I have to confess I once was clean & mean, but no longer. The back story is I have chilled out and don’t spend hours scrubbing my home as I did in the past, but we won’t go there, it’s a sad tale of time ill spent. Now, I clean less and I have a lighter touch with the quantity of proprietary products I use. Not only am I saving the environment: I’m saving money.
My cleaning strategy was out of touch with reality. I needed disregard the magnet on my fridge and engage my mind… for a while.
I tended to be loyal (unimaginative?) when it came to household brands, eg using Radiant washing powder forever. I’d try “green choice” products for other cleaning but without much expertise, or effort.My brain lagged behind my body, the body that forced me to consider healthier alternatives. Using proprietary products left me wheezing and with peeling skin.
I consulted books that languished nicely dusted on my bookshelves, about healthy natural living. Bicarbonate of soda and white vinegar became my go-to products.
A “clean” seminar hosted by my workplace made me better informed about labels & ingredients (www.sasiclean.com.au_cleanguide & www.freshgreencleancom.au ). It also gave me tangible tools such a squeegee for the shower and washable microfibre cloths used just with water – it’s amazing how much you can clean with just water. I always used a microfibre duster & cloths, just never understood the science of how they work.
I use white vinegar instead of fabric softener and dishwasher rinse aid. Laced with water soluble herbal oils in spray bottle it became my base cleaning product on all surfaces except glass & mirrors – plain white vinegar for these; and my best timesaver is to leave those for the G.O. to do… Depending on the season, I vary the oils “flavouring” the cleaning vinegar. In the humidity of summer I use clove oil, and the chill of winter, lavender and eucalyptus: for wiping over outdoor areas, citronella oil.
Different appliances and requirements when we moved apartments finally prompted me to change my brands. Now, where bicarb & vinegar don’t suffice I use the smallest amount of a certified green choice cleaning product possible. In 9 months, washing at least once a day for 2 people, including 6 days a week of the G.O.’s construction site work clothes we’ve used about a kilo of green choice washing powder.
Dishwashing detergent makes great laundry stain remover, or a sprinkle of bicarb with a drizzle of vinegar over the stain sizzles it up. The combo is a great toilet and shower floor cleaner as well. No brand white vinegar is 99 cents or less a litre and a box of bicarb is a couple of dollars.
It’s not much in the big scheme and I still have a long way to go before I’ll be happy with my environmental footprint but I’m doing better than I was. I have money in my purse, only a couple of cleaning products in my cupboard and time for better things than domestic goddess duties.