Monday, November 23, 2009

Rethinking Cleaning

It's officially been 2 weeks since the girl that cleans my house flaked on me (for the last time).  And since I've decided not to have her back... I've been doing a lot of cleaning.  Ugh.

But of course, with every change that I think is negative, there is a positive-- I might have to look a little harder to find it... but, I trust and know... it's there.  For me, cleaning my house myself means that it gets done exactly how I want it... it may take a lot longer... but it's my way.  Over the past couple of weeks, I've cleaned bathrooms, dusted, mopped floors, wiped down cabinets, and degreased my glass-top stove.

Years ago, I had a cabinet filled with all sorts of "cleaning supplies".  Bathroom cleaner (bleach based), toilet bowl cleaner, Bar Keepers Friend, Pledge, 409, something made specifically for hard wood floors, Pine-sol, Windex....etc, etc, etc.  Then when Chase was little I watched as he licked yogurt off of the table... I wondered if he had ingested some 409 along with it.  Then Claire had a thing with laying on the shower floor and licking the water... I wondered if "it still smelled like cleaner, wouldn't that mean the cleaner was still there??".  As I was cleaning and my eyes would water-- even with windows open-- I would think, "What if the smell of 'clean' really isn't as clean as I think it is??"  Moments like that are what made me RETHINK the products I use to clean my house.

Like I said, I had a cabinet full of products.  Of course, I didn't just throw them out-- that would've been a waste.  As I ran out of one product, I figured out what could be used in its place and replaced it with an environmentally friendly product.  First, I switched to products like Method and Mrs. Meyers.  Changing the products I used and how I clean took time... and was a little frustrating at times trying to figure out what really worked for me.  Now my cleaning repertoire consists of very simple products that I can rely on to clean my house.  All I really need is:
  • White vinegar-- diluted with water for floors (tile and wood), bathroom, cabinets, windows, baseboards/doors, all-purpose cleaner
  • Baking Soda-- bathroom, pots & pans, stove, etc
  • Borax-- toilets
  • CitraSolv-- a good smelling dilutable all-purpose cleaner 
  • Micro-fiber dust cloth-- used in place of Pledge
  • Plain towels (like cloth diapers... they don't leave fuzz): I use them in place of paper towels and even sponges
Need convincing and help Rethinking?