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#1 of 15 Old 12-07-2001, 04:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi! I've never posted on this board before, but I'm sure lots of you will have good ideas for me. I've always cleaned my house with chemical cleaners because that is how I was brought up and never knew there was an alternative. But, since my daughter was born nearly three years ago, I have adopted a much more "natural" lifestyle and would really like to reduce the use of toxic substances in my home, if not eliminate it completely! What do you use for everyday cleaning, scrubbing of bathrooms, mopping, dusting, etc.? And what about disinfecting? I do eat meat and I'm sort of neurotic about the whole safe-food-handling cross-contamination thing- I must wash my hands ten times and go through every cooking utensil I own when making chicken for dinner! I'd love some suggestions. Thanks in advance!
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#2 of 15 Old 12-07-2001, 04:29 PM
 
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I constantly wash my hands when I cook as well. Using recycled paper towels (although completely not environmentally sound) will cut down on some bacterial transmission as you discard them completely. I use a natural antibacterial soap (you can find at the health store). lemon will cut grease and disinfect many things with odor. In fact- my mom just told me that in the south, lemons are used to disolve fish bones if you are choking. At any health or natural store you can find alternatives to the cleaners at the food chain stores. Orange cleaners are great. I use the detergents from Amway for washing clothes- totally great and you only have to use a tiny amount. That is all I can think of for now.
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#3 of 15 Old 12-07-2001, 05:54 PM
 
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You should get the book "Clean House, Clean Planet."
Basically all you need to clean your house is vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice, some soap and water, and maybe some borax and tea tree oil.
I enjoy cleaning so much more now that I am not having to run from toxic fumes. Plus, I know that the stuff on my cleaning shelf is not deadly to my child.
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#4 of 15 Old 12-07-2001, 11:03 PM
 
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I am new to this too! For the past two or three weeks, I have cleaned with only vinegar and baking soda. My house is cleaner than it was before. I make a paste with the baking soda and scrub the tub, sinks, bathroom floor. I spray the appliances, faucets, countertops with a vinegar and water mixture. Everything is sparkling. I no longer worry abt chemicals in the air that my dd can breathe. My lungs would often hurt while scrubbing the tub with comet with bleach.

I was so doubtful, but it really works. Give it a try, can't hurt!
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#5 of 15 Old 12-11-2001, 05:22 AM
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this will sound dumb, but is there a way to fragrance the vinegar so that it doesn't smell so vinegary? DH says the house smells like a big salad!
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#6 of 15 Old 12-11-2001, 09:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I was wondering the same thing until I read a bunch of other threads and found out that you can use essential oils. I'm going to get that "Clean House, Clean Planet" book everyone has mentioned. I did my bathrooms yesterday with baking soda and vinegar/water spray and they do look nice and clean, although it's weird - I guess I've come to associate that cleanser smell with being clean, because at first I was thinking, "Well, it doesn't smell clean!" It didn't smell like vinegar too much because I diluted it a lot - what ratio does everyone else use?
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#7 of 15 Old 12-12-2001, 11:59 PM
 
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I use vinegar to clean all my glass and mirrors.. and then burn a little incense or put some scented oil in the difffuser...
I do buy dish soap (in bulk at my local coop).
I use store bought laundry soap as well, also bought in bulk.
I use "Bon Ami" for scouring tubs, counters, toilet, etc.
I think thats it for the cleaners I use. I can't see needing much more. Oh, I do have a bottle of some all natural orange concentrate cleaner- I bought it about 3 years ago, a little goes along way. I've used it for the tub, and for my kitchen floor, but I don't use it much at all.
You can use newspaper instead of paper towels w/ vinegar to clean glass...
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#8 of 15 Old 12-14-2001, 03:38 PM
 
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Another couple of ideas:
I use grapefruit seed extract for disinfecting everything: diaper bucket; surfaces, floors, soaking soothers, and in the final rinse of the laundry. (We also use it for sore throats, colds etc. internally)

