For me, knowing and doing have always been two separate things. What I mean by that is, someone can claim to know something all they want to but this person’s actions speak volumes about his true convictions. Why such a potent statement at the beginning of a post entitled How I Started Using Natural Cleaners? It is because I have known some of the reasons we should switch to more natural cleansers for a while and I didn’t jump on it as fast as I should have. What finally broke the camel’s back for me was two things: one, of course, was a blog post I read :). The other is the fact that my 16 month old seems to be getting into more things these days a lot faster. Some might suggest simply keeping products out of his reach. By this age, toddlers are getting into places one day that they weren’t necessarily getting into a day or two before. Not mention the times he licks or puts his hands in or on something I didn’t necessarily think he would. I turn my head for one second and he is standing in the dining room chair at the laptop as if he were me, with his hands in typing position as he hits keys and glides his finger over the mouse pad! If you’ve never had a child this age before, I’m sure you understand how difficult it can be to keep them from getting into any and everything.
I’m so upset that I cannot remember the name of this blog that I was reading. All I know is that reading it left me speechless and wanting to kick myself for not starting to use natural cleaners sooner. Pretty much the blogger explained that the percentage of stay at home moms that are getting cancer far exceeds the amount of parents who are diagnosed with it who are going to work outside of the home. The reason for this is because our homes, in many cases, are the most toxic places that we spend our time. The blogger explained that our homes are toxic because of the toxic cleaners and air fresheners we are using, to name a few things.
I started with our laundry soap. I’ve seen several posts and recipes for making your own laundry soap which seemed very cost effective, but I have to admit, it was a bit much for me to grasp. I didn’t want to experiement with it only to find that I spent money on all of the stuff and it didn’t clean our clothes well. So, I started off slow. Below is an eco-friendly detergent that I bought at Wal-Mart and a fabric softener that I bought from Sprouts Farmers Market.
After I finished using all of my cleaners (I didn’t want to waste them by just throwing them all away), I decided to start using the more natural cleaners. So to get myself through the toxic cleaners, I put my vents on in the bathroom to air out the smell. And I would clean when hubby was home so that I could have baby stay with him. Our toddler likes to open doors now so I lock the bedroom door to our master bedroom so he won’t come into the bathroom while I’m cleaning. I have to leave the bathroom door open to air it out as well in there. Once I finished using the toxic cleaners, I bought a natural cleaner called Borax. I found out that Borax is pretty old school. People have used it for many different things to clean for years. I purchased it for a little less than $7. I reviewed a recipe from a blogger buddy of mine called DIY All Purpose Cleaner. Here is a photo of what Borax looks like if you’ve never heard of it before:
You probably know from a previous post that I currently don’t have a car, so I could only go to my nearest local supermarket to buy some things that we needed for right now. The recipe calls for essential lemon oil and washing soda. I had the castile soap because I use a non-scented one on my little one. The supermarket only had the Borax, so with just using the Borax and the castile soap with hot water, let me tell you, I was extremely impressed with the results of my bathroom. I will definitely get some essential oil, washing soda and perhaps a scented castile soap in the future, but man, the bath tub was a lot cleaner than it has ever been. The awesome thing about castile soap is that it is very concentrated so you only need to use a few drops and it lathers well and it cleans well, too! I’m extremely happy with how it cleans and also, the fact that I no longer need to turn on the bathroom vent to keep from inhaling so many toxic fumes while I’m cleaning. Castile soap can also be used as your dish washing soap. I can only imagine that toxins that are in the dish washing liquids on the market. After washing your dishes with them, who knows the amount of toxins that we could all be ingesting after cooking with our pans and using our dishes and utensils to eat our meals. Castile soap has so many different scents and it is completely organic! What I love about it is, I bought the one 10 oz bottle about 4 months ago and I’m still not halfway through it! It lasts a very long time. I paid about $11 for that bottle, but it was certainly worth every penny. Maybe the next time I write an eco-friendly post I will be brave enough to create my own laundry detergent with the Borax and Castile Soap! Or maybe this is wishful thinking.
In other news, my baby has graduated from solely putting clothes in our dryer to now reaching on his tippy toes to put laundry in the washing machine with me too! He looks adorable helping, but he’s growing up way too fast for me! See him below:
Have you and your family explored the idea of using more natural cleaners? If so, I’d love to hear about it. Maybe you haven’t bought into the idea of using more eco-friendly products just yet. I’d love to hear about that too! I’m totally with you if you are taking your time. Making lifestyle changes can be a lot and it’s not always easy. Until next time!