With the arrival of our baby on my mind more and more these days, I have been thinking (among other things) about the health and safety of our home, specifically as it relates to cleaning (you know that fizzing scrubby cleaner you use on the tub? Ever wonder why it hurts your throat to breathe when you use it, or has so many warnings on the label?).
Some of you might remember the post I wrote about making your own laundry detergent. This experiment has been an overwhelming success. Our clothes come out of the laundry just as clean as before, the process of making it takes only a little effort, and I can rest easy knowing that not only am I saving money by doing this, I am reducing the impact of our household on the environment.
One thing I have enjoyed doing instead of using polluting fabric softeners, especially with sheets and towels, is doing a vinegar rinse in the laundry cycle – just add about 1/4 cup of white vinegar during the rinse cycle to ensure all the soap is rinsed out. Don’t worry about the vinegar smell – it goes away once everything dries. For a special touch, you can add some essential oils to your vinegar rinse – I put a couple dozen or so drops of lavender scent into a gallon jug and use that. When the vinegar smell (not very strong to begin with) goes away, the scent remains. Ah…lavender sheets!
I have also been trying my hand at expanding the safety of our cleaning supplies to other realms. I really like the method cleaners that are available now. However, they can be a bit pricey for our generic budget, and aren’t available everywhere.
I received a book for my birthday called Clean House, Clean Planet, written by Karen Logan (that last link is to an article written about her and her business, and has some other interesting info too). The book is a wonderful read – it outlines some of the dangers of common household cleaners, and presents some alternatives that you can make yourself out of things that you probably have around already. White vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice, essential oils, liquid soap, borax, olive oil and club soda (!) are the main ingredients she says to have on hand.
I haven’t finished the book yet, but it’s so amazing to think of the possibility of getting rid of the scary cleaners, and using only these basic ingredients. Not only are these options healthier, they’re cheaper (also good with a baby on the way!), and they’re a lot kinder to the world in which we live.
Anna’s Nest is the craft and tutorial website for me, Anna Warren. It’s also where I keep my blog. Enjoy!