Monday, January 11, 2010

UPDATE: Natural Cleaning

Okay, okay...this should be my last post on natural cleaning products. I just wanted to share that, over the holidays, I did all my "holiday cleaning" using the natural products I have discussed previously. I was preparing for guests to arrive, plus I just wanted the house to be clean as we were going in and out of town and it's always nice to come home to a clean place!

In the bathrooms I used the vinager & water mix to clean the mirrors, the all-purpose cleaner on the sinks, counters and showers, and Borax* to clean the tubs and toilets. In the kitchen I used the all-purpose cleaner to wipe down the counters and Borax on the sink. I was also pleased to receive the Shark steam mop for Christmas (it's kind of splurge if you're buying it yourself, but I LOVE it), so I used that on all my hard floor surfaces. So, I literally used no chemicals in the cleaning.

I have to say - I was very pleased with the results. However, I noticed that sometimes you have to work a little harder to get the same results as you would with common cleaners that have chemicals. For instance, I used Borax to clean the bath tubs and I had to scrub a little more to get the results I used to get with Soft Scrub. But - keep in mind - while you may be exerting more energy, you're also not breathing in all kinds of noxious fumes, so huff away!

I asked my husband what he thought of the results and he made the comment that he liked for things to smell clean, and the "clean" scent was definitely absent from our home this time around. I understood what he meant but, after thinking about it, I realized it's probably the same process as learning to eat whole wheat bread if you've only ever had white, or salting your food less - once you get used to the change, it's hard to imagine ______ any other way. So maybe he'll have the same experience as I did recently: I walked into a bathroom in my office building that had just been cleaned and was practically knocked over by the smell of cleaning products! Obviously they probably used some kind of industrial cleaner, but still - once you adjust your definition of the "clean" smell, things that are clean will almost smell bad if they are too chemical-y!

So that is my report on my experience with natural cleaning products. Now go forth and clean!

*I have to give a plug for the Borax. I have really enjoyed using it. I have even started putting it in my laundry and letting things that are extra-dirty soak in it. The box says it's a "natural laundry booster," so you use it alongside your regular clothes detergent. I feel like my towels have come out cleaner and since it doesn't have a scent, it doesn't compete with the detergent. I also sprinkled some in my trash can when we removed a full bag, and it quickly eliminated the stinky trash can smell. I just need to figure out a less-cumbersome way to tote it around the house when I am cleaning - it's not all that fun to carry a box under your arm!

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