Monday, January 7, 2008

A Cleaner Clean

It's so easy to talk about making changes, isn't it? It's nice to say that I'll switch to a more environmentally friendly kind of cleaner or that I'll try to eliminate phosphates or chlorine from my home. It's a little harder to bite the bullet and actually buy those things. I find it rather amazing that it costs so much less to eat crappy food, use toxic products in our home, and poison the natural world around us, than it does to buy healthy, non-toxic, safe products.

While I know that I can buy some vinegar and baking soda and lemon juice and so on and make my own, the reality is that I want the convenience of ready made products. We work 40 hours a week, we both commute 3 hours a day (yes, we are looking at this later in the year) we have to do all the household chores and still find time to spend with our baby and each other. While it is definately something to aspire to, taking the time to make everything from scratch at this point in our lives just isn't realistic.

So, I decided to vote with my dollars and make my money count by buying things that cost a little more, but hurt a little less. I want to replace all the items in my cleaning cupboard with non-toxic alternatives; to that end we purchased non-toxic, phosphate and chlorine free items from Nature Clean and Seventh Generation. My caddy under the sink is now the proud holder of dishwasher detergent, rinse aid, chlorine free bleach, glass cleaner, kitchen and bathroom cleaner and tub and tile scrub. It looks rather pretty, if I may say so myself.

But being the realist I am, I know that I have to finish what I've already bought. So that means that I'll be using some of the less desirable things for awhile. My choices are to throw it away (definately not environmentally friendly), to use it (still not a good choice) or give it away (passing the buck). I've put together a small bag of things I know I won't use and I'll give those away, I'll use some of it on things our son doesn't touch and begin using the gentler items where he'll come in contact with them. (i.e the bathtub) In the future I do not plan on buying the harsh cleaners so it's a start.


Maisie said...

Jackie, did you know that white vinegar is just as good as rinse aid for the dishwasher, and it doesn't leave a sinegary smell either.

Maisie said...

I don't know if you have a version of it but there are laundry powders, liquidsand softeners which also are ore environmentally friendly, or if items just need refreshing plain water does an equally good job.

RJ said...

I do actually use Seventh Generation laundry detergent for my son's clothes, and once I've used up my supply of other detergents I'll switch us to a phosphate free detergent, too.

And as for the vinegar in the dishwasher - I'll try that next time I fill the rinse container. We actually need a new dishwasher as it no longer rinses properly. It's 12 years old, so I think it's near the end of it's life and we've had it serviced twice to keep it going. Probably cheaper and more energy efficient now to look for a newer one.

Maisie said...

You have done well if your dishwasher has lasted 12 years, mine lasted 6½, before it started leaking everywhere and even putting on a new door seal didn't fix the problem.

The one I have now is A rated on all counts and is good, it is an Indesit.