Since Tuesday was the first day of Spring, I thought it was time to share some ways to go green while you're spring cleaning! In 2006, I first read Christopher Gavigan’s book Healthy Child, Healthy World, and it opened my eyes to some of the possible dangers of chemicals in many common household products.
Christopher later went on to found the Honest Company with my supermomma friend Jessica Alba. He talks about how small exposures to these chemicals may seem harmless, but the big issue is about cumulative effects due to chronic exposure. There are days when I literally catch my kids and dogs eating off the floor and the countertops, so today I do all I can to make sure that the products I use to clean my home are natural and nontoxic.
You can make your own safe, natural cleaning products that will clean everything from toilets to tiles, floors, and fixtures— from ingredients you already have around the house! And I’ll show you how to do that. If that’s a little too much effort for you, there are more and more safe, nontoxic cleaning products on the market to choose from (like the Honest Company’s products). Making better choices and reducing your family’s exposure to toxic chemicals begins with reading labels and becoming better informed across the board.
SOME FRIENDLIER, GREENER CLEANERS:
These guys below are tried and true when it comes to cleaning and greening. Stock up on them for a DIY green clean.
BAKING SODA: Baking soda is a nontoxic bicarbonate cleaning machine! It’s great for scrubbing toilets and cleaning grout and is truly incredible for removing dirt. Not to mention, it kills microorganisms and is effective against yucky bacteria.
BORAX POWDER: This antibacterial bleaching agent is safe for the environment and has low toxicity.
- HYDROGEN PEROXIDE: A natural stain remover, you can put peroxide directly on clothes or fabric stains and rinse off with cold water. It’s also effective for disinfecting toothbrushes, retainers, and mouth guards. Sexy!
- 100% CASTILE SOAP: Made from all- natural plant oils, this cleanser is completely biodegradable and earth- friendly. The simple combo of hot water and castile soap makes for an all- purpose cleaner. A 1:1 ratio makes a great dish or hand soap. Or mix a little baking soda with some hot water and castile soap for a gentle tub, tile, and sink scrub. Castile soap is even gentle enough to wash fruits and veggies with, and it helps remove waxes and pesticides.
- DISTILLED WHITE VINEGAR: Vinegar is not just for salads! I’ve always known that vinegar was good for cleaning, but I had no idea just how versatile of a product it was until recently. It’s truly amazing for removing dirt and for polishing glass, and it’s incredibly effective against bacteria and microorganisms too.
- VODKA: Believe it or not, vodka is an excellent window cleaner and fixture cleaner. Spray it on and witness its streak- free powers! Because vodka kills germs, add it to a spray bottle, mix in a few drops of your favorite essential oil, and use as an air freshener or to freshen up your mattress or couch. But don’t make yourself a martini at the same time— otherwise not much cleaning will likely get accomplished!
- LEMON JUICE: Not just for lemonade! Lemon juice is highly acidic (even stronger than vinegar) and is therefore an effective killer of most bacteria. It’s also a natural lightening agent and can be added to a variety of homemade household cleaning products, such as grout cleaners and laundry detergents.
- CITRUS ESSENTIAL OILS: Lemon and grapefruit essential oils have antiseptic properties, and they smell so clean and fresh. They are great for adding to your homemade cleaning products in whatever scents are your favorites.
- ELECTRIC DIFFUSERS OR ESSENTIAL OIL STICK DIFFUSERS: Instead of using the synthetic aerosol air fresheners or the chemical-laden ones that plug in, try an electric or ceramic diffuser ring placed around a lightbulb that uses essential oils to freshen the environment.
SUPERMOMMA TIP TO THE WISE:
While natural cleaners are effective in many cases, many of them are not registered by the Environmental Protection Agency as certified disinfectants. For example, vinegar and baking soda are not proven effective against salmonella or E. coli. So if you suspect that a surface has been contaminated, use one of the cleaning agents registered by the EPA, and always use in a well- ventilated room, wearing gloves, and with caution.
shop MY FAVORITE GREEN PRODUCTS:
How are you keeping your space cleaner and greener? Let me know below!