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How-To Green-Up your Clean-Up

Posted: June 12th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Green | Tags: Bleach, Caldrea, Green Cleaning, Method, Mrs. Meyers, Seventh Generation | 8 Comments »

Awesomeness in a bottle aka Caldrea Counter Top Spray

Years ago, as a young newlywed, I washed my dishes in fancy (read: expensive) aromatherapy enhanced dish soaps that were no doubt made by hand in small batches by young maidens in someones totally organic kitchen. Fast forward to the here and now and not only do I have more messes to clean up (3 boys under 3!) but since quitting my job to stay home, I am also lacking the funds to buy that wondrous dish washing liquid.

It wasn’t only the dish soap I gave up over the years. It was the special counter top cleaner. It was the luxurious laundry detergent. It was the hand soap that not only complemented the decor but also changed scents with the seasons.

In the past few years I’ve gone back to basics. Bleach. Lysol. Mr. Clean. Not exactly the top 3 green cleaners on the market and definitely NOT the top three best smelling. But I’ve got this budget, so where do I start?

First off, I had to decide if I was going to actually go the route of making my own. It’s cheaper for sure but I’m not sure about greener. I tried to clean with vinegar and water for about thislong and I just didn’t feel like it was getting clean. Not as clean as I wanted or needed it to be anyways. Baking soda, lemon juice, good old elbow grease…they are all there too. But seriously, when you have a grimy white sink that you just need to get a stain out of…I’m always going to grab my bleach. Always. Remember that going green is tax deductible when you’re filing your TurboTax this year.

So what to do? How do I stick to my budget, get some green cleaners back into my house and still get the clean I want and like?

#1 Pick one item you use every day and start with that. Find something that fits your budget and start buying that product. For me it was dish soap. I haven’t had a dishwasher since 2005, so I do dishes at least once a day. For awhile we were using about the worst thing you could possibly use simply because it was the cheapest. I quickly found a few replacements that weren’t any more expensive than any other product. It might not have been the wondrous dish soap I spoke of above, but it was greener, it wasn’t killing my hands and it smelled good. That product was Seventh Generation.

#2 Figure out what the store you shop at carries for green cleaning products. If you have to drive all over town looking for something, you probably won’t stick with it or try it at all. Most stores carry a few lines now. My Target has Seventh Generation, Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day (made by Caldrea) Method and Watkins among others. Pick a price point you can live with and start trying products.

#3 Save some money with coupons! A lot of these companies do not have coupons in your Sunday paper, most of them have a mailing list you can get on or some sort of sign-up on their website where you can get coupons right through email.

#4 If you live somewhere like I do, where there are a couple great soap companies like Caldrea and Thymes, find out if they have warehouse sales. Thymes has a huge warehouse sale every October and you can bet I am there stocking up on my favorite items (I miss the laundry detergent the most).

#5 If there is something you just can’t part with, don’t. For me it will probably always be bleach for my kitchen sink. I just can’t kick the habit. And that’s OK. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

Right now I’ve got a pretty good mix of products under my sink, Method, Lysol, Mrs. Meyers, Fabloso and even a little Caldrea and of course my Seventh Generation Dish soap. As I finish off bottles of cleaners I try hard to replace them with something a little less harsh and a little more green. Except for that bleach….

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8 Comments on “How-To Green-Up your Clean-Up”

  1. 1 Jennifer K. said at 9:49 pm on June 12th, 2011:

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  2. 2 Sarah said at 11:38 pm on June 12th, 2011:

    Costco has a GREAT selection of green cleaner. Borax is also a good "make your own" kind of stuff. Steel wool is worth its weight in gold when it comes to bathroom. Will remove hard water stains off the glass doors like nobody's business. It'll take elbow grease, but it works so much better than CLR or lime away. Pumice stone for hard water stains in toilets (ring around the toilet) also take it off.

  3. 3 Janine said at 12:24 am on June 13th, 2011:

    I love Seventh Generation, and where we live it is always going on sale. When we used disposable diapers we used Seventh Gen and now we use them for laundry, dishes and more. Mrs. Meyers makes me feel like a true housewife and I LOVE the scents.

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  7. 7 Friday Favorites Giveaway {Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day + Caldrea} | The Slacker Mom said at 5:28 am on June 24th, 2011:

    […] few weeks ago I talked about how I’m trying to go green with my cleaning products. It’s definitely a process. I would say I’m about half-way there in getting rid of my […]

  8. 8 EcoStore USA {A Review} | The Slacker Mom said at 1:51 pm on July 8th, 2011:

    […] more issues (stinky dipes, diaper rash) so I’d go back to my cheap free and clear. But, as we’ve learned, I’m always be on the lookout for something that is a little more green with fewer […]


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