By: Michelene Lagdameo
The unpronounceable chemical ingredients listed on the label of your commercial cleaning agents may work wonders on dirt and germs, but they sure wreak havoc on the environment too. As moms, we’re often focused on making sure these poisonous products are kept away from our children, but we shouldn’t forget that we have another living thing to be responsible for—our poor planet! It’s proven that harsh commercial cleaning agents are not biodegradable, and they leach into soil and water, thus contaminating things that come back into contact with us—so really, we’re doing both nature and our families insidious damage in the long run.
Luckily, there are now many eco-friendly cleaning materials available on the market, formulated without crazy toxic chemicals. Sure, the scent might not be as strong as were used to (and as Filipinos, we’ve come to associate the strong smell as a clean smell), and maybe the solutions don’t bubble up or foam as satisfactorily as we’re familiar with, but we can rest easy knowing that these natural products don’t do us any harm while being effective. Try these products today!
You can buy this biodegradable, multi-purpose soap in large quantities, even online. Castile soap is formulated from vegetable oils (like olive or coconut) so it’s safe for both baby and the environment. You can safely use Castile soap on most everything, from your dishes to your body—and it smells amazing!
Tea Tree Essential Oil
Tea Tree contains powerful anti-bacterial and anti-microbial agents. A few drops of this essential oil in a DIY spray or cleaning solutions (think vinegar- citrus-, or baking soda-based mixes) can disinfect most surfaces. Make sure you stock up on pure and good quality essential oil!
It does more than make your home smell nice and fresh—rubbing lemon and salt on your wooden cutting blocks disinfects and sanitizes them, while microwaving a few lemon peels can also help get rid of gunk inside. Surfaces that touch food most frequently stand to benefit the most from eco-friendly cleaning products, so do look up cleaning hacks and green cleaning solutions for your kitchen most especially.
You’ll find this ingredient in most DIY green cleaning ideas, because it’s so darn versatile! You can make a scrubbing paste with it to remove dirt and stains from most surfaces like tile and aluminum, or mix it with vinegar to make a strong but eco-friendly toilet bowl cleaner. The next time you see baking soda for sale in bulk, best to stock up!
Shifting to environmentally-conscious cleaning supplies takes a little more dedication and discipline, but teaching our kids the value of stewardship is more than a good pay-off. Here’s to a safer, more sustainable home!
Mich Lagdameo is a mom to a precocious 1-year-old. She is a writer and editor by trade and calling, and she lives for books, leisurely grocery trips, cups of good coffee, long drives with her husband, and the Food Network. Her days are punctuated by the sound of her computer keys and her daughter banging into things.