House Of Horrors

While re-organizing the kitchen in preparation for our renovations, I moved a box of household cleaners from its former home under the sink to the laundry room, where the rest of our cleaners live. It wasn't until this consolidation that I realized just HOW MANY scary chemicals we've been keeping in our home. We have bottles of stuff for stoves, for sinks, for toilets, for windows, for carpets, for drains -- and most of them are chemical overkill. I cleaned my kitchen -- the place I prepare food in -- with substances that I don't even want to breathe. I'd felt dubious about normal household cleansers for quite a while, but figured I would just use up the ones we had and then replace them with more environmental options. Now, though, I've started to feel more immediate about it. I want these things GONE. There's no need to have them in the same house as me and my husband and my dog. I'm ready to switch to safer and more environmentally responsible cleaners... but... umm... the question is, how? What do I do with these, and what do I replace them with? This is me officially soliciting recommendations.

  • Yogi 7y

    Elbow grease. :D
  • Yogi 7y

    Vinegar wiped off with an old newspaper works great on windows, too, harpy.
  • kari 7y

    Thanks Yog!
  • paulmcaleer 7y

    For the new stuff: I highly, highly, highly recommend method products. Highly.
  • Sanctu 7y

    Wait for an alien invasion?
  • Rebecca 7y

    I think the dump accepts hazardous waste! What I did was use up the bad cleaners and then as they were gone, I replaced them with earth friendly cleaners (I love Method). I also have researched using baking soda and vinegar for cleaning. I do loe those things!

    Method has a detox kit!
  • Brittney Bush Bollay 7y

    Thanks everyone... I'll be doing some more research on this over the next couple of days.

    The problem with using up the bad cleaners is that, well, I don't really clean much... so it could take YEARS.

    I might try to find a domestic violence shelter or some other organization that can use them, and donate them.
  • tamelyn feinstein 7y

    mrs. meyers clean day products.

    environmentally friendly, biodegradable, and they smell divine.
  • Puff Dragon 7y

    I use simple green, it smells good.

    Melaleuca products are great, but it's to much of a hassle to get them. It's like Amway but they won't just sell you the products, they make you sign up for a bunch of bullshit.
  • Emily Garcia 7y

    Blegh -- I was actually going to come back to comment that I can't use Simple Green because the smell makes me ill. To each their own, I guess :)
  • Puff Dragon 7y

    My husband hates the smell too emily ann ;-)
  • Brittney Bush Bollay 7y

    I /have/ been looking for an excuse to try some of that mrs. meyers stuff.
  • Mayr 7y

    Ok, I'm late to the conversation, but I second the rec for "method" products if you need to have some bottled cleaners on hand for the everyday kind of cleaning. Naturally-derived, biodegradable, made with a focus on the environment, and they actually work (and their scented things aren't too overpowering). Target stores carry a great variety of method products. Their eucalyptus-mint window cleaner and reusable lint-free microfiber window wipe thingy (it's amazing) is my favorite product. (Although, vinegar/water works just as well with it). And their laundry products are very concentrated (3x, so less packaging used over time) and earth-friendly, too. No phosphates.

    But I also agree with harps-- white vinegar is magic and baking soda is a miracle-worker for scrubbing. I have huge Costco-size quantities of both that I use. I just this morning cleaned my stovetop with baking soda and hot water, mixed with a couple drops of method dish soap, and then rinsed with vinegar/water and dried to a shine. It takes a little more elbow grease, but in the end, it works better than any 409-type stuff and, um, I can breathe.
    I scour my sink with the same kind of baking soda-soap-water technique and finish with fresh lemon juice... actually, I like to rub cut lemons all over my sink when it's clean. LOL, I'm weird. But it smells soooo good.
    For tubs/showers, I've been using method's eucalyptus-mint tub/tile scrub... It's an alternative to cleanser, and probably works based on the same idea as baking soda or Bon Ami. It has no bleach or any other icky stuff, but it works really well.

    Another rec: check out Dr. Bronner's liquid castille soaps. I like the lavender and the peppermint. I mix them with water to clean my wood floors (similar to using Murphy's) and then rinse with vinegar/water, which gets rid of any soap film or streaks. I also use the liquid soap to clean baseboards and walls.

    I have used a Mrs Meyer's product for carpet cleaning, and have been happy with it. I'm also a fan of oxygen-powered cleaners like Oxo-Brite (I got it at Trader Joe's, I believe) for carpet stains and laundry stains.

    And I bought a huge bundle of microfiber towels from the auto dept at Target and I use them for dusting and 'swiffering', then wash and reuse them, because I can't stand the thought of all my dusty swiffer sheets in landfill or even taking up all the energy to recycle them. However, method now makes earth-friendly compostable (they're made from corn) 'swiffer'-type sheets, too. For someone like me who has to swiffer doghair and dustbunnies off of 1,200+ square feet of hardwood floors each day, that's mighty nice.

    I think it's great that you feel immediacy with this. Clean and Green. Both are good. And good luck with the disposal and/or donations. :)

    (Holy crap, I wrote a novel.)
  • Brittney Bush Bollay 7y

    And I am totally okay with that! :D
  • kari 7y

    i thought of this subject today as i cleaned my sink with fresh lemon
  • Sean Gwizdak 7y

    Getting rid of common household cleaners,
  • Lori Hale Williams 7y

    i can second (or third or fourth) the recommendations for method, simple green, dr. bronners, vinegar, and baking soda. That pretty much covers most cleaning needs. I would also recommend looking for dish washer detergent/clothes detergents with no phosphate, as that doesn't come out in the water treatment process and ends up in lakes, rivers, and oceans leading to harmful algal blooms. I also really like seventh generation dishwashing fluid- it smells great and doesn't leave your hands dry.

    btw, when i lived in long beach the simple green corporate offices were on a wetlands, and they tested and showed that none of the ingredients used in the making or byproducts damaged the environment there.
  • organicaj 7y

    Simple Green contains the same toxic ingredients as Windex. All you need to clean is distilled white vinegar and distilled water and baking soda for scouring action. Thieves Household cleaner from Young Living ROCKS, too.
    check out the facts here.
  • Paul McRandle 5y

    This is a great image. We used it for a spring cleaning quiz at NRDC's's Simple Steps site.
  • thiswaynext 5y

    Great image. Used here
9 faves
Taken on April 9, 2008
  • ƒ/2.8
  • 7.4 mm
  • 1/25
  • Flash (off, did not fire)
  • Show EXIF
This photo is in 1 album

Additional info

  • Viewing this photo Public
  • Safety level of this photo Safe
  • S Search
    Photo navigation
    < > Thumbnail navigation
    Z Zoom
    B Back to context