Last month, I blogged about my non-toxic choices for basic day-to-day cleaning. This entry can be found HERE.
I set out on a CLEAN mission last year. My mission is simple. To replace carcinogens and endocrine disrupting chemicals throughout my home with clean alternatives. I do this because many who are smarter than me are working to link unregulated chemicals to cancers such as breast and skin. And while they work to prove these links, and while we wait for the FDA to catch up, I am not taking any chances with my family. So it’s up to me to do my research, because the industry is currently unregulated.
More Than 40 Nations Have Stricter Cosmetic Safety Regulations Than the U.S. Europe has banned 1,400 ingredients. The USA has banned 11 ingredients. (The parabens and formaldehyde releasers I keep talking about are banned in many countries, but not in ours. *Formaldehyde releasers are one of the toxic carcinogens I found in many things, including my cleaning products.) California is leading the charge, banning 20 of the worst chemicals on their own. This was clear to me during our time in SF, they are ahead of the game, compared to us midwesterners. But we ARE catching up, and we care!!
Is it hard to go Clean?
It is NOT difficult to replace toxic products with clean products. There are many safe options out there, and many of my friends have gone before me. However, it is very time consuming to do the switch right. It is for this reason that I am slowly going through my house, REPLACING as I go. I started with our largest organ, our skin. Once I was sure that my family was not in the practice of putting potentially harmful products directly on our skin, I moved to other household items.
Spring CLEANing – Multi-purpose
So here we are. It’s March, the season of spring CLEANing. I am going to tackle multi-purpose cleaners. While I use wipes and micro-fiber cloths for my daily needs, I need to have a multi-purpose cleaner for that once-a-week deep clean, when my house gets head-to-toe spotless. So here is what I found.
First off, I want to be completely transparent, my beloved cleaning lady, Gosia, runs the show at my house. I do NOT do this deep cleaning myself. I run the day-to-day maintenance and she tackles the big ticket items like the floors, bathrooms, windows, etc.
When I started this journey, I made a mistake. My enthusiasm got the best of me and while I was shopping, I impulsively bought Seventh Generation All-Purpose Cleaner. I was thinking, well it HAS to be better than what we are using. I handed it off to Gosia. She had an allergic reaction, and she told me that she would power through the sneezing if it meant KEEPING REESE SAFE, but that this product just wasn’t agreeing with her. Hmm. That was the last time I impulsively wasted money trying to go clean without research. It actually helped to set me on this trajectory of slow and smart: informed decisions. (And my husband appreciates this, too! $)
Why did Seventh Generation make Gosia sneeze? Well, we don’t exactly know which ingredient, but I do know that the product I handed her receives a C grade from EWG. This is the tricky part… Seventh Generation makes a killer dishwasher pod (Graded A) but that doesn’t mean that EVERY product is so clean. If only there was ONE company… and we could just buy with abandon! Sadly, there isn’t, yet. Now here’s the interesting part, one of the cleaners that Gosia WAS using is Mr Clean Antibacterial Summer Citrus cleaner. This is “cleaner” than the Seventh Generation product I handed her! It receives a Grade of B (but the formaldehyde releasers and the possible link to cancer makes it a no for us anyway.) The other product we were using was Formula 409 Antibacterial (Grade of F for respiratory effects, developmental/endocrine/reproductive effects, skin irritation/allergies/damage.)
So what are we using in my house now?
Multi-Purpose Cleaner: Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds Biodegradable Cleaner.
This is a concentrate, 1 1/2 tsp per gallon for general house cleaning. I am planning to reuse my old multi-purpose cleaner bottles, and I have a lot of them. (Recycle!) Many of you have your own concoctions of vinegar based mixtures that you use in your homes. This is SO COOL, and we have tried this, too. This is an effective way to clean, as long as you do NOT add “fragrance”. I say this all the time, but “fragrance” is a code word for secret ingredients (hundreds) that a company adds that they don’t have to disclose for proprietary reasons. So, if you make your own CLEAN cleaner, and add a smell with the ingredient “fragrance”, you might as well just use something off the shelf. So be careful, I’ve had a lot of conversations about this, it seems to be a common mistake!! It’s not fair, it’s the world we live in, for now.
How can I get my hands on this concentrate?
- Amazon Prime: $15.35 for 16 fl oz (this makes about 30 liters)
- Dr. Bronner’s: $9.99 for 16 fl oz (Dr Bronner’s makes a lot of great CLEAN products, like the spray hand sanitizer and lip balm. Free shipping is $35+)
Floor Cleaner: Aunt Fannie’s Floor Cleaner Sweet Mandarin
This is a vinegar wash concentrate. (You will notice that a lot of my replacements are vinegar based.) Why has vinegar been used forever to clean? It works. From the bottle: “No need for any nasty stuff. We simply add powerful plant-based cleaners to work fast and 100% essential oils for a fresh scent that breathes clean.” I’ll take it!
How can I get my hands on this floor cleaner?
- Amazon Prime: $9.99 for 32 fl oz (this makes about 16 gallons)
- Aunt Fannie’s: $8.99 for 32 fl oz (I use this site to order. I also get the wipes & bathroom cleaner, all Graded A! So by purchasing three of my cleaning products here, I hit the minimum of $20 for free shipping.)
Thank you for joining me on this journey. I am learning so much, from you!!!