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I have a fairly large stock of conventional cleaning products that were either given to me (3-4 bottles of dish detergent) or that I stockpiled free with coupons (7 bottles of Windex in various formulas, 1 Scrubbing Bubbles, 2 Fantastik with bleach) in my pre-MDC days <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> I can't decide if I should just go ahead and be really frugal and just use them up, then buy eco-friendly after that, or if I should just Freecycle them all or give them to a charity and start buying eco-friendly now. Until today I've been using vinegar and baking soda to clean around 90% of the time, and then in a pinch using a conventional cleaner. But I just started using Motivated Moms (love it!) and I'm, er, cleaning more now <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hide.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hide">:<br><br>
WWYD? How important is frugality vs. eco concerns?
 

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I think eco-friendly is important but I would use up what you have and then start replacing with eco friendly as you run out. Because no matter what someone will be using the conventional stuff. I just use dr. bronners, vinegar and baking soda now, but I still have windex in the car for the windows. I'll use it up and then put watered down vinegar in a spray bottle for the car.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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You know, if you had the cash I'd say go ahead & just Freecycle the stuff.<br><br>
Otherwise, just use up what you have & replace it with something better once it's gone. I've been doing this over the past couple years and have finally gotten to the point where almost all our cleaners & toiletries are the healthier stuff.<br><br>
Also, do a search for homemade cleaner recipes. They're usually healthier & cheap because they're mostly baking soda, vinegar, etc.<br><br>
Holly
 

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I would freecycle the old stuff and use the eco-friendly stuff. I have found for me that the eco-friendly stuff is really pretty affordable. 2 huge bottles of vinegar at costco is about $2.50 and last forever. I add water and tea tree oil to vinegar in a spray bottle and use that to clean everything. I also have a little box of baking soda to scrub the tub, sink and toilet with sometimes. And we have been using Dr. Bronners with water added to it for dishes. Pretty cheap really and you dont have to use any toxic stuff!
 

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The words "eco-friendly cleaners" and "spendy" shouldn't be in the same sentence together. You don't need to buy the premade natural cleaners...they have the same stuff in them that you can make at home. I just put in vinegar, lavender Dr. Bronner's, water, and lemon essential oil...shake and go <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> I don't even measure, I just throw it in. Congrats on taking the step to healthy cleaners!
 

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Eco-friendly cleaners all the way!<br><br>
Check out the book from your library or buy: Clean House, Clean Planet<br><br>
I've used most of her formulations and they are AWESOME and super cheap. Empty squirt bottles cost less then $1 here, and I reused some kitchen containers I already had. Most of the cleaning products you make yourself with baking soda, vinegar, soap, water, and essential oils.<br><br>
And, club soda in a squirt bottle works just as good as windex! Windex is basically blue water with a little ammonia, so you are paying a premium for water!<br><br>
It is so awesome to clean with stuff that my DD can use. She loves to help wash windows and I'm happy to let her! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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I don't know, mamas, but I think that freecycling is still gonna mean that the stuff is USED? So, I (being broke) would use up what I had, then go to baking soda and vinegar with tee tree oil, lavender oil, citrus oil, whatever. You certainly don't have to buy expensive premade stuff! I actually DID do that, and the only real "ecofriendly" stuff we use that's not baking soda/vinegar based is the laundry soap and dish soap (we use ecover). We just actually ran out of ecover dishwasher soap, and I was cleaning out the basement and found an unopened bottle of Kirkland brand stuff. I don't have the money to order new ecover this month, and don't relish washing dishes by hand<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">: , so I am using it 'till I can order more ecover...and will finish the bottle before I start the ecover again. After all, as I said, even if I free cycle it, it will still go into the environment! Even if I TOSSED it, it would go into the environment. I just refuse to use another CENT to buy the conventional stuff now.
 

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Well, what's your goal? If you're concerned about health effects to your family, you shouldn't use them. (Though I don't see why dish detergent would be an issue.) If you're concerned about environmental impacts, it's sort of too late now that they've been purchased.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>srain</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Well, what's your goal? If you're concerned about health effects to your family, you shouldn't use them. (Though I don't see why dish detergent would be an issue.) If you're concerned about environmental impacts, it's sort of too late now that they've been purchased.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">:<br><br>
Personally, I'm not at all worried about health effects of cleaning products -- seeing how infrequently I use them! (Other than laundry detergent and dish soap.) <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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If you are not worried about the health aspects, I would definatley use up the cleaners myself. Less you have to buy <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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If she gives them away, then only one person is using environmentally unfriendly products and she is using nice products. The person she freecycles to would have used environmentally unfriendly products anyway, this way that person has to buy less
 

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honestly, i would ditch the "free" cleaners, b/c it is not "free" when it is hazardous to your health (wow, I am preaching to myself here too!) I would stick to using vinegar and baking soda. we can not afford the expensive cleaners so we stick to those basics which are non toxic
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you mamas, you rock as usual <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>srain</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Well, what's your goal? If you're concerned about health effects to your family, you shouldn't use them. (Though I don't see why dish detergent would be an issue.) If you're concerned about environmental impacts, it's sort of too late now that they've been purchased.</div>
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After I posted, I realized I was trying to work through this question myself. I decided my MAIN concern is the leftover stuff the cleaners are leaving around my house. I started thinking about the issue because I had to clean in the living room with Windex, because I ran out of plain vinegar. I was cleaning the baby's handprints off the glass on the bookshelves, and it was bothering me thinking of the all ammonia/solvent residue I was leaving for those little hands to pick up again.<br><br>
So I decided I'll freecycle most of it, maybe keep one spare bottle of vinegar formula Windex (no ammonia) for my DH's car or something, and start using the stuff I know I should be using anyway.<br><br>
Oh, and I know that natural cleaners aren't expensive, but they are more expensive than free, which was what the cleaners I already had in the house would be. But like many of you posted, spending a couple of bucks on vinegar/BS/Dr. Bronners is well worth the peace of mind.<br><br>
Thanks!
 
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