I've just found a micro-fibre cloth (a large version of the cloth you clean your reading glasses with) and it cleans all the mirrors, windows and any stainless steel (we have a lot!) without any detergent at all, everything is gleaming.
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#9 of 15 Old 12-15-2001, 07:04 AM
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there is a non-tox enzyme product called bac-out that I use to get stains out of the rugs. I bet it would work on diapers too.
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#10 of 15 Old 12-15-2001, 09:38 AM
 
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To eliminate the salad aroma in our house I add a few drops of tea tree oil and lavender oil to my vinegar spray bottle. Not only does it smell nice, but they both have disenfectant qualities to them. We, too, will burn incense after cooking fish and other lingering dishes, like Indian food.
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#11 of 15 Old 12-15-2001, 02:01 PM
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I have heard that incense is toxic and carcinogenic Now I can see where that would most certainly be the case with drugstore black cherry or rainforest type incenses that are all fake, but what about Nag Champa or other all naturals? I quit using incense after the baby was born and really missit!
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#12 of 15 Old 12-19-2001, 03:16 AM
 
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I buy all natural products on line. They have everything from laundry and cleaning products to personal hygiene and vitamins. I don't mind paying for them because I went from buying at my local grocery store to buying here. Most of the products contain tea tree oil and work better than anything I've bought from a store and my house smells clean but not overpowering or like a salad bowl. I have very dry skin and up until now have used vaseline to moisturize because none of the lotions I've tried work but theirs is fantastic. They also offer the opportunity to run your own business. You can e-mail me and I'll give you more info.
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#13 of 15 Old 12-19-2001, 09:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I haven't been able to get a copy of "Clean House, Clean Planet" but my library had "The Naturally Clean Home" which seems pretty good - lots of recipres, all using baking soda, washing soda, borax, vinegar, and herbs and essential oils. Has anyone used the recipes in this book?
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#14 of 15 Old 12-19-2001, 11:29 AM
 
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Hey there -
I put together a couple 'recipes' for stuff that I started using while pregnant. They seem to work really well and I don't miss the windex or pledge at all!

General purpose cleaner

Fill a spray bottle half and half with vinegar and water,
And add just a Tbsp. Each of citrus cleaner (like Citra-solv)
and liquid soap (like Bio-O-Kleen dishwashing liquid or Dr.
Bronner’s soap)


Scouring powder

One part of sea salt to 3 parts Borax or Baking Soda
Use on countertops, sinks and tubs

Glass cleaner

Fill a spray bottle half and half with vinegar and water,
Add a couple of drops of liquid soap


Mildew

Spray straight vinegar on mildew and it wipes right off. Leave on overnight for old stains


Food Stains

Use hydrogen peroxide to bleach any food stains clean


Furniture Polish/Dust Remover

Mix ½ cup lemon juice and ½ cup olive or Mineral oil and shake well
Pour into a spray bottle. Use soft rag, slightly dampened with the solution
Can use ½ tsp. Lemon oil instead of juice


Wet Wipes Solution

Use these for diaper wipes, or in the bathroom for Birdbaths.
In a jar, mix 3 cups boiling water, 3 Tbsp. Olive Oil, 1 Tbsp. Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Soap (or 2 Tbsp. Baby Bath), ¼ tsp. Vitamin E, 6 drops each Lavender and Tea Tree Oil. Shake well and pour over a container of washcloths or a roll of paper towels, cut in half.

To remove chemicals from new cotton clothing

Soak overnight in ½ cup borax
½ cup distilled white vinegar
Bi-O-Kleen laundry detergent
Then wash in Hot water
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#15 of 15 Old 12-25-2001, 02:04 AM
 
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I use Dr. Bronners Oil soap for hand and body cleansing.
Dr Bronners Sal Suds for General house cleaning
And Bio Kleen for laundry (Cleans everything from Dh's icky work clothes to dd;s icky diapers!!)

Vinegar is a wonderful Clean-all.

Shelley, mom to dd 5/19/01, ds 9/06/02, and ds 4/01/07.  Lost babe 4/09

belly.gifDue 12/18/12!

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