Green Cleaning in your home

Jesse
Ever skip down the cleaning isle and think “Gee-golly, there are a lot of green looking labels..how nice that everyone is offering more alternatives to cleaning products, tra lala lala, all is right in the world”. Ok, maybe I’m the only one who skips down cleaning isles? In my defense, skipping is fun and I encourage you all to do it. Also whistling in public…OK so next time you are skipping down the cleaning isle whistling your favorite tune thinking how cool it is that there are more “earthy” products out there, the truth may have you singing a different tune.

Wouldn’t it be nice if all those green labels actually reflected the quality of ingredients in those cleaners?! Sadly, the only thing that is “green” about those products is the colour of the sticker.  Most companies who produce some of the most toxic ingredients, simply change their stickers and the wording of their ingredient labels (e.g instead of sodium lauryl sulfate it will say coconut or plant derived surfactant/biodegradable matrix/cleaning agent/biodegradable surfactant/emulsifier). Ingredients lists are easily ridden with terms that seem very fluffy and nice but in reality may be hiding the exact same chemicals that are in our commercial grade chemical counterparts.  Don’t be fooled by marketing thinking that companies are turning a large environmental page in history. Read and understand your ingredients labels before taking that book home, ladies and gents.

Even now, I’m still surprised with what companies get away with putting down on their ingredients labeling as vague as “cleaning ingredients”. As consumers, you have the right to know and you have the right to chose your ingredients.

The subject about carbon footprint also comes into play here. Carbon Footprint is the amount of environmental waste or energy it takes to produce something. A company may boast packaging that may seem very efficient for the environment..however the packaging reduction may only be a fraction of the high carbon footprint from production and manufacturing chemicals overseas. Oh marketing, how deceiving you are.

There are very few cleaning companies that we like to support, as there are so many environmental claims that have no substance other than harmful chemical poop hidden behind a nice logo. When I look for products, I look for honesty. Here are our top honest household cleaner companies and some DIY cleaners.

Nature Clean
 
We support Nature Clean 100% for so many reasons. One, being that they listen to customer demand, are on the cutting edge and have really, really clean ingredients. As far as cleaning goes, I trust them because I know and understand what I am reading on their labels and their formulas are pretty at par with the old fashion methods of “natural works best”. It is also an easy company to mention for cleaning products as they manufacture a huge range of products from shampoo, laundry to all purpose and dish soap.  They are also Canadian and made in Canada.

TKO Orange Oil
 
This stuff is supreme. It is all purpose from hand washing, floor cleaning, toilets to removing cat pee and skunk smell. Seriously. All it is, is orange oil concentrate. Concentrate being the key word, as the price often scares people away. But, you add the instructed amount into water and then use. Although the price may seem shocking to those who are used to spending $5-10 on a “not so effective” product, this is magically wonderful and completely natural and biodegradable stuff. In my opinion, it smells wayyy better than any lemon fragrance you will come across and it will last you a very, very long time which is where the savings come into play. I especially like using this on floors, as it is safe for hardwood flooring and you don’t need to worry about pets coming in contact with it on their paws or into their system.

http://www.tkoorange.com

Dr. Bronner’s
 
Getting sick of me talking about how I love this company? Too bad, cupcake. Their all purpose soaps really do mean all purpose. I love the idea that this is safe enough for my hair, skin and I can clean my shower with it too.

DIY
 
Here’s the thing about natural or organic cleaning products: if you are down with a little effort into making your own, it will be cheaper and more rewarding to just make your own. Most of the clean green products are made with the same ingredients you can find at the grocery store, or even in your cupboards. Less packaging is less waste, so it is better for the environment for you to make your own, and it will save you money! On top of your own self pride levels going up a few points and therefor uplifting the overall positivity levels of the universe up to 2.6 notches…you may discover your own perfect mixture and method.

Baking soda: powerhouse of cleaning and deodorizing along with 60 other multi purposes:

http://www.thefarm.org/

Cornstarch: Carpet and rug cleaner

Lemon juice: A natural enzyme brightener, gets rid of grease and stains on clothing and counter surfaces. Mix with olive oil for furniture cleaner!

Salt: great for scouring as it is abrasive and gentle.

White vinegar: A fantastic all purpose cleaner for removing mildew and grease. Also great for washing windows and metal surfaces.

Grapefruit Extract: wonderful anti-fungal and disinfectants. Grapefruit seed extract and essential oils such as lavender, clove, and tea tree oil have antiseptic properties and operate as natural fungicides which is especially great in bathrooms and kitchens.

Club soda: Great for all kinds of clothing and carpet stains. You can even use this on windows if you find the vinegar smell hard to handle.

Also, this is a phenomenal book on household cleaning…it is also water resistant so you can take it swimming and read in the shower or whatever…

http://images.meredith.com/bhg/images/2007/06/p_100982880.jpg