Monday, April 21, 2008

Cleaning Products

Hi everyone-
This morning as I was cleaning ahem, poo off the carpet I was really glad to have some good stuff to use, so I thought I maybe you all wouldn't mind if I shared my views about cleaning products. First off, we do all need to disinfect things sometimes, bath toys, bathtubs, toilets etc. Unfortunately that old favorite bleach is a strong oxidizing agent. This means that when it comes into contact with skin it burns it. From personal experience I know this doesn't not necessarily cause big bad heat type blisters, but it is still unhealthy. If you want some sources for more proof of why bleach is bad, I can look some up for you, but I have my M.S. in organic chemistry so I do know a little about chemicals. When we use bleach to disinfect things we can be careful by rinsing the surface carefully with water a bunch of times, and if the surface is non-porous this may be sufficient. However, there are alternatives that don't require so much care with their use and are equally effective. Herbal cleaning products and vinegar are two of my favorites. You can make your own, or buy them. I use products from a company called Melaleuca which sells something called Solumel (containing Tea Tree Oil) and another one that uses Thyme for disinfection. One other big safety hazard you may possess is dishwasher detergent. Most of these contain bleach also, and since we put it in the dishwasher, it is within reach of our children. Ok-enough of the blah blah blah...does anyone else have homemade cleaning products? Opinions?

18 comments:

the mama said...

arm and hammer super washing soda! i use it for everything!

Growininwillows said...

I am so glad someone asked this question. I am one of the ones who buys all the bad stuff and loves to use the clorox wipes on my countertop - but I am trying to not use them as much, but I still like them - it makes me feel like they are cleaner. can you make your own spray solution for the countertop?

the wallys said...

I have a website that has recipes for different types of non chemical cleaners to make your cleaning more "green". The web address is www.co.pierce.wa.us/xml/services/home/environ/waste/hazardous/greenkitre
Know that is a long web address....just do the first part if you want and it should lead you to the cleaning recipes. They are great.

Brandy said...

Just one little note-you can get your counters etc equally clean, that is microbe free, with "green" cleaners. So you don't have to sacrifice efficacy for safety.

Dim and Jana said...

alright... my two cents now...
I use my own cleaning products that I make. I found the "recipes" in an organic magazine that is no longer in print. For the kitchen I just mix vinegar and water. Sometimes I add some lemon essential oil to make it smell nice, but really it only smells for a few seconds. I wipe the counters with it everyday. For the bathrooms I use a solution that has Borax, vinegar, and water. I might post the "recipes" sometime when I get a free moment.
I've been known to use Clorox wipes as well, but I am really trying to get away from those. We started using them when we had MRSA going around this house and I wasn't sure if vinegar would kill the stuff.

Dim and Jana said...

Okay everyone... a few more questions... does anyone have a safe/homemade/green solution for the dishwasher? How about keeping toilets clean?

the wallys said...

I use baking soda and murphy's soap. Sprinkle baking soda inside and drop some soap in there too. Scrub with the brush. I also put some vinegar in too. I am very anal about germs so instead of using the smelly clorox that I used to use (and sometime still do) that is what we use.

the wallys said...

The above comment was for the toilet. Sorry I didn't clarify that. As for the dishwasher, I haven't seen or heard anything.....would like to know as well.

the mama said...

i use the arm and hammer super washing soda in the dishwasher instead of dishwasher soap. i just fill the little soap holder with the super soda the way you would dishwasher soap and let 'er rip! i actually think it does a better job than cascade or something else.

here's a link to what the box looks like:
http://www.fixitips.com/images-2/Washing-Soda-B0006M64XE.jpg

you can get it at the grocery store in the laundry detergent aisle. my cousin also uses it instead of laundry soap.

the bonus, it's cheap, cheap, cheap!

the mama said...

here's another link with some good recipes

Dim and Jana said...

Hey, RA--I went to the link you posted with recipes and then I clicked here...
http://www.diaperpin.com/clothdiapers/article_
bakingsoda.asp
It explains the difference between baking soda and washing soda. I didn't know the answer. Anyway I found it interesting that they say washing soda is caustic and you should wear gloves when handling, etc. So, my question is--Is it safe to use in the dishwasher/laundry? The site says to save it for really bad stains, etc. Hmmm???

the mama said...

boy... guess i definitely need to reevaluate! thanks for the info, D. i'll double check my source and the package (which of course i tossed).

my current obsession is bathroom products/ toiletries. all of this talk about hormone mimicking chemicals in moisturizers, toothpaste, etc... has me on edge.

Dim and Jana said...

In looking at baking soda versus washing soda I found this...

http://www.greenhome.com/info/
magazine/001/soitriedit.html

She makes it sound like it works and I like her recipe for laundry soap with borax, soap flakes, lavendar, and washing soda... maybe in small doses it's okay? She also goes into how that soda is a natural substance and that it seems that mining it isn't harmful to the environment... When I run out of my current laundry soap I might give this a try. Now to research using it for the dishwasher...

Dim and Jana said...

I just found this on the same site on how to make dishwasher soap... borax and washing soda... must be safe?
http://www.greenhome.com/
info/magazine/001/makemyself.html

the mama said...

please, PLEASE let me know what you find... this is fascinating to me.

now you've all got me started though... my

medicine cabinet
is being overhauled as we speak.

i'm starting to wonder about things like neosporin and vic's vaporub... i'm afraid i'm going to have to bring my laptop into the bathroom and research each ingredient separately.

Dim and Jana said...

The bathroom... yikes. I use some good stuff--Jason brand... but, not for everything. I still have some questionable stuff. Since you brought up Neosporin--We've used an alternative to that since the boys were born and someone gave it to me as a baby gift. It is called Great Grandma's Magic Salve and a woman makes it in CA. It really works just like Neosporin and it is made just from herbs, olive oil, and beeswax. You just call her to order and she sends it!
Dancing Herbs
(503) 623-5824

Brandy said...

Sorry to sounds salespersonish, but Melaleuca also sells dishwasher detergent which does not contain bleach or sulfates. Unfortunately it is a mail order company and unless you are a member the prices are a little steeper than the grocery store. However, I do have a membership and get a monthly order, so if anyone lives close enough to me to make delivery practical I can order stuff for you. I am sure all of the cleaning recipes that have been suggested here are also effective-I just like the convenience of ordering it.

Jenni said...

Washing soda is safer than borax, from what I understand. According to wikipedia, it's actually used in instant noodles! It is only caustic because it is concentrated - dilution in the hot water in your washer will more than take care of the problem!