|Ready, aim, clean!|
1. The children
How many locked cupboards do you want in your house? Most cleaners from the supermarket are dangerous poisons and your small children can't really understand that.
If you do most of your cleaning with baking soda and vinegar, your biggest worry is whether they will overdose on salt or rise an hour earlier than usual, or perhaps want to be salad dressing for Halloween.
And there's the longterm exposure danger as well. It's very difficult to do scientific double-blind studies to prove such damage, but common sense leads me to the precautionary principle. I wish more companies practiced this.
2. Your skin (and eyes, and...)
The cleaners that "eat through grease and grime like magic" will do their work on your hands and anything else you let them touch. Of course, rubber gloves look great and are lots of fun to wear - a regular hand sauna every time you clean.
3. The environment
All those cleaners end up outside, In the water, or in the ground. Read the ingredients (if the cleaners actually list them, of course) and think about whether the earth is a better place with more of these chemicals floating around.
When you choose to use these cleaners, animals and plants die. Yes, your house water does go through pipes to get treated, but pipes leak. They are known to leak (up to 50% of contents in older systems!), and that is an accepted part of the system. And when water is purified, the resulting chemicals don't just disappear.
4. The clutter
How many different bottles and cans of cleaner do you have for your house? How hard is it to find the one you want underneath the others? How often do you have to go back to get the right one for the next cleaning job? How much poisonous rubbish goes into a landfill over a year from buying cleaners?
A big bag of baking soda and jug of vinegar can be stored anywhere it suits you.
5. Your health
Thanks to modern science, there are lots of things new under the sun these days. Laboratories create substances that nature has no remedy for, and it's old news that overuse of antibacterial soaps is causing an unnatural imbalance in bacteria populations. Remember, not all bacteria make you sick. Many of them keep you healthy and alive.
Advertisers would have you believe that your house is only clean if it's been thoroughly disinfected of all those nasty germs. They want to frighten you into buying their product. They don't want you to ask how their product knows which are the nasty germs.
And of course, your house isn't clean unless it smells of artificial fragrance, right? But you may not know which visitor to your house is allergic. Many reputable sources consider multiple chemical exposure to be a major contributor to the "mysterious" rise we are suffering in allergies, sensitivities, asthma, etc.
6. The cost
At the price per millilitre for supermarket cleaners, you might as well be buying water with gold dust thrown in. Minimalist cleaners are cheap and you can buy them in large quantities, saving even more money. Many minimalist cleaners can do more than clean, making them an even better bet.
How do I start?
If you search the web for information on natural household cleaning, you'll probably never run out.
- Beauty of homemade cleaners
- More baking soda and vinegar
- More natural cleaning recipes - OK, it's not all baking soda and vinegar. With a few other ingredients, you can have fancier or stronger cleaners naturally
- And now, with lemons! Good thing I can get lemons when I need them now. I even picked a lot of lemons this week for a freecycler in my neighbourhood who wanted to make lemon curd.