Challengicious Monday: Green Your Household Cleaners

>> Monday, February 1, 2010

Mondays are challengicious at The Conscious Shopper. Here's your next trash-related challenge:

Green Your Household Cleaners

My household cleaners (the oatmeal container is really borax)

To complete this challenge, you can...

  • Buy less toxic commercial cleaners. Look for products that disclose their ingredients, and avoid chlorine, ammonia, glycol ethers, monoethanolamine (MEA), diethanolamine (DEA), triclosan, alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEs), pthalates, and petroleum-based ingredients. Also note that the labels "natural," "organic," and "biodegradable" are not regulated for use on cleaning products and can be misleading or inaccurate.
  • Buy less toxic commercial cleaners in concentrated or bulk sizes. Provide your own water and save unnecessary packaging.
  • Make your own household cleaners. Making your own cleaners is so easy. Here are a couple household cleaner recipes to get you started, and I'll have a few more for you later this week.
I lumped this challenge with the other trash challenges because it didn't seem to fit anywhere else. But if you just take the Baby Step, greening your household cleaners probably isn't going to make much of a difference on your trash production. On the other hand, choosing greener cleaners will reduce your exposure to potentially toxic chemicals and prevent those chemicals from contaminating your water source

If you choose the Jogging Stride or Marathon Runner steps, you'll produce less waste and save your family money!

Will you take the challenge?

You have hereby been challenged to go green in a year without going broke! Check out the last challenge, or view the whole list of Challengicious Mondays.

Like what you see? Sign up for my RSS feed, follow me on Twitter, and join my "Go Green without Going Broke" group on Facebook! You can also find me over at The Green Phone Booth.


Jeannie,  February 1, 2010 at 7:21 AM  

Thanks for this post! This is such an easy change that we can all make that has major impact.

I've been making my own cleaners for about a year. A little lemon juice added to a vinegar and water mix makes your floors and sinks really shine.

I switched to environmental friendly products for laundry and dish washing powder. Costco offers a Kirkland eco-friendly laundry detergent; so you are buying less packaging at a good price. After seeing a product demonstration of Method brand Smarty Dish, I tried it and love it. No longer when opening a warm dishwasher am I greeted by a hot, chemically smelling steam. And, the dishes are clean. (You can buy Method at your local Target. I've searched for a bulk package online but haven't found one yet.)

Also, consider buying ingredients for cleaners at BJ's Wholesale, Sam's or Costco. Once again, less packaging and better pricing.

I've been searching for a recipe for a carpet cleaning solution for a Bissell Steam Cleaner. Does anyone have one?

Lisa Sharp February 1, 2010 at 11:46 AM  

I have switched to natural cleaners and plan to make my own when I run out of what I have.

I often get cleaners to test for companies so I have a lot of them under my sink. I now have a source to be able to refill my own bottle of Dr. Bronner's castile soap so that will be what I use the most, that an vinegar, baking soda and hydrogen peroxide.

Wonder-ful February 1, 2010 at 9:34 PM  

I'm kinda excited about learning to make (and acually use) my own cleaners. I started switching our old all-purpose cleaner to one of the ones that had less stuff in it (fewer words I couldn't pronounce).

My grandpa is stuck on using Windex for everything, so I'm slowly making the switch. When one thing gets used up, I replace it with something safer. Actually, I'm excited about trying a laundry detergent recipe I came across. I found I could get the ingredients at the dollar store and for about $2.50, make enough detergent to replace the costco-sized box of Tide we normally get.

Speaking of... does Tide make anyone else sneeze? I can't stand that stuff!

Robbie February 2, 2010 at 11:40 AM  

I'm in. I know some basics but am up for learning more, particularly since my house looks like a tornado ran through it recently!

Wonder-ful, I'm with you with swapping out as I run out. The problem is, I've gotten so used to using baking soda and vinegar, that I'm not using up the other stuff!

Jeannie, I haven't tried the lemon juice, vinegar and water. What proportions do you do?

Lisa, send your samples my way. :) Always struggle with the husband trying to buy stuff.

Erin aka Conscious Shopper February 2, 2010 at 3:20 PM  

@Jeannie - I found this link for homemade carpet cleaners for the bissell - the first two suggestions look eco-friendly, the second not so much.

Condo Blues February 2, 2010 at 10:02 PM  

Marathon runner. I make my own cleaners, including HE laundry detergent.

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