Thursday, August 11, 2011

Simplifying My Household Cleansers

I'm slowly working to simplify my list of household and personal cleaners. Rather than having one product that cleans the floor, another for the counter, another for the bathroom, and another for mirrors I'm trying to move toward one or two products for everything. At the same time I'm trying to move away from toxic cleaners to more safe products.

I have a few reasons for this. My first reason is simplify our life. The more products I use, the more likely I am to run out of something and need to make a trip out. Anyone with a baby knows running to the store isn't as easy as it used to be. In fact, it's a real hassle.

The second reason is to save money. I've found that I can buy a HUGE bag of baking soda for less than 5 dollars and use it for many, many things. I use it to clean my bathroom, wash my hair, freshen my laundry and soak my dishes. I know washing my hair with baking soda sounds  a little extreme, but I love it! My hair has never had so much volume. Another way I've saved money on personal products is reading the labels of the things I currently buy and figuring out what I can make myself. I buy natural toothpaste and mouthwash. Well, after reading the mouthwash label I saw it has a lot of essential oils like tea tree oil. So I did a little research on tea tree oil and found that some people use a few drops of it in water and use that for mouthwash. It doesn't taste as good as my store bought mouthwash, but it works great and costs almost nothing!

My third reason is I truly do want a less toxic household. As soon as I brought Ava home her presence in the house limited when and how I use toxic cleaners like bleach. I hate when I clean the bathroom and find the fumes have lingered into her nursery. I also get freaked out by how close she is to my super high aluminum count deodorant when she's nursing. So I switched to Arm and Hammer natural deodorant, and I'm not lying it's worked just as a well as my clinical strength antiperspirant.

I also realized it didn't do a lot of good to wash her clothes in baby detergent if I was washing everything else in Gain. So when I ran out of her Dreft rather than buying more expensive baby detergent, I researched non-toxic detergents for the whole family. I found Charlie's Soap and I love it! It's the same cost as what I was buying at Costco but we all can use it.

I'm not obsessed with having a non-toxic home and I certainly don't judge other people who clean with Scrubbin' Bubblesa and Mr. Clean. I've gleaned a little here and there for a while now and I'm feeling more adventurous about trying the things I've learned. I'm not throwing away my old products, only replacing as a run out. As I make these changes for our family I want to take baby steps that actually save us money and make our lives easier. 

My goal is by the end of 2012 to have simplified to as few natural products as possible.  I know that's a long way away, but I set the goal out there for a reason. I want this project of mine to serve our family; I don't want to become a slave to this project. I figured if I set it farther out than it would actually take to make the changes, I won't do anything frivolous to accomplish my goal.

I know some of you are probably thinking, "just buy some Lysol and get a life." And maybe you would have a point :) But I feel pretty empowered by understanding how cleansers work and making educated choices about the products I use in my home. I'm also in a season of life where I do have time for this kind of stuff. Days are coming when I won't, so I'm taking advantage of it!