I mop and clean the windows vinegar and water, and I use baking soda to scrub everything else. But what about the rest of the house? I don’t make everything we clean with around here. We buy a few products to keep everything else clean and as chemical free as possible.
Laundry: I used to make our own laundry detergent using a recipe of grated soap, borax and washing soda. I thought it worked great for a while and we saved a bunch of money… until our clothes started to STINK. All of our clothes. All the time. It was super gross. So now we use store-bought stuff. I’ve tried pretty much every brand because I have very sensitive skin. Right now we’ve settled on Whole Foods Market brand Green Mission Organic Laundry Detergent for all our clothes and Rockin Green for the cloth diapers. In the past we’ve been happy with Charlie’s Soap for both, as well. For the diapers, I use a few drops of tea tree oil when I need to deodorize.
Fabric Softener: If I had my way, it’d just be dryer balls (when we use the dryer), but the husband can’t seem to give up dryer sheets. He even makes special trips to buy them all by himself. I don’t use them, but since we tag team everything, including laundry, they still get used about half the time. They are at least fragrance free, but not really ideal.
Dishwasher: Like the laundry, I tried making my own for a while. I used Borax and washing soda with white vinegar as a rinse aid. But after a while there was terrible build up on all of our dishes. Nothing looked clean, everything had a hard, chalky film on it. I could even remove the film with hand washing. I thought all my glasses were etched. I went back to commercial detergents, everything from Seventh Generation to Cascade. I was thinking my dish washer was broken. Then somewhere, on some random forum, someone said try Lemi Shine. It is for hard water, and it WORKS. It is phosphate free, and I only need to use it periodically. And I use the phosphate free tab detergent things. It fixed everything; we’re sparkling again. What do you use?
Shampoo: Still looking for a good natural shampoo. I tried the baking soda thing.. . yeah, no. What do you use?
Body moisturizer: I used to sell natural soaps, scrub and body butters by a local company, but they went out of business. But there is a new company here in Colorado making a wonderful body butter called Simple Sundries. My friend Genny started it after she couldn’t find a good moisturizer. She’s obsessive about ingredients. This stuff is awesome, and I’m not just saying so because she’s my friend (though a shameless plug in never a bad thing, is it?). The butter is sooo creamy and is a great moisturizer. It cleared up C’s awful cradle cap within two days. I use it on my legs after shaving, and it is very lubricating, if you catch my drift. You can get it with different essential oil combinations or unscented.
Soap: I use Vermont Soap company bar soaps, which can also be bought from Simple Sundries. They are facial quality, non-drying and organic.
Toothpaste: We like JASON PowerSmile All Natural Whitening Toothpaste. It’s the only toothpaste we’ve found that is fluoride and SLS free, doesn’t contain artificial sweeteners and actually gets our teeth clean. All of the other brands we tried left a weird filmy build up. Yuck.
Deodorant: Based on a recommendation from Deanna Duke, author or The Crunchy Chicken blog and the book The Non-Toxic Avenger, we tried the Crystal Body Deodorant Stick. And by we, I mean Rick. And it works great. It has no smell, and leaves no stain on his white undershirts. And he really sweats at work sometimes. I have not read her book yet, but plan to.
What green products do you use at home to keep things squeaky clean? Have any recommendations for me?
Thanks for the great tips! I have been struggling with dishwasher soap since they stopped selling the one I was using. You asked for shampoo ideas: I use diluted Dr. Bronner’s castile soap for everything from my shampoo, to hand and body soap, face wash, and even dish soap in a pinch. I’ve tried just about every shampoo alternative under the sun and was never satisfied, but the castile soap leaves my hair as nice as the most expensive traditional shampoos.
Thanks for the “shameless plug”, Anisa! I’m so happy to hear that the body butter helped clear up Cora cradle cap!