Sunday, February 27, 2011

Frugal and Eco Friedly Cleaning in My home.

This is a bit of a boring post, but I wanted to share it for those who are looking for a way to reduce the use of detergents and chemicals to clean their homes.
That's Tara, my niece Alex and my son David, kids I adore!

When I decided to stay home and work at home, I knew already that I would have to make my home "any" child friendly. I decided first, on no pets, then on cleaning the home without chemicals and making it eco friendly too.
Cleaning without chemicals is a choice great choice, after all the information available about how we absorb, ingest and breathe cancer/skin condition/asthma causing ingredients in most household cleaners, I am not sure why people still insist on using them in a home with small children. It was enough to make me completely change the way I did things in my home.

Some more of the kids, we spend a lot of time playing on the floor!

I was introduced to Norwex by a friend, they sell eco friendly products that are incredible for cleaning the house from top to bottom, great for when you have young children.  I bought a small amount of things from her, as the products are very costly. What I realized though was that I loved the micro-fibre cloths and was very impressed with a lot of the products, but could not afford them all. I decided on the baby cloths for washing my son up, on the kitchen cloths, and scrubbers, and cleaning paste.
Micro-fibre cloths and mop heads started popping up everywhere (even the dollar store), so I bought a mop with 3 pads from Canadian Tire, lots of cloths (special ones for glass too) and a few other minor items, like dish cloths and microfibre tea towels from the dollar store. Micro-fibre pics up the dust, leaves glass spotless and really makes clean without much more than hot water, vinegar and baking soda for the tough spots. "Microfiber textiles designed for cleaning clean on a microscopic scale. According to tests using microfiber materials to clean a surface leads to reducing the number of bacteria by 99%, whereas a conventional cleaning material reduces this number only by 33%"
I love how you can clean the carpet spots with microfibre towels, they seem to pic up dirt and not re-release it like regular towels. I use regular rags for really dirty jobs, start with those and finish with microfibre.
Table salt is another favourite, I use it to scrub pots, scrub around the sink and even in the tub (mix it with a little liquid dish soap and it brilliantly removes any grime build up, I haven't had a ring in a few years!!) for an extra scrubby yet eco-friendly cleaning boost.
For my floors, I mix a little dish soap in with super hot water, it cuts through the grease in the kitchen and leaves the floor sparkling. Then I boil lemon rinds (yes I save them for a day or two, or you can just use vinegar) and use the liquid for rinsing the floor. Then I give it a quick once over with a dry pad to pick up anything left behind. Hence the three mop pads. The mop pad is great for picking up dust off the walls, static makes it cling and you can see it in the stair case, yuck!
About the only place I still use store bought cleaner (eco-friendly) is the toilet, but if you run the toilet brush in it every day or two just after you use it, it keeps it from having any yucky build-up. Then you can disinfect it with the toilet liquid and voila!
My house isn't always spic and span, but it is very child friendly, they can play on the floor because there is no chemicals on it, they even help with cleaning their little finger prints off the wall, because microfibre is child friendly unlike a certain Mr's magic eraser!
When you are done with a cloth, you can just throw them in the wash like regular laundry (without using fabric softener, another environmental killer) and hang to dry. I wash them along with my sheets and pillow cases, they come out like new!

Here's a list of the common household items to use, they do double duty at half the price of chemical cleaners, and are fine for the environment.
  • Assorted Micro-fibre cloths
  • White vinegar
  • Liquid dish soap or soft soap
  • Bicarbonate of Soda (Baking Soda or Soda Crystals)
  • Salt
  • Assorted Rags – Anything of cloth origin (old towels, sheets, t-shirts) past its best cut up and stored for those really dirty jobs
  • Stainless Steel Scourer/Pot Scrubber
  • Citrus – any old lemons/limes even halves which have been juiced
Although microfibre is not made from renewable resource and is not bio-degradable, they last a very, very long time (contray to Norwex's rule to replace every six months, which is just a marketing ploy) and can be washed thousands of times without much wear compared to cotton fibre cloths. What I love the most is that you don't need detergents or cleaning solutions, just a little elbow grease to get the job done!


1 comment:

Donnie said...

Those cloths make a great paper towel for cleaning mirrors and glass too. We don't get a newspaper anymore so I use one of them and throw in the laundry. Great post.


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