“I hate you smell, you are everywhere”...
That was the caption to an instagram photo of Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day hand soap that literally made me laugh out loud. I hate that smell too!!! And it really does seem to be everywhere these days, thanks to a growing demand for safer cleaning products in our homes coupled with clever corporate branding + marketing strategies. The problem is, Mrs. Meyer's cleaning products are definitely not all that clean, in terms of being free from toxins. A trained nose can sniff it out right away, without even reading the (somewhat vague) label ingredients.
There are an increasing number of 'natural' cleaning products on the shelves of our markets, and yet most of these still contain harmful chemicals that pollute the air in our homes, disrupting our endocrine systems, exacerbating inflammation and causing other undetectable long-term harm to out health. The government does not regulate or assess the safety of these products, and the EPA only regulates cleaners that contain registered pesticides.
This means that consumers are essentially on their own when it comes to choosing safe cleaning products.
With all of that in mind, we highly recommend that you start making your own and/or only buy products with a complete list of recognizable ingredients (terms like 'natural' don't cut it!). When you make your own products, you'll know exactly what you are cleaning with, and you can hum a song of victory over corporate interests while scrubbing your toilet.
The amazing thing is, you only need a few staple ingredients to craft your own cleaning products: baking soda, vinegar, lemons, castille soap (or soap nuts), olive oil, and a few essential oils should do the trick!
Search for 'non-toxic cleaning recipes' online and you'll find a treasure trove of ideas to try out. After a quick glance, we found two that seem well researched and comprehensive on greatist.com and eartheasy.com. And here at the shop we sell a few zines with tips and recipes, titles such as Make Your Place and Nontoxic Cleaning.
We also sell a few, very select locally produced items at the shop that we feel confident about promoting (see list below). These include the entire line of soap nut products from Shecology, as well as the sunflower oil soap products from Warhorse (you can see details of their product ingredients + safety data sheets on their website).
Certainly there are many other companies making quality non-toxic cleaners, but we have chosen those for which we know and trust the makers, and that are made close to home. We learned about Shecology by visiting a booth at our local farmer's market – which would be a good place to start looking for safe cleaning products made in your own area.
We also sell several natural fiber scrub brushes with wooden handles - what you clean with should feel good in your hands and heart, and last a long time, so consider ditching those cheap plastic tools!
Pure Gold Soap -- an all-purpose soap that can be used to clean the kitchen, bathroom, the dirtiest of laundry + more. Made with super food, skin loving ingredients that pack an aggressive cleaning punch, while moisturizing skin and protecting our environment.
Leather Soap -- for use on saddles, boots, jackets, purses, belts, couches, car seats + more. Restores dry or cracked leather while improving its appearance and flexibility.
Anytime Shine -- never buy glass cleaner again! This suede-like, micro-fiber cleaning cloth works wonders with water only leaving a streak-free, sparkling finish on any hard surface. Simply wet it, wring, it out, wipe, and watch it shine!
Laundry Pills -- ultra-concentrated soap nut powder in an easy to use pill. Just toss them in the washer and be amazed at how clean, soft, and fresh smelling your clothes come out.
Dryer Balls -- a safe, natural alternative to dryer sheets and fabric softeners. They soften clothes, reduce wrinkles and help with static.
According to Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda, toxic build-up can eventually manifest as a health disorder. And as we grow older, the body's mechanisms for eliminating impurities tend to be less efficient, making it even more important to cleanse every season.