"You Don't Have to" Series, Alternative Living, Health, Simplicity

You Don’t Have to: Use Commercial Cleaning Products

Thanks this week to our illustrious guest author / my wife of 2 years: Andrea Faught!

This past week we had friends help us clean our house (lucky us right?). We were discussing cleaning products and methods when it dawned on me that this is not a typical conversation we have with our friends and family…but I think that we should.

The commercial cleaning products most of us use, even when marketed as “green” or “all-natural” are really just full of fillers and chemicals. Do we need all of these ingredients to clean our houses? The truth is that many of these products can be detrimental to our health. We tend to ignore this fact and week after week we aerosolize them in spray bottles and lock ourselves in our tiny bathroom to “clean” and inadvertently breathe in fumes and absorb toxins through our skin. What if there was a better way?

Oh, yes there is: make your own cleaning products! It’s easy, it’s affordable and it’s a lot nicer on your body and the environment. The Internet is full of recipes to make, but here’s a few that I use.

1. All Purpose Cleaning Spray

In a spray bottle: fill ½ bottle white vinegar, ½ bottle water, 20 drops tea-tree oil (disinfectant), 20 drops lavender (delicious smelling).

I use this on my counters, when mopping the floor, cleaning the bathroom and shower and really anything else.

2. Deep Scrubbing: Baking Soda

That’s all! Just pour a quarter size pile of baking soda on a wet cloth or I like to use a scrubbing dish cloth and scrub onto your bathtub, stove top, toilet bowl (use your toilet brush). You will literally see the dirt come off and turn the baking soda brown. Then rinse the cloth and wipe away.

3. Laundry: Magical Green Cleaning Ball

For the past 3 years I haven’t used any laundry detergent at all. I have also made sure to double check with friends and family that my clothes indeed don’t stink and that I’m not just brainwashed by this eco friendly ploy! We bought this magical laundry ball called the SmartKlean laundry ball. This ball cleans clothes without soap! Check out their website for all the info.

I wasn’t too sure at first how it would work but was convinced by our yoga towels. With regular laundry soap these towels never quite lost their stinky yoga sweat smell. So, I threw them in with the laundry ball and they smelled clean and fresh after one wash. The other great thing is you don’t need to use the rinse-cycle, as there is no soap to rinse off! When I use this I add a few drops of my favorite essential oil to the soap compartment and my clothes come out with a fresh laundry smell.

That’s it!

Those are all the cleaning products I need in my life. Try them out, you may like them- and so will your body and the earth.


    I’m onto it! Going to give it a try … we’ll see how clean everything feels when you come to visit! Perhaps you can teach an old gal/your mother, a new trick or two, even in the cleaning department!!

    Very interesting Andrea! I am definitely reconsidering why we do the things we have always done. I stopped using shampoo months ago and haven’t really noticed any difference after the initial adjustment period. I increasingly want to save effort, money and the environment so this post has given me some good ideas. Thanks!


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