Monday, July 19, 2010

Sick of Cleaning or Sick Because You Do?

In my ever continuing quest to not only life a simpler life, but to live a healthier non-toxic kind of life for my own personal benefit and that of our planet, I'm changing stuff again! 

What brought this about was getting a new kitchen.  I had packed the old kitchen away and was in the midst of unpacking the stuff that used to be in my cabinets to put it all in the new cabinets.  I got to the very heavy box of under-the-kitchen-sink-cleaning supplies and I couldn't do it.  The myriad of chemical smells hit me when I opened the box and I almost lost it. 

Quick flash-back to early childhood - my grandmother had NONE of this stuff.  It wasn't invented yet.  My goodness, how did she ever clean her bathtub without Scrubbing Bubbles?  So I had to get out of the kitchen fast - took my laptop out on the porch and did a quick google search for natural cleaning alternatives. and both have great information on what you can use to clean your house without making yourself sick.  It's all good!

A little research just wets my appetite.  I found so many sources (some on Youtube) that will tell you just how BAD the stuff is that we are using - and the increase of asthma, immune disorders, and cancer that they are proving more and more come from cleaning products, and especially air fresheners and everybody's favorite during cold season, Lysol disinfectant.  Our coughs, our delayed recovery from colds, and general lethargy could all be due to what is in our house!  There was a Dr. Martin on a video and he said that some of the everyday products he had before him had such hazardous chemicals in them that they wouldn't be allowed in some industrial factories unless the people wore hazmat suits!  Well I don't clean my house wearing one, do you? 

You can do all your cleaning with baking soda, vinegar, lemons and a few simple things like Borax.  Not only will you save money, you'll save your health and help the environment.  Why we would knowingly use ANYthing that is made from the petrochemical industry and its by products I just do not know.  This attempt to educate myself on the subject was way more than I anticipated and when I find important information I pass it along.

Here is a video with specifics - it would be worth your while to check out some other videos on the subject.  Believe me, there are plenty of them!  I still don't like cleaning, but this has actually perked me up a bit toward doing those chores.  I really really really like the idea of saving money!  And you can double that enthusiasm for doing the healthiest best thing for me, hubs and my dog Mondo!

And..........I also have a lot of room in the cabinet under the sink now. 


  1. I just recently discovered the powers of baking soda as a cleaning agent. Wow, does it pick up the dirt. And no smelly after odor, either. I definitely cast my vote for cleaning with it!

  2. Hi Joanne! YAY for you! There are more recipes on the videos. We can save a lot of money not to mention sparing our bodies toxic stuff! To me, that's win/win!

  3. Yes, baking soda, vinegar, and lemons for sure. Didn't realize they still make Borax. Marry all those with a good old scrubbing brush, and no dirt will remain. I'm not a fan of much cleaning either, but there's something about going after stuff with nice bristles that soothes the soul.

    Now, bleach -- I would find hard to give up my daily swipes to our counter tops. Maybe I'll find an alternative!


  4. Hi Jannie! Supposedly oil of oregano can be used, sprayed on counters for disinfecting. I'm looking for a good source right now and will let you know what I find.

  5. Hi SuZen .. I absolutely agree .. one thing you've missed is the elbow grease we put in .. when we do clean .. means slimmer waistlines?!

    I just love the thought that the cleaning is done by fairies .. but if ours isn't and I suspect not then some of the ideas suggested will just keep the little pixies happy!

    Have fun - just moving .. so have the whole house to do something with .. ?! Any fairies free? ... Happy days .. - Hilary

  6. SuZen -- I love using vinegar to clean. I use it on all my floors, both the wood and the tile and have for years. My wood floors are about twenty years old and in pretty good condition. I don't even wax them.

    I'll have to try the baking soda...I use it sometimes for my teeth, but haven't used it in any other cleaning capacity:~)

    Thanks for this post!

  7. I could not use all the chemicals ever, but after my first child arrived, allergic to everything, life made a thoughtful change. I boiled her sheets everyday for the dust mite problem, and cleaned the bathrooms daily for the mold get the picture.

    I used baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice etc. Until I found out they were feeding her allergies to other things...

    Then I discovered Tea Tree Oil....fresh, clean and no allergic reactions....I found a subscription company to purchase and that made it still in my limited price range...

