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Tuesday Links — 03.15.2011 — The Natural Cleaning Edition


There is so much information out there about how to clean your home without using crazy chemicals. In light of this, I’d rather not write a post about it and just point you to some of the good stuff out there.

Not only is it cheaper to clean with natural products, but it is also much better for you and your family. This is the first area that I went “green” in and I haven’t bought a cleaning product in almost 4 years. (Aside from the special situations I have mentioned previously.)

One little story for you before the links. :) Since we don’t frequently use chemical cleaners in our house, none of us are used to how strongly they are scented. It about knocks me over when I walk down the fabric softener aisle at the store now. (I’m looking for the oxygen bleach, if you are curious as to why I’m on that aisle.) Anyway, my mother-in-law took my daughter to the store with her last week. She was buying some fabric softener and asked my daughter to smell it.  After smelling it, she proclaimed loudly,”Nonna, that stinks!” It made my little crunchy heart glad and my MIL and I both got a good laugh out of it. :) Let this serve as a warning: Your standards will change after going over to the dark crunchy side!

Phot by elycefeliz

Let the natural spring cleaning links begin!

Green and Natural Household Cleaners — from Kitchen Stewardship — Suggestions for every area of your house.

Non-Toxic Bathroom Cleaning and Homemade Soft Scrub Recipe — from Live Renewed — There is a whole spring cleaning series going on this month over at Live Renewed.

Green Cleaning – 10 Benefits — from Eco Novice — I like all of the 10 reasons, but my favorite is number 5 — Kids can clean with you. It’s so nice to be able to clean the bathroom while the kids are in the tub without worrying about the fumes from the cleaners. I also like that I don’t have to worry about any nasty chemical residue when I put them in the tub right after I’ve cleaned it. (Although, perhaps I should start researching if there is potential problems regarding exposure to soap scum. If there is, we might all be in trouble. :)  )

Non-Toxic Cleaners You Can Make at Home — from Keeper of the Home. I also really like this post about natural and homemade air fresheners.

Natural Housecleaning Carnival — from Passionate Homemaking — A couple years ago Lindsay hosted a little natural housecleaning party at her blog. There are lots of helpful links in this post, including a link about cleaning with soap nuts. I haven’t tried soap nuts, but I am curious about them and will probably try them in the future.



  1. 03/15/2011 2:02 pm

    Thanks for the link, Kate!

    Your story is funny, but so true. One day I was washing our big front window with Sparkle glass cleaner (the only chemical cleaner I have left and I was kind of trying to just use it up) and my hubs walked out into the living room and said, “It smells like a chemical factory in here!” It is amazing how strongly those chemicals stink, but when we use them regularly we don’t even notice. It really makes me wonder – if it smells so strongly, what is it doing to our bodies?!

    • Kate permalink*
      03/16/2011 7:44 am

      I’m trying that natural soft scrub recipe today. My bathtub is sorely in need of a good cleaning. Also, glad we aren’t the only ones who can’t handle the strong chemical smells anymore! Although my husband doesn’t like the smell of vinegar, either. At least its natural! :)

  2. Donna/Nonna permalink
    03/15/2011 2:36 pm

    It was hilarious…at first I thought Lily was smelling something else so I told her it was supposed to smell good and she sniffed it again and said “Well, it is not working!”

    • Kate permalink*
      03/16/2011 8:03 am

      I forgot about that part! Too funny.

  3. 03/15/2011 4:16 pm

    I avoid soap scum like the plague! So I’m determined to figure out a way to make soap without soap. Even Dr. Bronners still has the saponification of lye. soap nuts are safe, but also birch tree leaves and other plants will saponify when crushed or mixed with water and shaken. Tea Tree Essential Oil has been proven to kill more germs than soap.
    So that goes with my soap as well as vinegar in place of water. Still not 100% happy with it. There was a homeschool study that washing well with just plain water killed just as many germs as washing with soap, so do we really need it? And shampoo – the no-poo trend… All these things that we have been taught throughout our lives that we can’t live without. We just need to find a way to do it! :)

    • Kate permalink*
      03/16/2011 7:55 am

      I agree. Lots of stuff we’ve been told we “need” to use is actually not needed. :)

  4. 03/16/2011 5:14 am

    Okay…if you had to choose 1 or 2 chemical cleaners to get rid of, what would they be? Basically, which 1 or 2 are the worst for small children to be around?

    • Kate permalink*
      03/16/2011 8:03 am

      The first thing I would get rid of is the bathtub/sink cleaner. Not only do you have to bend way over the tub and inhale all of those chemical fumes while you are cleaning, then the reside stays on the tub, so when you run a bath for the kiddos, they are sitting in a tub full of those chemicals. (Obviously that exposure would lessen the further away you are from the time you cleaned the tub. Unless you are crazy and clean it every day, which I don’t think you do.) You can clean the sinks with the same stuff you clean the tub with.
      However, once you buy the ingredients to clean the tub and the sinks (baking soda and vinegar and maybe some castille soap) you can clean tons of stuff with those three things. You can clean your windows and mirrors with vinegar, you can use it as a countertop/table spray, you can use it on your tile floors, to wipe the walls down with, etc. Vinegar is the super hero of the natural cleaning world because there are so many uses for it. If you don’t like the smell, and I don’t, add essential oils. I like to add either peppermint or lavendar. Be warned, though, that your family might walk into the bathroom while you are cleaning and say that it smells like a Fish and Chips shop. That frequently happened to me if I skipped the essential oils. :)
      How’s that for 2 things? :) Let me know if you have any more questions.

  5. Karie permalink
    03/16/2011 8:45 am

    Thanks to you and Cloth Diapering our kitchen and laundry room are well on their way to being ‘green’. The bathrooms need to be next-clearly! :-) Problem is I don’t clean them enough to get rid of my bottles of nasty chemicals! :-)

    • Kate permalink*
      03/16/2011 9:45 am

      Yes, you definitely need more “elbow grease” with natural cleaners if you don’t clean regularly. (Which I don’t!) I’m getting ready right now to mix up some bathtub cleaner and get to work!

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