I am not a domestic diva by any stretch of the imagination, although I like a clean house just like the majority of us do! Having a son that was in the NICU for 11 days after he was born, I know all too well how careful we are as parents to keep our homes germ free but at the same time, it seems like a rather risky trade off when we’re using chemicals that can do more harm than good.
So what are your options then?
1. Pitch all your traditional cleaning products and replace them with Green Products
2. Phase out your current cleaning products and replace them with Green Products as you go
3. Phase out your current cleaning products and start cleaning with items you probably have around the house. Figure out what works best for you and then purchase Green Products
I’m a huge fan of option #3 since it’s a great way to use items you already have and save some money. Plus, if you’re not familiar with the different Green Brands out there, it can be a bit confusing to navigate the store shelves. (Don’t worry—we’ll be reviewing a brand I love on Monday!).
So #3 involves a little elbow grease but believe it or not, it’s as easy as it sounds thanks to my new favorite cleaning reference, “The Joy of Cleaning” by Leslie Reichert. Leslie ran a commercial cleaning business in Massachusetts for years using traditional cleaning products and realized what those products could do to your health over time. Her book is basically a recipe book for cleaning with simple, straightforward recipes for cleaning supplies with household ingredients such as baking soda and vinegar that are inexpensive, fine to use around little ones and pets and really work!
My husband’s first reaction when he saw me with a gigantic bottle of white vinegar ($2.99 at the grocery store) and even more gigantic box of baking soda ($2.29 at the grocery store) was “My mom used to clean with vinegar and baking soda.” My mother-in-law is no slouch when it comes to cleaning so I think my efforts to start green cleaning will be well received the next time she visits! And with two little ones under the age of 4, I have no qualms about letting them play as usual, even if I’ve just mopped the bathroom floor—with dish soap, hot water and vinegar. The hardwood floor dries faster, looks better and I’m not exposing my kids or myself to harsh chemicals. To cut the vinegar smell, I add just a drop of Lemon oil. Simple, easy, green.
For those not quite ready to make the jump to cleaning exclusively, Leslie’s book does offer some green commercial brand alternatives which I like. They are brands I already use and I know I’m going to save money and do my part to help maintain our eco-system by not using the usual suspects anymore.
To purchase “The Joy of Green Cleaning” visit www.thejoyofgreencleaning.com. It’s available in printed format for $15.95 and the e-book version is also available for $10.00. Well worth the money and it’s an easy read and great reference book for any household. And it's definitely CHIC SIMPLE GREEN!