    I have to admit, I cleaned the house and vacuumed (with an air filtering vacuum) everyday ....I really hate to clean and was hoping I would have enough funds for a cleaning person, but do not....and they just want to use those harsh I just clean now when company is coming and do wipe ups in between.

    I have no chlorine bleach in my house at all - it kills the good germs and microbes too...this company also makes laundry products - can wash sheets once a week - and a fabulous disinfectant that is botanical...

    It is the simpler thing to do...

  8. This is so timely for me. First of all SuZen - thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment on my "You're lucky I'm here!" post. Made me smile.

    Back to this cleaning stuff. I moved to Guantanamo Bay Cuba a few months back and realized that while they have a variety of cleaning stuff here they didn't have what I liked to use back in the states and like you I did some research and found that the stuff I liked was just toxic to my family and the it just so happens that I now have a cabinet with a large bottle of vinegar, borax, baking soda and hydrogen peroxide which by the way works wonders on coffee or tea that gets into tile grout.

    I think it's great to see so many people reaching for the good old whatever my mom used. lemon juice is great on my white sink along with baking soda and it leaves a fresh scent - much, much better then that other stuff.

    Thanks for the videos and the information. Good Stuff!


  9. Tea tree oil is the best, lots of it here in this country.
    I am not fanatic so I have never exposed myself to too much as a result. Again SuZen, what a scary things we are surrounded with, it is just too much for words.
    As always, thanks for sharing, you rock, xox Wilma

  10. SuZen!

    More awesome information, and the comments were great to read, too.
    Hilary, I would like some cleaning faeries, so if you come across any, please give them my address. (smile)

    I'm a fan of vinegar for a lot of things, and baking soda to scrub the sink (it just needs an extra rinsing afterward b/c it leaves a white residue otherwise). I stopped buying cleaning supplies awhile ago and (this might gross some people out) use shampoo to clean my tub. Well, that and a scrubby sponge.

    When I was in college I had to pass a NYS sanitation course for my nutrition degree. In that class we learned that hot water & agitation (aka, scrubbing vigorously) kills something like 80% of the germs in any germ-infested situation. That's compared to using cold water & agitation, versus hot water, soap and very little agitation, versus...well... you get the idea! So it's not the cleaning agent that's the ticket --- it's the temperature of the water and vigorous scrubbing.

    Have a chemical-free week, my friend, and again, thank you for keeping us informed!

  11. Hi Hilary! LOL - I put in the call to the fairies daily and those little stinkers have yet to show up! Burning calories as we clean is a hidden perk - I'll take it!

    Hi Sara! I just bought a 10 pound bag of baking soda at Costco yesterday! Tried it on the kitchen sink - it was wonderful. Today its the bathrooms. Hey vinegar is GREAT! Back in the day my mom put a little vinegar in water and poured it on my hair as a rinse - I had shine like you wouldn't believe!

    Hi Patricia! It's wonderful that so many people are discovering alternatives to the chemical crap that is out there. I love tea tree oil too and am just now discovering its many uses! And yeah, cleaning help would be nice!

  12. Hi suZen - I so need this. Each time I pull out the cleaning products I vow to do it differently next time. So you've inspired me. Thanks!

  13. Thank you for posting this! I suffer from asthma severely and we need new alternatives to cleaning our home!

  14. Hi Terie! It seems a lot of people are coming back to "naturals" but it sounds like your move was the nudge you needed. We all need nudges. I'm on such a roll with this I'm actually excited to clean things and try the "new" old methods! No, it doesn't take much to amuse me! haha!

    Hi Wilma! I was such a happy shopper/consumer I would try everything on the market. I'm sure the profiteers at the companies making this chemical soup that lines the shelves loved me. Past tense!

    Hi Megan! Your comment brought this image of women boiling laundry in a cauldron! haha! Well, they did. I'm not going QUITE that far back. But I HAVE made my own laundry detergent! :)

    Hi Patty! I just LIVE to inspire, Patty! Hopefully you'll try make a few changes - those videos (and there are way more out there) sure helped me with my conversion!

    Hi Tabitha! Oh honey this will be something you really should get into! So many of the products we use have toxins that set some people up for horrible asthma and you may find relief not using them.

  15. I also feel that a lot of the cleansers do more harm than good. I use vinegar for my floors and lots of "green" products. The one thing I haven't been able to give up is the bleach towelettes for cleaning the toilet seats and faucets!