap. I think you’d like it – it’s a clean product and you dilute it 1:1 so it lasts FOREVER. I’ve got a bottle of peppermint that fills all of our hand pumps and a citrus one for the shower. Next step – shampoo and conditioner. I’ve heard apple-cider vinegar does an amazing job, but I think the smell might be a little too hippy-dippy for me. 🙂

  2. Let me know how shampoo and conditioner goes. I’m interested in going that route, too. Yesterday I told Pete that we needed an organic mattress and he now thinks I’m either a) crazy or b) joking.
    Would I be able to find Dr. Bronners around here, do you think? In our medium-sized town?

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