Sunday, April 26, 2009

Can you be both Clean AND Green?

It's kinda weird to say "harsh chemicals" and "clean" in the same breath. But harsh chemicals are traditionally what household cleaners use to get our living spaces clean. Get this: "The average American uses about 40 pounds of toxic household cleaning products each year. These cleaning products contain dangerous ingredients, including neurotoxins, carcinogens, allergens, central nervous system depressants, heavy metals, and other agents that cause or contribute to cancer, respiratory problems, reproductive abnormalities, allergic reactions, and behavioral problems, among other issues."

That's depressing. I've run across a lot of articles discussing home-made cleaning supplies from common, safe ingredients I probably have around the house. But I don't have time for concocting my own products. Do you? And how much faith do you have in those products to do the job? I mean, if baking soda and vinegar worked, wouldn't we all still be using them? Or are we just brainwashed to think that we need turbo-charged cleaning and disinfecting power?

I'm not a lab, and I dunno, really. But lately I've been buying green alternatives. I've got some Seventh Generation products in my pantry, and even mainstream cleaning supply companies like Clorox and Colgate-Palmolive are getting into the act with green products. I admit it's hard to think "Clorox," which has always been synonomous to me with bleach, and "green" in the same breath, but read this feel better. Mainstream is becoming Greenstream!

Still, these products don't always do as good a job as the old, harsher brands. I'm still playing around with these products and will let you know when I come across something stellar. Right now I'm really liking these three products:
1. Clorox's "Green Works" Natural Glass & Surface Cleaner for my kitchen countertop surfaces

2. Safeway's reasonably-priced house brand, Bright Green, "Floor Care," which did a superb job of cleaning the vast expanse of white tile in my kitchen
3. Seventh Generation's Natural 2x Concentrate Laundry Liquid (concentrating the liquid saves on both packaging and shipping)

Here are the links for these product lines:

Here's a website for allergy sufferers on allergen-free cleaning,

And the Department of Interior even has an opinion!

Ok, ok. If anyone really does want to try their hand at making their own products, here's a page for you, too, Suzy Homemaker!

Please, please - let me know which green cleaning products you like, and we'll keep testing and posting

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