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**UPDATE**4/21 new posthere to confess.. - Page 2

post #21 of 82
totally agree. Hard water is a pain! I'm in an apartment and don't have a water softener. I can't use the dishwasher as it just makes the dishes dirtier.
post #22 of 82
I am so glad someone mentioned hard water, duh. I fall off the natural cleaning wagon 2-3 times per year. I just can not get everything clean enough with the natural products and a little bleach seems to help so much. We have very hard water, so this make sense. I hate the chemicals in cleaners, so I rarely use them. I have found that a pumice stone make a huge difference. I use it every where (tile walls in bathroom, around the edge of tub, sink, toilet)it really gets those hard water buildup off.
post #23 of 82
I am not a Simple Green salesperson, I swear! But, just like Dr. Bronner's, you must dilute. The strongest concentration I use is 1:1 with water, and that's as a stain pretreat for laundry.

You get Method dish soap at Target, right? We use Ecover, and while it works really well (better than Dawn IMHO) it's a little pricey, so I'd be willing to explore alternatives.
post #24 of 82
We used homemade laundry soap and my husband just hated it.. So, we're back to regular laundry soap. He did however do some research or something and make up our own household cleaner, it's amonia, alcolol, water, 3 drops of dish soap. It's the best stuff !! I never thought of adding an EO. I think I'll add lemongrass to it today. Should have thought of that myself as I am a soap maker..

D'Ann
Mom to 4
Help Meet to Andy
post #25 of 82
If you were mixing the Dr Bronner's with the vinegar, that may have been part of the problem. The vinegar would be a good rinse to get any residue left over from the Dr Bs, but I think they kind of cancel eah other out if they are mixed -- maybe someone else has more info?
post #26 of 82
We have hard water, and I haven't had any problems with our natural/homemade stuff and I've been using it for 5 years! I think MommyErin is right, you just have to work with different formulas, find the ones that work for you, and stick with them. Baking soda works as a softener, no? Make sure you include it in your formulas if you have hard water.
The other thing to consider, is if you have well water, where does your greywater go? Wouldn't you want it to be as nontoxic as possible?
I've been using a squirt of dish soap and a sprinkle each of baking soda and borax in my tub and sinks, and it works beautifully! Then I wipe down the faucets with a little white vinegar and water and the bathroom just shines.
It takes dedication to have a green, healthy home, but it is so worth it for soo many reasons.
If you use a nice scented castille soap in your laundry mixture, and then hang your stuff to dry outside (or in), it smells so fresh and truly clean. Why buy "Spring Breeze" softener/detergent when you can have the real thing?
I think the other thing that is really important about cleaning your home naturally is being very thorough and methodical in how you clean. It seems to me that using all those strong smelling chemical cleaners may make you think stuff is cleaner because of the smell.
We have all grown up in a time where we have been influenced by advertising to think "Oh, clean laundry smells like Downy." If you're interested in keeping house naturally, you have to quiet a lot of those little voices in your head and find a new way to think about clean. To me, when I walk in my neighborhood and smell really strong fabric softener, I think, "Yikes, that smells toxic!" Plus, that stuff is made from animal fat and petroleum derivatives... If you have to have smelly laundry, there are more natural products out there to try. Mrs. Meyers dryer sheets and the Good Home Company (their Beach House laundry fragrance is my naughty indulgence once in awhile) are both healthier options.
Good luck! I hope you find your way back to the light! :
post #27 of 82
I've had good results with olive oil Savon de Marseille (French nautral soap). You can use it for everything, from washing hands to dishes to laundry to floors.
My bathroom floor was NASTY and I used the soap, hot water and a scrub brush and got all the dirt and grime right off. Plus my kids thought it was a fun game to get the floor as sudsy as possible, and since it is not toxic it's ok for them to help.
post #28 of 82
is simple green natural? i LOVE that stuff and use it all the time!!!
post #29 of 82
We dilute our simple green 1-15 for general use. I don't find it cough inducing at that strength.
post #30 of 82
I'm about 80-90 percent natural, 10-20 percent toxic with our house.

For windows I use vinegar and water. For laundry I use Mountain Green (which I LOVE) and oxyclean, for stains I use an oxyclean spray. Once in a blue moon I'll use a little bleach in a load of whites. (Like DH's undies and socks, which otherwise get pretty dingy over time. Every six months or so I'll take a notion to bleach them. Dishcloths/dishtowels too.) For floors (tile) we use plain hot water with a few drops of eucalyptus E.O. Scrubbing sinks or counters or bathrooms I usually use either baking soda or Bon Ami. Once in a while a little Comet finds its way in there, however.

