When it comes to cleaning products, it sometimes seems as though you have to sacrifice the safety or health of your family in order to get things clean. That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but I understand the logic; clean chemicals seem a better choice than disease spreading germs. But I have definitely found some alternatives that I feel comfortable spraying near a plate of food or on a highchair tray that will disinfect without smoking us out of the room.
Melaleuca. High cost. High hassle.
I have used various Melaleuca products in my house for over a year. Although their hygiene products like “chemical free deodorant,” “all natural toothpaste,” or “soap made from sweet grass, honey and angel wings” (OK I made that last one up) are not high on my shopping list, their cleaning products kind of kick ass. I have used their “Tough and Tender” all purpose cleaner to get month-old crayon off of woodwork, as well as loosen pancake batter from the counter top (which I will admit, had been sitting there for an unreasonable amount of time). Their disinfectant kills 99.9% of germs just like the other big dogs, but without the nasty, synthetic fumes. Again, this is on the pricier side, but it comes concentrated so they give you an empty bottle to dilute the solution, which ends up lasting for months. Another downside to this is that to get a discounted price you have to join a club, which (working in the financial field) is never a good idea because you have to cut out a kidney and sell your car just to get out of the club….and by “cut out your kidney and sell your car” I REALLY mean send them a fax that you printed from their website and filled out. But who has a fax anymore? I almost would have preferred selling my kidney to avoid that debacle. Regardless of all the hassle that comes along for the ride, the products really do knock my socks off.
Seventh Generation. Moderate cost. Low hassle.
I don’t mean to imply that Melaleuca doesn’t care for it’s customers, but Seventh Generation seems to go above and beyond what most people would expect from a cleaning product manufacturer. Their website is extremely user-friendly and they don’t just say “Yep, trust us, we’re a green company.” They actually have data sheets that include all of the ingredients of their products. Also, Seventh Generation seems to be a self-aware company; meaning they are aware that they have priced themselves on the high end of the spectrum. However, their saving grace is that their website has coupons you can print out in order to save a little green (get it? GREEN). And finally the biggest ease of them all is that you do not have to order online or get caught up in a contract with monthly deliveries. Their website will guide you to stores in your area so the not-so-computer-savvy can still enjoy their great products.
Made by you! Low cost. Moderate hassle.
Of course my absolute favorite is going to be the cheapest. Before 3M Innovations, Scrubbing Bubbles and Mr. Clean were stocked on shelves across the country, housekeepers sometimes had to get a little creative with their supplies. Maybe there just wasn’t enough money to buy Bleach, other times perhaps a bus ride to the store was too big of inconvenience to warrant a trip, so what did our peeps from the past do? (Yeah, I can’t believe I just said “peeps” either, but let’s just try to forget about that). They made their own cleaning supplies and they worked just as well as what you’d find at any store today.