I cleaned up my cleaning act in an effort to get my house sparkling without using a ton of products or chemicals. Let me give you a quick rundown of why I did it to begin with.
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First, you should know I’m one of those crazy people who actually like to clean. Perhaps this is because I’m one of five children and my mom doled out cleaning tasks each Saturday morning, so the habit stuck early. Or, perhaps it’s because I just enjoy seeing sparkling clean surfaces after a good scrub down. To me, there’s also something that’s relaxing about the process of cleaning and the satisfaction of the end result.
My Cleaning Act Epiphany
When we moved into our fixer-upper farmhouse, I was astonished at the sheer amount of specialty cleaning products I unpacked. And as I went through that box, I also realized how many of the products I no longer wanted to use due to what I saw on the ingredients list. Although I’ve always been a stickler for getting surfaces sanitized, I didn’t care for the bleachy, strong scent of some of the products I had picked up. I was always coughing, sneezing, and opening windows just to get a breath of fresh air. In addition, I couldn’t wash any of my cleaning cloths with chemical cleaners on them, and I hated that wastefulness. My goal became to whittle down my arsenal to just a handful of safe and effective cleaning products. If you intend to clean up your cleaning act too, you’ll want to do the same.
When I was a kid, I remember my mom using vinegar and Borax to clean a lot, but she also used all the mainstream cleaning products for wood furniture, kitchen sinks, and bathrooms that became popular in the ’70s and ’80s. Here’s the thing. As consumers, we mistakenly believe what’s on the shelf to buy is fine and safe to use, but turns out, it’s not. We know this when we see all those TV lawsuit commercials that mention items that are now off the market and have been determined to lead to cancer or respiratory illness. Once I read up on all the bad effects of my chemical cleaners, even some I liked, I knew they had to go bye-bye.
My Greener, Healthier Cleaning Act Picks
When spring cleaning rolls around, I still use Murphy’s Oil Soap to clean my wood cabinets, and I make a few of my own vinegar-based concoctions to do some of my cleaning. However, I’m not ready to make my own cleaners for everything in my home just yet. I’m happy to say it’s not an impossible feat to pick healthier cleaning products these days if you’re not ready to make your own either. The market has become a lot more saturated, though, and that comes with its own problems; namely, picking the right product. I’ve tried a lot of “natural” brands and dinged some that are readily available, due to either scent or ineffectiveness. Here’s a rundown of my favorite brands and products that I think you would like too.
I have tried a few Aunt Fannie’s products recently and really like them. Their cleaning vinegar cloths are great for quickly wiping down countertops, and they’re biodegradable, so I can toss them in my countertop composter when I’m done with them. No more paper towel waste. They’re scented with 100% essential oils like lemon and lavender to take some of the edge off strong vinegar fragrances. Most recently, I’ve purchased their Microcosmic Probiotic multi-surface cleaner. One of the things I love about health-based brands is their commitment to transparency. They invite you to check out their ingredients instead of hiding them. Aunt Fannie’s products contain no dyes, petroleum, sulfates, parabens, phthalates, or gluten. The bottles are also recyclable.
Mrs. Meyers is a brand that’s pretty popular already and easily found in larger grocery stores and big-box retailers. Their offerings are vast, from dish liquid to hand soap to air fresheners to all-purpose cleaners. They also offer limited-edition, seasonal scents, which is a nice bonus. Their mum fragrance is divine! I also love their body care products. Mrs. Meyers labels list all of their good-for-you-and-your-body ingredients and also what they leave out.
Method is another very popular, mass-marketed brand with offerings from everything from laundry to general cleaning products. I love their daily shower spray which has significantly cut down my time scrubbing. It has a very clean mint and eucalyptus scent. I am also a fanatic about their Wood for Good everyday wood cleaner and floor cleaner. It makes my tables glow and there is no cleaning residue left on surfaces. It’s made with almond oil, so it also smells great.
Grove is a subscription-based company that has recently extended its offerings to clean skincare and makeup products under their Roven brand. I have belonged to Grove for almost three years now. You sign up and choose how often you get your orders, but there is no monthly fee. Grove has made a commitment to be plastic-free in just a few years from now. I purchased some of their glass spray bottles along with tubes of concentrated cleaners that you can dilute with water. It feels good to know that when I’ve used it up, I can just purchase another small replacement tube of concentrated cleaner. These three tube set covers bathroom cleaner, glass cleaner, and multi-purpose cleaner, all made with essential oils. I also love using Grove for several other reasons:
- Need new kitchen towels? You can get them here. Scrub brushes? Yep. Microfiber towels? Yes.
- I buy vitamins and other supplements through Grove. I trust their natural ingredients far more than what I can find in a grocery store or general pharmacy.
- You can purchase not just Grove brand products but all of the cleaning brands I mentioned earlier in this post on their website, and then some. That alone has made me really happy, knowing I don’t have to scour aisles to find the clean brands that I love. And, since they are always adding new products to their website, I can find new favorites.
A Great Way to Get Started with Healthier Cleaning
If you want to try Grove, you can click on this link to sign up for a free VIP trial, and you’ll receive a FREE Mrs. Meyers holiday set that includes dish soap, all-purpose cleaner, hand soap, a walnut scrubber, and a caddy with your order of $30 or more. That’s not just a great deal, but a nice way to try out a brand you may not be using.
My Cleaning Act Future
I’m happy to say I cleaned up my cleaning act. I’ve now armed myself with just a handful of wood, glass, and multi-purpose cleaning products that are much healthier to use, make my house smell great, and do a wonderful job getting everything sparkling clean. No more chemical cleaners to worry about. Do you have a favorite cleaning product, homemade or purchased? Let me know in the comments!