My other un-natural cleaner indulgences--
I have the lysol toilet brush with the squirting foaming cleanser. : I love the way that smells! I don't always use the cleaner, often I'll just swish with the brush. Sometimes I use lysol or clorox wipes on the toilet, too. Also, I use Dawn Complete dishwashing soap. I have tried numerous "natural" types, and have never found one that truly does as good of a job and is gentle on my hands too.
post #31 of 82
I don't think Simple Green is natural, but it is biodegradable, and when heavily dilluted, it is non toxic.
post #32 of 82
It's so funny to come upon this thread, because I was JUST thinking about this tonight For the majority of the house, I stick to vinegar, baking soda, and Ecover or Seventh Gen dish soap (I use it to mop my floors too).

HOWEVER, I still use Comet powder (or the off brand) to clean the inside of my toilet. I can't figure out how to make those stupid water stripes go away otherwise! And in the seldom-used downstairs toilet, I can see that any mold that grows comes back much more quickly if I try to just use vinegar to clean it. For laundry, I'm using up a huge stash of A&H, which I know has optical brighteners. When it's gone I'm going to try my hand at making my own, and factor in some oxygen bleach with each load. And I do use a bit of bleach (a Tbsp or two) with my cloth dipes, because otherwise the ammonia smell from my nighttime diapers will knock me across the room in the mornings. And, once or twice a year, I use a really horrific, heavy duty spray cleaner on my shower walls, because the grout turns pink and NOTHING I have tried will budge it but this industrial strength cleaner. I spray it after the kids have bather and gone to bed, rinse it forever, run the fan all night, and then don't let the kids into the bathroom until my DH and I have both showered in there the next morning. Then I don't bathe them in the tub for a few more days. Thank goodness I only have to do that so infrequently!
post #33 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by melissel View Post
HOWEVER, I still use Comet powder (or the off brand) to clean the inside of my toilet. I can't figure out how to make those stupid water stripes go away otherwise! And in the seldom-used downstairs toilet, I can see that any mold that grows comes back much more quickly if I try to just use vinegar to clean it.
I actually found something that does the trick on this one. Squirt some Ecover or other natural toilet bowl cleaner in the toilet and swish vigorously. Then sprinkle the bowl liberally with baking soda. Let sit. If your bowl is really gross, leave it all day. Then go back, swish vigorously and flush. Since I've been doing this, not only is the ring gone, it hasn't returned.

Quote:
And, once or twice a year, I use a really horrific, heavy duty spray cleaner on my shower walls, because the grout turns pink and NOTHING I have tried will budge it but this industrial strength cleaner.
Oh, I have the pink problem too -- it's from hard water. And I've found something to combat it -- the "earth scrub" from Clean House, Clean Planet. Since I've been using it to scrub my showers, I've hardly had any. And what does show up scrubs right off. Just be sure that when you make it, add the vinegar LAST. I also spray my shower daily with the Seventh Generation shower cleaner and that really seems to help too.

I actually spent a goodly portion of my weekend thinking about this thread. I guess since I was cleaning like a mad fiend for DS birthday party, I kept coming back to the comments here.

Now let's get this straight right up front -- I used to LOVELOVELOVE me some Soft Scrub with Bleach, Clorox Wipes, Tilex Shower Cleaner, Lysol Toilet Bowl Cleaner and all the like. : But I've decided that even if this stuff gets my house "cleaner" (which I doubt, but for the sake of argument), it's simply not worth the impact on the environment and the indoor air quality of my home. Sure, maybe I could improve on the cleanliness, but at what cost? Is it really worth having my toilet pristine, glistening, certifiably disinfected so-germ-free-you-could-eat-out-of-it if I have to pollute my home and the water supply of my city with heinous chemicals (and risk poisoning my cat who likes to drink from the can)? How about just glistening clean and no one gets hurt? While it hasn't always been the case, I now prefer the later beyond a shadow of a doubt.

I have done more reading lately on the fact that the indoor air quality of the average home is more polluted than a smog filled inner city. Do we really want our blessed children breathing that in? Do we want our pets licking the chemical laden surfaces of our home? Our home is supposed to be a shelter from the storm, a place of refuge -- not a source of cancer inducing, environment destroying poisons.

I'm sorry to get up on my but I'm just a little . If the mommas here at MDC aren't on the bandwagon, who is? Someone has to lead the revolution and if it isn't the babywearing, CDing, APing, co-sleeping, BFing, amazing parents here, then who will? :
post #34 of 82
OK, so I am trying to make the switch to natural cleaning products. It's actually not much of a switch because, well, I don't use many cleaning products. Now my house is not filthy I promise but I just use water mostly, and scrubby towels, and then dish soap and laundry soap (not ready to change the laundry soap yet, but open to suggestions for both hand wash and dishwasher dish soap). I am not very good at cleaning. My problem spots currently are the toilet bowls for which I will try MommyErin's suggestion - but which ecover product do you mean? and the bathtub. I do not know what gets in the bath but I have two problems

1) pink stuff where water pools and then dries. This wipes up very easily with a towel but I don't know what causes it or how to keep it from coming back (every other day I have to wipe down the tub). We don't use any pink toiletries and this has been happening since we first moved in so we have been through lots of different soaps, shampoos, etc. ---MTA: I missed MommyErin mention this above. What does the recipe mean by "liquid soap"?

