After my Safe and Non-Toxic Laundry Tips entry I did back in March, I had lots of requests for a cleaning post - so here it is. Just like with all my safe natural laundry products, when I was pregnant with Tanner, I read a lot about how harmful household chemicals were and made the commitment to completely rid my house of them. I made sure all the cleaning products in our house were safe and natural and to this day they are. I really believe less is more and was inspired by A Guide to Green Housekeeping, which I found at Brook Farm General Store - one of my favorite websites. Here are some of my favorite tips and products for having a healthy clean home.
As you know, I love The Laundress laundry products and I recently discovered their new collection of Home Cleaning Products. My two favorites are their Scented Vinegar and Bleach Alternative. The Laundress’s products are highly concentrated, don’t contain artificial fragrances, colors, or dyes, and are allergen, phthalate, phosphate, and paraben free. On top of being natural and clean, their super chic packaging is all biodegradable and recyclable and looks and smells great.
I use their Bleach Alternative for laundry but it is also useful around the house. Its great for stains as well as scrubbing sinks and bathrooms. The Laundress has a great post on their blog where you can read more all of its uses.
You can use vinegar to clean just about anything but I have never used it to its full potential because of the strong odor. The Laundress solved that problem when they created their Scented Vinegar. Its great for everything and again The Laundress has a great list of tips on their website. The one thing I do use regular vinegar for- that I buy in a large jug at whole foods is cleaning the kid’s bath toys. My friend Alyson taught me that ever so often you need to soak bath toys in a bucket of watered down vinegar overnight to get rid of any mold or bacteria they could have from constant use and water getting trapped inside them.
Mrs. Meyers makes the majority of the cleaning products I use around the house. I love their packaging, scents, and effectiveness. My favorite scents are Lavender and Lemon Verbena. I just saw they have a new Rosemary scent and I can’t wait to try it. Mrs. Meyers products are natural and are free from ammonia, chlorine, glycol solvents, parabens, phtalates, formaldehyde, artificial colorants, phosphates and petroleum distillates.
For the kitchen, I love their Dish Soap and Countertop Cleaner. I also love their Surface Scrub, which like The Laundress Bleach Alternative, can be used for scrubbing sinks, bathrooms and tough stains around the house. Mrs. Meyers Glass Cleaner is great and I use it for windows and glass tabletops around the house as an alternative to Windex. For bathrooms, I swear by their Bathroom Cleaner - I use it for showers, countertops, bathtubs, and sinks. I always have Mrs. Meyers All Purpose Cleaner in the house as well. People always comment on how great our house smells whenever we are cleaning and Mrs. Meyers has a scent for everyone.
7th generation is such a great company - I use their Diapers and Wipes for the kids. I also use some of their cleaning products around the house. In the kitchen I use their Dishwasher Tablets and Rinse Aid in the dishwasher. I love their Disinfecting Wipes, for everything. I wipe down the phones with them and even bring them on flights to wipe down around my seat. For the bathroom I like 7th Generation's Toilet Bowl Cleaner. They make tons of other great products, but because I love the way Mrs. Meyers smells, I tend to use less 7th Generation.
Brushes & Sponges
I love beautiful brushes and sponges for cleaning. The Laundress has a great Scrub Brush, Bottle Brush, Copper Cloth, and Horse Hair Brush. I also have some great Brushes from Caldrea that I love. For sponges I love Twist. You can find them online or at Whole Foods, they are eco friendly, they look great, and do the job.
My friend Leanne recently turned me on to this beautiful site, Objects of Use. Based in England, they have the most beautiful cleaning products - they make you want to clean! I would take one of everything but had to draw the line somewhere and I just ordered this Kentucky Mop - it’s amazing. My housekeeper looked at me sideways when it arrived, thinking it looked like it was useless and vintage and after using it is in love! If you email them they will ship to the US.
I have great brooms from Roost that I ordered for my store that are beautiful. A similar option is a great broom from Justamere Treefarm. To hang them all up, I used my hooks from Brook Farm General Store. I also love my Dust Pan and Brush from Brook Farm - it’s chic and practical.
In addition to my cleaning caddy, we use these White Buckets that I mentioned in my Laundry Post. They are great for the laundry room, especially the 10qt. and 16 qt. sizes. I keep two large ones under the sink for dirty rags and napkins, etc. and a smaller one on the counter for soaking clothes that have stains.
Toilet Brushes & Plungers
For the bathroom I discovered these chic toilet brushes and plungers on Remodelista and I just ordered them for Tahoe in white. XXJKE