VINEGAR my new BFF
I have a new found love for vinegar. This simple, fermented, acidicy liquid is my new BFF. A while ago I came to the realization that the SO and I are cleaning product snobs. We have a separate cleaner for EVERYTHING in the apartment. It is crazy! We typically purchase Seventh Generation, a wonderful company from Vermont that uses recycled and post-consumer materials in it's packaging and is biodegradable as well as being chlorine- and phosphate-free! So yes, environmentally, however a little pricey for our graduate student budgets. Additionally, all of these excessive chemicals in the products (although compared it to what other cleaning companies SG isn’t too bad) is probably not great. So I thought this would be a good time to investigate alternatives that would be kind to our health (our bunnies health) and to our budgets.
We ended up borrowing a couple of different books from the library:
Cheaper and Better: Homemade Alternatives by Nancy Birnes
The Complete Guide to Eco-Friendly House Cleaning by Anne Kocsis
Honestly, for me I couldn’t sit and read these books. They were a little too Jiminy Cricket, “you must keep a clean house and wash everything including the walls once a week”. Ek! Who has time for this stuff! So most of it I quickly skimmed just to pay dues to the authors who spent time writing the books, but mostly I wanted some ideas for cleaners and I found that vinegar was used for most of the recipes. And after careful selection (as to not mix certain chemicals together) I have a new set of cleaners. Mostly various concentrations of vinegar in water (each one mixed with one or more essential oils) and I have a new set of cleaning sprays for the bathroom and kitchen! I actually cannot stand the smell of vinegar. So I ended up using a lot of essential oils (lemon and tea tree oils) to make these sprays smell nicer. I even have the daily shower spray with sweet orange essential oils so every morning after the shower the bathroom smells like sweet orange!
I even took it one step further and cut up a bunch of old t-shirts and we now use these instead of paper towels (I’m usually a paper towel freak and go through rolls and rolls of Seventh Generation recycled paper towels). So I’m feeling a little better about that as well. All I know is that the disgusting mineral buildup that we had going on in the shower is now gone thanks to the vinegar… something my Magic Eraser and Seventh Generation sprays couldn’t do the past two years. I’m now fully converted over to this simpler way of cleaning. Well... we'll see how long I keep at this until I just go out and buy another bottle of Seventh Generation cleaner.
Is anyone else a freak about cleaning? What products do you use?