2) black stuff, this stuff is nasty and it forms along the bottom/side of the tub where the bottom meets the sides. It reminds me of the gunk that is left behind when you peel off a price tag from a book, really sticky and when you scrub hard at it, it just smears. I have all but given up on this stuff. I tried bleach but it didn't help (That is my mom's answer to everything), and soft scrub didn't help, neither did ajax. Those are the things I have tried other than water.

Can anyone help? Thanks!
post #35 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by crayolaab View Post
My problem spots currently are the toilet bowls for which I will try MommyErin's suggestion - but which ecover product do you mean?
The toilet bowl cleaner from Ecover. I love it! I get it at Wild Oats.

Quote:
1) pink stuff where water pools and then dries. This wipes up very easily with a towel but I don't know what causes it or how to keep it from coming back (every other day I have to wipe down the tub). We don't use any pink toiletries and this has been happening since we first moved in so we have been through lots of different soaps, shampoos, etc. ---MTA: I missed MommyErin mention this above. What does the recipe mean by "liquid soap"?
To be clear, my understanding is that the pink, nasty sh** in the shower is a type of mold that is a result of hard water. And the liquid soap I use is Dr. Bronner's. Actually, I use the Trader Joe's house brand of castille soap as well.

Quote:
2) black stuff, this stuff is nasty and it forms along the bottom/side of the tub where the bottom meets the sides. It reminds me of the gunk that is left behind when you peel off a price tag from a book, really sticky and when you scrub hard at it, it just smears. I have all but given up on this stuff. I tried bleach but it didn't help (That is my mom's answer to everything), and soft scrub didn't help, neither did ajax.
Um, bad news -- that's also mold. Hard water + humid conditions = nasty black crap on your shower caulk. And I know from experience that bleach doesn't do it. Neither does Soft Scrub, Soft Scrub with Bleach, Tilex shower cleaner nor any other disgusting industrial shower cleaner. Again, I would try the Earth Scrub and a toothbrush. Scrub hard and let it sit for quite a while. I did like 20 minutes. There were also some recommendations in this book that I have yet to try. The Earth Scrub got 90% of it out. We removed and recaulked the worst of it.

Honestly, I'm still learning too. It's not something that comes natural to homekeepers in our society. We are so bombarded with commericals for powerful, germ killing, disinfecting commercial cleaners that it's hard to remember that they weren't always around and in use. If we all keep trying and learning and then share what works, we can do it.
post #36 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by crayolaab View Post
I am not very good at cleaning. My problem spots currently are the toilet bowls for which I will try MommyErin's suggestion - but which ecover product do you mean?

1) pink stuff where water pools and then dries. This wipes up very easily with a towel but I don't know what causes it or how to keep it from coming back (every other day I have to wipe down the tub). We don't use any pink toiletries and this has been happening since we first moved in so we have been through lots of different soaps, shampoos, etc. ---MTA: I missed MommyErin mention this above. What does the recipe mean by "liquid soap"?

2) black stuff, this stuff is nasty and it forms along the bottom/side of the tub where the bottom meets the sides. It reminds me of the gunk that is left behind when you peel off a price tag from a book, really sticky and when you scrub hard at it, it just smears. I have all but given up on this stuff. I tried bleach but it didn't help (That is my mom's answer to everything), and soft scrub didn't help, neither did ajax. Those are the things I have tried other than water.

Can anyone help? Thanks!
I'm not MommyErin, but Ecover has a pine toilet bowl cleaner, and it work great and smells even better

I get the pink stuff too, I think it has something to do with bacteria growing in the small amount of water? Anyhow I just wipe it down when I see it.

The black stuff...mildew maybe? Or some type of mold. Hmmm. We used to get moldy stuff on the caulking at our old apartment, I had to scrub it and recaulk it to get it to go away and stay away.
post #37 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlutterBee View Post
I'm not MommyErin
FlutterBee, you celebrate that fact, sistah, all the way to the bank!
post #38 of 82
OK, so I should mention that the nasty black stuff is not growing on any caulk or grout or anything, we have one of those tubs that is all one piece in the bottom, made out of plasticy stuff. That is so gross that might be mold. Now I am really grossed out because I have taken a bath in it because I love baths and I just cannot get it clean, so I gave up. Yuck!!! I will try the Earth Scrub for sure!! I really am not a dirty person normally!

It makes sense that it could be mold, our bath is on the inside (we are in a condo complex) so there are no windows and I hate the noise of the bathroom fan so I only leave it on for a few minutes. I will start leaving it on more often too and maybe see if we can get a quieter one. Thank you.
post #39 of 82
Is it in a seam or just exposed? Maybe try something like Goo Gone?
post #40 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by MommyErin View Post
FlutterBee, you celebrate that fact, sistah, all the way to the bank!
Yes Ma'am
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