Monday, March 31, 2014

Going Non-Toxic

I was addicted to Gain and Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day products for a long time. I know it makes no sense, but my clothes or countertops just didn't feel clean unless they smelled like apple blossoms or geraniums. Plus, somehow those heavily perfumed products made cleaning feel a little less like drudgery — was the quintessential consumer. 

My addiction would've continued had I not written this post for One Green Planet. In researching my topic, I learned the specifics about the harmful effects of most store-bought cleaning products (including asthma, cancer, and reproductive disorders), as well as what a danger they can be to the environment. This information, coupled with Harper's sensitive skin, sent me over the edge, and I finally decided it was time to make a change.

Fortunately for me, there are tons of websites that provide recipes for DIY non-toxic cleaning products. The best part, though, is what little time and energy it took to make them. Each product took about five minutes or less. The hardest part was finding the citric acid (which I finally found at Ace Hardware, in the canning section). Everything else came from my local grocery store (except for the glass jar for the detergent, which I bought at Michaels). I had empty bottles on hand that I had saved from my store-bought cleaning supplies. 

Here are the recipes I used:

All-purpose cleaner (Hydrogen peroxide also works great.)

Borax-free laundry detergent (Adding silica gel packets, which can be found at electronics stores or craft stores, like Michaels, is key. Without those, the detergent will clump. Also, white vinegar works great as a fabric softener and doesn't smell.)

Hand soap (One note on the hand soap: The recipe calls for a foaming dispenser, which I didn't have, so I just used a regular soap dispenser. The soap works great, but it is a little runny. Next time I make it, I will just add less water.)

all you need for an all-purpose cleaner

ready to make laundry detergent

almost forgot the citric acid

putting the castile soap in the food processor 

the detergent (half of the amount I made pictured)

worked great

time for hand soap

and done

working its magic

I'm really happy with the results. I do miss the smell (the essential oils I add don't compare to the synthetic fragrances that I'm used to), but I honestly feel like the non-toxic cleaning products are doing a better job. Once my dish soap runs out, I'll replace that with a non-toxic option, too. I'm a convert!