Today, I am pretending to be Cinderella.
Not the beautiful, mice scurrying, riding in pumpkins, dancing with handsome men Cinderella. I am the toiling away at the hearth Cinderella.
Luckily we don't have a real hearth. That would just be one more thing to clean. We do however have sticky floors, ringy tubs, grungy counters and an entire mountain of dirty clothes. All of these things and more need to be cleaned before the family begins to arrive for Thanksgiving tomorrow.
All of this cleaning made me think about how I used to clean.
Things began to seem off with me when I was pregnant with my Girlie. Hubby had to take over all of the cleaning because my gut told me that I shouldn't be inhaling all of those strong smells while being pregnant. Then, after sweet Girlie was born I would clean when she wasn't in the room. Why would I expose such a sweet little thing to toxic fumes?
By the time I got pregnant with my Little Guy I finally smartened up. Something wasn't right.
After a ton of online research and talking to lots of people in the know I discovered that I didn't need gross smells and powerful white bottles to get my home clean. Things like vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice all had disinfecting properties while being safe enough to eat. Anything that was safe enough to eat was certainly safe enough to clean my home.
The changes in my cleaning cabinet came slowly. First a bottle of Dr. Bronner's. The website said that you could wash your floors, brush your teeth, wash your hair and clean lots more with this one little bottle. I stared simple with my floors. The Dr. Bronner's cleaned my floors so well that I told my friend Kim.
Kim had two very sick kitties. The kitties were regulars at the vets office. The vet couldn't figure out what was wrong with them. A few days after Kim got rid of her harsh floor cleaner she noticed the kitties getting better. A month later, the kitties were perfectly fine.
Kim's kitties are enough proof for me. Why would I let my human children crawl and play on a floor "cleaned" with toxic chemicals?
For my next purchase I bought an all-purpose cleaner. The 365 Brand makes a great cleaner. I could finally spray my counters clean without my eyes watering.
Then, came lemon juice and Borax to clean the toilets. No more opening the window to clean the bathroom.
Today, my house has 100% safe cleaning products. You could lick my counters if you were very brave. You could roll on my floors naked if you were very, very brave.
My advice to everyone out there including Mary, my new-to Whole Foods friend, my parents who are trying to green-up for their health, my neighbor who is ditching her bleach bottle and everyone else out there is to START SMALL.
Just change one product in your cleaning routine with an homemade product or safe alternative. As you get used to it, you can remove something else. Then, pat yourself on the back for cleaning the air in your home, the groundwater in your community and the air and water near the large cleaning chemical manufacturing plant.