Saturday, July 5, 2008

Green Cleaning on the Cheap

Two of my friends are moving over to the green side (welcome!). I think they're both in sticker shock. One of the first things people begin to notice is the price. Shopping organic is ridiculously expensive. But not everything has to be. Here's a couple of ideas:

Don't waste your money on organic cleaners. Use vinegar to clean, baking soda for abrasive, and bleach or rubbing alcohol to disinfect. Hot water is your best cleaning friend.

Use an aloe vera and rubbing alcohol mixture to make your own hand sanitizer.

You can make your own shampoos using diluted castile soap and herbs (I like tea tree oil)

You can even make your own reusable pads, girls. I haven't tried it yet, to my husband's relief.

Just start googling stuff. There's almost always a cheaper, green way to go.


  1. Do you actually use bleach to clean? Bleach was one of the first things I was hearing horrible things about. Or are you using some kind of fancy bleach that isn't really bleach? I don't know what I"m talking about.

  2. Oh, and also...I have Bronner's castile soap. The tea tree one. How much do you dilute it when you make shampoo or soap? I don't want to dilute it too much.

  3. I use diluted bleach only to disinfect, never for regular cleaning. The key is to dilute it properly. Household bleach used correctly in small quantities is just fine for the environment. But if you're still concerned, hydrogen peroxide also works well.
    Most things you'll read about bleach have a lot of chemical fallacies. I don't trust most of them, especially alarmists. Just use it sparingly and JUST for disinfecting and it's fine.

  4. Castile soap: I usually just dilute 1/3-1/2 water and it still cleans my hair well.

  5. I'm surprised that bleach is ok for the environment. Even so though, I can't believe that it's safe for human absorbtion, right?
    I also wrote on Sara's blog my problem with vinegar, I hate the smell so are there any prettier smelling alternatives?
    Oh, and I'm one up on you Kristi. You don't need to make your own pads if you just stay pregnant all the time. That's working for me so far. In all seriousness though I actually saw a magazine add for some weird thing you put inside of you instead of a pad or tampon, I can't remember what it's called though. It seemed kind of gross and was sort of shaped like a little cup. I don't know if it was made from plastic or rubber or what but it's probably a much healthier thing than putting bleached tampons up your ying yang. Maybe.
    I'm definitely curious about making shampoos, I'm going to have to try it. Thanks for the tips!

  6. It's hard because it seems like everyone has an agenda so I have a hard time trusting everything I read. I tend to go for the science and that says it's safe in small amounts (I'm definitely not suggesting we go out and dump straight bleach down our drains!) But the key with anything with bleach is small, small quantities and dilution, dilution, dilution. Every disinfectant can be toxic if used incorrectly. My advice is read up and see which one is best for your situation.
    If you hate vinegar, just use baking soda. But I prefer the way my windows look with my vinegar cleaner.
    Yeah, I've seen that cup thing...a little too gross sounding for me too!

  7. I've actually got the Diva Cup on my shopping list. A friend of mine used to use one forever ago, and she swore it was awesome. Hers was a different brand...can't think of it right now. I figure I might as well try it.

    And I love the soap I made yesterday! I haven't tried it on my hair yet, but I will. Hey are you going to be visiting with me while I'm in Utah? I'll be there in 2 days.

  8. Heck yeah. Don't know if hubby will make it though. His shingles is starting to clear up though. Good ol' Valtrex!

  9. Isn't it awesome how now everyone online can read about what we are or may be sticking in our vaginas. The internet is so cool!
    PS Tell me how that Diva cup works for you, Sara. I'm curious.