Thursday, May 21, 2009

I feel like you're taking advantage of me

I need to clean my house. No seriously, I do. I'm not the greatest of housekeepers in the first place, but especially now that we have a little munchkin I've gotten really bad. I just don't have the time, energy, or interest anymore. Imagine the laundry pile from my previous blog entry. Now imagine that pile in every corner of your house. That's how much I've neglected my chores lately. It's time to bust a move and bust some suds!

When I first found out I was pregnant with Layla I started looking for ways to reduce toxicity levels in our home. I didn't want anything harming the development of my little growing fetus. That led me to look into greener cleaning options, namely some "environmentally friendly" cleaning products from widely-known big names. I won't state the ones I used, but you know them when you see them in the stores -- "Green Cleaning Product" made by [insert popular name brand here]. They looked nice and they smelled a lot less toxic than their non-green counterparts. But if you read the label, the ingredients are so ambiguous. What is "plant-based cleaning agents" supposed to mean? And then to top it off, they color the products green so that you REALLY know you're making a positive impact on the environment. I'm not saying that all or any of them are being dishonest about their product's environmental friendliness, but I can't help but think I'm being had. Can you say "Greenwashing"?

Because I believe living a greener life most often means returning to simplicity, I'm now looking into home-made cleaning formulas. I figure I'll choose a room at a time to explore some of these methods and then post my results. I'm looking to Green Living Ideas to find some of my recipes. Today I'll start with the kitchen.

All Purpose Surface Cleaner - Mix together equal parts white vinegar and salt. Scrub surfaces with a natural cleaning cloth.

Cookware Cleaner - Coarse salt does wonders for scouring copper pans and ceramic baking dishes.

No-Streak Glass Cleaner - For sparkling mirrors and windows, combine 1/4 cup undiluted white vinegar, 1 tbsp cornstarch, and 1 quart warm water. Divide into spray bottles. For a lint-free shine, wipe dry with a sheet of crumpled newspaper or a coffee filter.


MOMMY TIP: I have some old birdseye cotton diapers I used to use as burp cloths for Layla. Some of them came apart at the seams during a wash one time, so now I use the plies as cleaning rags. These can work great for windows and glass and it's a good way to re-purpose something you have. See, Layla's already helping mommy with the housework!


Yakini said...

lmao @ "plant-based cleaning agents" Yeah, thats a bit suspect. I like the idea of making your own cleaning products. I hope u post the recipes eventually.

ITA, after Chase came, my interest in cleaning went from 0 to -100. Its not that i dont *want* the house to be spic-and-span, per se.... but im just so drained by the end of the day. After getting Chase off to bed, i have to straighten up the living room, wash any dishes in the sink, prepare dinner, prepare his bottles for daycare the next day, pick out his clothes (and mine), eat dinner when DH comes home, then clean the kitchen.... by the time thats all done, its 10 and mama's ready for bed! Any "real" hardcore cleaning would have to take place on the weekends.... but thats "my" time, ya know? DH does hire a cleaning person, but he comes maybe twice a month. Between that time..... *shrug*..... im good with a lil dust just piling up (lol). I'll likely feel differently when Chase starts crawling all over the place. I know im gonna get so anal then.

3rd Wave Inc said...

Buying quality organic products is the initial move to a healthy, natural, green lifestyle that can bring a good feeling not only to ourselves but as to our environment as well.

Catfish said...

I keep a huge bottle of white vinegar and a huge box of baking soda under the sink. You can scour the sink with the baking soda alone, and I just mix vinegar and water to clean the countertops. I also wash my produce in a vinegar water bath. These two things are pretty much all I need.