Now that Spring weather has arrived, many of us may feel the urge to get organized and rid our homes of the germs that never fail to creep in over the Winter. Although cleaning can be a daunting task for some of us, it inevitably needs to be done in every home. Unfortunately, some of the products on shelves today contain unhealthy and potentially harmful ingredients that can affect the air quality of your home. After celebrating Earth Day in April, I set out to find new cleaning products that are conscious of our environment as well as reasonably priced. During my efforts, I came across various other blogs and resources that were full of helpful tips and tricks. Below you can find a list of clean brands, ingredients and recipes for DIY cleaning products, and resources to use to help find out if what you are using in your home is truly “clean.”
My Top Three “Clean” Brands
Seventh Generation - This brand is AWESOME when it comes to making sure the products you are using at home are healthy and eco-friendly. They are committed to taking care of future generations by using ingredients that have the environment in mind. Seventh Generation products are reasonably priced and can be found at Target, Kroger, CVS, Walgreens, The Fresh Market, and on Amazon! I have recently began to switch over to Seventh Generation products and am currently loving their Free & Clear Laundry Detergent (great for children with sensitive skin!) Seventh Generation also has their own blog where you can read more about their mission, products, and cleaning tips! Find it here: https://www.seventhgeneration.com/blog
The Honest Company - The Honest Company is very popular for it’s all natural and organic ingredients. They are mostly known for baby and beauty products, but have a wide variety of household products ranging from laundry to bathroom cleaners! The Honest Company also has subscriptions available for diapers and wipes on their website you can enroll in after a free-trial! Their products can be found at Target, Whole Foods, or you can order it directly from their website. While you are checking out their products, head over and take a look at their Honestly Blog! It has easy-to-read and informative articles all about wellness, parenting and lifestyle. Find it here: https://blog.honest.com/
Branch Basics - Branch Basics is a fairly new company founded by three women that experienced life-changing events which led to them to create non-toxic household cleaning products. Branch Basics uses a specific concentrate that is “plant- and mineral-based designed to replace virtually every cleaner in your home.” Although they are currently only found online, shipping is free for orders over $39 and you can find bundles that will help save money when buying multiple products! Their website is very user-friendly and contains a “soapbox” spot with more information on their mission and cleaning tips!
DIY Cleaning Recipes and Informative Blogs
All-Purpose Cleaner without Vinegar – Tiffany, author of “Don’t Waste the Crumbs,” was in the last stages of packing up to move when she realized the cleaning box was already in the moving truck. Her mission is to live a healthier life without having to pay an arm and a leg for products at the store. Tiffany was able to create a simple recipe that could be used on any surface in her home to help with the finishing touches before she moved. This recipe does not include vinegar, so it is the perfect “All-Purpose” cleaner. Vinegar is harsh on granite, stone and marble, therefore should not be used on many countertops and tables. To find Tiffany’s story and the recipe follow this link: https://dontwastethecrumbs.com/2016/01/diy-all-purpose-cleaner-no-vinegar/
All-In-One Bathroom Cleaner - As parents and guardians, we all know that the bathroom is one place in the house that needs to be continually cleaned in order to keep up with (unfortunately, this is true more so for parents of boys.) Kristin, author of Live Simply, experimented with different ingredients and created what she calls her bathroom therapy. This recipe was so effective for her, she felt the need to share it with everyone! With only a few ingredients, this cleaner will work hard on any “dirt, smell or mystery liquid.” Live Simply is found here along with her bathroom therapy recipe: https://livesimply.me/2014/09/28/diy-homemade-bathroom-cleaner/
Floor Cleaner – A floor cleaner was a must when I began searching for ways to transform my home into being more environmentally conscious and healthy overall. I cannot tell you how much money has been spent in the past on Swiffer pads and juice. (Although I still love them, I am looking for something more cost-effective.) Kristin, the creator of the previous “all-in-one bathroom cleaner” also found a simple, effective recipe for a multi-surface floor cleaner. She also stayed away from including vinegar in her floor cleaner because it is not safe to use on all surfaces, and to stay away from the strong scent that comes along with it. This recipe has only three ingredients, so it is super easy to make whenever you’re ready to clean the floors. Find it here: https://livesimply.me/2016/04/30/homemade-floor-cleaner-multi-surface/
4. Disinfectant – A disinfectant is a MUST in any home, especially in one that has pets and/or children. Many strong disinfectants you find in the stores either contain toxic chemicals, are not safe to use around children, or are hard on your bank account. Becky is the author of Clean Mama and created a recipe that uses natural ingredients to disinfect almost any area of your house. This recipe does include vinegar, so it should be used with caution on surfaces such as granite, marble and stone. There is no rinsing required for Becky’s disinfectant, but she does recommend leaving it sit for ten minutes to maximize its germ-killing potential. She also recommends using a glass spray bottle (an awesome version can be found at Branch Basics or another company called Grove Collaborative!) She also recommends using vodka in this particular disinfectant but notes that it may be substituted for rubbing alcohol. Her blog and recipe can both be found here: https://www.cleanmama.net/2017/06/diy-disinfecting-spray-cleaner.html
5. Window/Mirror Cleaner – Those tiny hands that we created and love dearly, also tend to leave behind tiny (not so adorable) fingerprints on all of our windows and mirrors. The inspiration behind this recipe came when Kalyn, whose mission is to find “simple solutions to manage everyday life,” only had the bathrooms left to clean and did not want to leave the house just to buy window cleaner. Kalyn rummaged through items she already had at home and created a streak-free window cleaner with only three ingredients (water, vinegar and rubbing alcohol). To read more about her simple solutions and directions on how to use this recipe, follow this link: https://kalynbrooke.com/cleaning-organizing/homemade-window-cleaner-with-vinegar/
I hope these resources and recipes leave you inspired to clean “green” and to find products that are eco-friendly. Every one of the brand websites or blogs linked on this post are full of advice and tips to manage not just cleaning, but all of life’s craziness! Lastly, when I began searching for clean, healthy products, I used an app called Think Dirty. This app helps to quickly identify the ingredients in a specific product such as cleaners, baby products, makeup and beauty products, to ensure you know exactly what is sitting on your shelves. Since using Think Dirty I have been able to have more peace of mind in knowing that what is in my cabinets is safe and healthy for both my family and the environment! Happy Spring Cleaning!