Now that you’ve been introduced to vinegar and baking soda, here’s a shopping list for items we’ll be covering in the next couple of weeks. So come back next week and we’ll talk about soap scum. I’ll give you tips to get it off your shower and how you can help prevent it (and I’m not just talking about drying your shower after each use, I don’t have time for that and apparently, no one else in my house does either.)
Not all the items listed are green. Sometimes, at least for me, cheap over rules green. And really the bottom line for me is, what’s going to happen if my kid uses it, sniffs it, eats it, or uses it for lipstick. I’m way more concerned about the immediate dangers for my child than the effects on the environment. I’m a mother first and foremost. For instance, borax… it’s cheap and most people consider it to be green. It’s only toxic in huge, huge quantities, therefore, I like it. How much can a toddler ingest in two unsupervised minutes? It’s not drinkable so that slows things down a lot. I think she’d live through powdering her nose. Not that I recommend this or even think it’s okay.
Let’s start with the laundry room….
Vinegar is a favorite of mine…I like plain ol’ white. Can be used as a fabric softener and treating certain stains. Vinegar is probably the most versatile of all. It’s not just for the laundry room. Although I must admit, I no longer use it for a fabric softener. I don’t feel it’s necessary when I make my own laundry soap.
Baking soda, washing soda, borax and Fels-Naptha, or other bar soap of your liking can be made into laundry soap.
Now for the kitchen and bathrooms…
Murphy’s Oil Soap is almost green. It has a little potassium hydroxide and ethanol. It works well and it’s cheap. I prefer the gallon jug that you dilute yourself.
Bar Keepers Friend (Do not use on gold, silver, pewter, marble, lacquered metals, or anodized aluminum) It is not 100% natural but almost. It is biodegradeable and contains no phosphates or chlorine bleach. So it’s a really good alternative to some of the other choices out there like Comet or Ajax. It does contain Oxalic Acid which occurs naturally in many foods, like rhubarb. It is toxic, but like borax, it’s only in large amounts. If you’re using enough to kill you while cleaning your tub, my recommendation is to buy a new tub, it’s not worth cleaning.
Salt, such a simple ingredient.
Hydrogen Peroxide (3%) in a dark spray bottle preferably is best.
Castile Soap is a nice green soap. I’ve found that it is a little pricey, but I’ve also noticed I don’t use as much. It seems to easily go further than regular soap.
This list should not be mistaken as a complete list of green products. It is, however, a good starting place for making a switch to better cleaning products that are safer and more kid friendly when it comes to cleaning.