post off: has your cleaning gone green?

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Now that Clorox has purchased Burt’s Bees, the bleach company claims it’s going green. (There is healthy skepticism about that, as you might imagine.) If you’ve been wary of green cleaning products that may not clean so well, the latest Good Housekeeping will help: they’ve reviewed cleaning products that are both green and effective. Have you made a switch to non-toxic, environmentally friendly cleaning products? Have any favorites? Let us know in comments.

From our partners
Jnett

Pardon me in advance while I rave about a shower cleaner. Our new favorite daily shower cleaner is Seventh Generation Shower Cleaner, natural citrus scent. First, I have to say it’s getting harder and harder to find. Our local big chain grocer used to carry it in their “healthy” section. They still carry a lot of the SG products, but not the shower cleaner. Now it’s getting hard to find at Whole Foods, too. We found one remaining bottle this past weekend, but then they had another version of the shower cleaner that had different ingredients. Havent’ tried that yet; a little worried.

anyway, this shower cleaner is the best thing on the planet as far as daily shower cleaners go. We’ve had glass-door shower enclosures for the last 3 or so years. If you’ve had such a shower, you know that keeping the water spots off of the glass is a pain, and getting the grime out of the joints is almost impossible. This stuff does both, without overwhelming toxic fumes. We’ve tried all the others, and they did a pathetic job and made me feel ill. This stuff cleans better than anything I’ve ever seen. We spray it every day after we are both done with our showers, and it ate through grime we couldn’t even see. There are never any water spots on the glass or the chrome, never a chemical smell, and mildew build up from the previous owners of our new house has been completely eliminated. We’ve been here 4 months and have only had to clean the shower floor 3 times. I know that sounds gross, like we tolerate ick or are lazy, but we are both clean freaks and our shower is CLEAN. This stuff is the bomb. If they stop making it I do not know how I am going to clean the shower.

Sarah

My sister uses cloth diapers and swears by soap nuts. http://www.maggiespureland.com/

Pricey, but she says they get the stains out better.

I like the Method bathroom stuff, but have to resort back to the Cholrox once a month or so to get a deep clean. We have the dreaded glass enclosure, too—I’ll have to look for the Seventh Generation!

LeeAnn

I use Purex Natural Elements laundry detergent. It gets our clothes just as clean as our previous non-green detergents. I usually don’t pre-treat or anything, and I have a messy husband and five year old.

Around the house, I use a vinegar and water spray. I haven’t bought an all-purpose cleaner in years.

To scrub sinks and tubs, I use Bon Ami, which is supposed to be more green than Comet or other such cleaners.

I didn’t initially quit using regular cleaners as a purely environmental measure – I have eczema, and the chemicals were making it worse. My one major concession is my soap-scum busting spray that I have to use occasionally. We have incredibly hard water here, and I’ve not found a natural product that will deal with the mineral and soap buildup.

I’ve always been a big fan of wipes – I hate having to dig out a bottle of some cleanser, find paper towels and do the whole spray-and-wipe thing. I started out using Lysol or Chlorox wipes, but I’ve recently discovered Method’s Go Naked wipes – they’re the best thing ever. I keep a package in my bathroom and one in my kitchen and they’re great for everything – a quick surface wipe or even scrubbing grease off the stovetop. They’re not flushable like some of Method’s other products (although I’m not sure why they’re not, since they’re basically the same product as the flushable wipe), but they’re completely biodegradable, so I don’t feel so bad throwing them away. I love them!

Laura

Vinegar. I use vinegar to clean the vast majority of things in our house. Add baking soda if it won’t come clean. I’m sure this “damages” some of the surfaces, but honestly? Most of our surfaces aren’t very pristine to begin with. There are squirt bottles with diluted white vinegar in our kitchen and bathroom along with small stacks of thrifted hankies. I add drops of essential oils when I feel frisky. Cheap, easy, and I rarely feel like I need anything more.

jnett, i was curious about the seventh generation shower cleaner and on a whim, took a look on drugstore.com and they have it and at a very good price. if all else fails for you, you may want to try there.

and for the record, i use a mixture of vinegar, lavender oil, teatree oil and water for cleaning almost everything.

Mary T

Thanks, ren. Do you follow a “recipe” for your cleaner? Where do you get the ingredients?

half white vinegar, half water, about a teaspoon of tea tree oil (purchased at the drugstore) and maybe ten to twenty drops of lavender oil (purchased from the health food store). easy peasy. and it smells nice too.

Sonya

I use vinegar/water solution for all general purpose cleaning as well, and it works great for us. I will have to try adding scented oil – but my husband hates flowery smelling things. Also use baking soda for cleaning just about everthing – works well and doesn’t make my skin itch like other cleaners.

Elle

Adding olive oil to a white vinegar/tea tree oil/water blend also makes a fantastic wood polish!

I make a blend of Simple Green concentrate diluted with water, with drops of tea tree and lavender oil added, and any other oils I feel like adding that day – rosemary is a nice one, too. I use that for nearly everything – tiles, counters, mirrors, greasy stove, fridge shelves, etc. A combination of that and dish or liquid hand soap (7th Gen. or something like it, natch), with a good brush and some muscle, works on the tub. It smells good and doesn’t hurt anyone or anything that I know of. If I need to get something really stubborn out of the sink or tub, I use peroxide, because I hate chlorine. Is peroxide OK?