Thursday, March 31, 2011

Nesting & Homemade Cleaners

Earlier this year I wrote about 2 baby steps I was taking towards a healthier lifestyle.  One was drinking 8-10 glasses of water a day and the other was giving my morning coffee a makeover.  I'm happy to report that both are still going strong.  International Delight has not graced my refrigerator in over 2 months! Woo hoo!  Being 8 months pregnant, my nesting instinct feels like it's in overdrive.  I have all the usual organizing urges but this pregnancy, I have an especially strong urge to further "green" our home.  There is a definition of nesting on urban dictionary that says:

"Nesting is a ritual performed by pregnant women in ridding the house, the “nest”, from anything potentially harmful to the soon to be born child."

Interesting!  I have been coming across more and more articles and stories about the toxins we are exposed to in our own homes from cleaning products.  It's truly overwhelming and often I've felt paralyzed to change.  I've gone through phases where I've purchased more expensive supposedly "natural" cleaning products and times when I buy whatever is on sale or what I have a coupon for.  I'm ready to just settle it once and for all, especially before Reese is born.  The problem is, how do you really, truly know what is safe when companies are not required to list all of the ingredients on their labels?!  Furthermore, the stuff that is supposedly safe and "green" is significantly more expensive than the regular cleaners and not something we can afford on a regular basis and certainly not for all our home maintenance needs.  What's a girl to do?

Make your own cleaners! Completely.  From scratch.  Bye, bye clorox! It can be done.  I have chosen to give this route a shot for 2 reasons.  One, I know, without a doubt what is in my cleaners.  Everything I'm using is completely safe and non-toxic.  Second, it's way more economical.   A win-win! 

 Here's a picture of some products I chucked.  Literally, I threw them away.  They are toxic!

Here's what you need to make your own cleaners: Castile Soap, Baking Soda, Vinegar.  That's it! It's really that simple.  

So far I have cleaned the bathrooms using my "new" method and I've been pleased.  I don't miss the "smell" of the cleaners as they really do smell chemically.  Another big bonus is being able to clean with Parks right there not having to worry about him around the cleaners.  Plus, the products are so simple, you don't need a million different bottles.  These three ingredients can handle virtually all of your cleaning needs.   

I have a few more green initiatives to share but I don't want to overload you so I'll do it one at a time.  Stay tuned for more green & frugal posts! 


esther. said...

I've thought about doing this but haven't made the plunge yet. I hear Borox is also a great, natural ingredient for cleaning. I saw some when I was in the cleaning isle at Target this past weekend.

esther. said...

And I can't spell, it's Borax.

Megan said...

What is the sanitizing agent in the homemade cleaners? My biggest concern is getting rid of bacteria on surfaces in my home. I already have baking soda and vinegar in my pantry, where does one get Castile soap?

mallory said...

Esther, I've heard good things about Borax too. My next thing to conquer is laundry and that's where i hear a lot about Borax being used. I'll keep you posted if I use it.

Megan, vinegar is a sanitizing agent. It kills bacteria, mold and other germs (kills 99 percent of bacteria, 82 percent of mold and 80 percent of viruses.) Castile soap is a 100% vegetable based soap that also has germ killing ability. Another way to further up the germ-killing aspect is to add certain essential oils into the vinegar, such as tea tree oil and lavender. Certain essential oils are naturally antiseptic and antibacterial, plus they smell good if you don't like the smell of vinegar or just want something "clean smelling".

Castile soap can be purchased at any natural food store and my Trader Joe's sells it. My big bottle cost $9.99 but it is super concentrated and lasts a long time. Another disinfectant you could use is vodka in a spray bottle with a few drops of essential oil.