Monday, February 7, 2011

My Latest Kick: Cleaning

Once I get something in my head, I must research it and figure out how to make it work soon. What is it right now, you ask? Well, going "eco-friendly" or "green" with my cleaning products. I have so many mixed emotions with this topic, so it is hard to make a decision! I guess I should break it down into basic thought processes for me in regards to things I am thinking about...

1) It would be hard to do this and use coupons for these products.
2) I don't know which "green" products are best.
3) With both of those items said, maybe I should make my own?? And if I do, what should I try to make? Hardwood floor cleaner? Granite countertop cleaner? Laundry detergent? Multipurpose cleaner?

So that about covers it for now. I guess I should back up a little bit and explain how I got to this topic. We do have some cleaning ladies (best money spent EVER) that come every other week. They recommended a floor cleaner for our laminate hardwood floors, so I just went ahead and bought it and trusted them. Well, I've noticed that it looks quite streaky when they use it (or when I do). I want the floors to look clean and for it to smell clean (yes, I like the "clean house smell"), but I do not like streaky floors! So I was just looking at the bottle of cleaner and the first thing I read was "Not safe for pets and children"...!!! Now, I do know this is in mass quantities - i.e., drinking it out of the bottle. But that made me start thinking about all of the cleaning products and chemicals and all that jazz. I am not one to do the "trendy green thing", but I do want to make sure that these products are safe for my family! I also want to get Katie to help me clean as she gets older.

So, I started Googling. And I found mommy blogs with ideas. And I found websites with "professional grade eco-friendly cleaners". I did learn that the basics of making your own cleaner involve water, rubbing alcohol, white vinegar, baking soda, ammonia, lemon juice, olive oil, and then scented oils to give it that clean fragrance (lavender or orange or peppermint). I have found "recipes" for multipurpose cleaner, hardwood floor cleaner, furniture polish, window cleaner, granite cleaner, stainless steel cleaner, toilet bowl cleaner, fabric softener, ant repellent, and laundry detergent. Whew. I'm not even about to do an overhaul at once. I may make a multipurpose cleaner and see how I like it - baby steps! I will be sure to do posts about what I find for the recipe and if I like how it works or not.

When I started looking online and asking people for advice (where else but Facebook!), some folks suggested steam cleaners for the hardwood floors, as well as the tile floors we have. It must be safe - it just uses water! I have done some online research, and I think have it narrowed down to two very good options. I have them below. If you are reading this and have any feedback, please comment with your thoughts (in regards to the green/homemade cleaners, as well as the steam cleaners)!!

OPTION #1: Euro-Pro Shark S3501 Deluxe Steam Pocket Mop (originally $149.99, on sale for $79.99 on Amazon)
OPTION #2: Haan FS20 Plus Steam Cleaning Floor Sanitizer with Deluxe Sanitizing Tray (originally $99.99, on sale for $79.88 on Amazon)

If I were buying one right this very second, I think I'd lean towards the Haan one. From what I read, it heats to a higher temperature (212 degrees), and the higher the temp, the more likely it is to kill bacteria and germs. Just thought I'd go on and let you know that - but if you have an opinion that could sway me, please do tell!
Do you make any of your own cleaners? Do you like how they work? Do you have any websites/blogs you follow that has good suggestions? I would love to know more!


  1. I own a Shark and it still streaks at times however it does make cleaning easy. I did do the green cleaning at one point but found things weren't always as clean as I would line or I didn't feel they were sanitized. I now mainly clean with a green all purpose cleaner but break out the hard stuff once a week to make sure it's really clean and sanitized!

  2. I make my own cleaners and they work great! After I started researching how bad a lot of the cleaners I was using were I knew I had to make a change.Some of the worst chemicals are in fabric softeners. Whenever we sweat we absorb the chemicals from the fabric softeners into our bloodstream When I read that I have not used fabric softeners since!I am new to your blog Glad I found it. I really like finding other bloggers from Tennessee. We live right out of Nashville.

  3. Hey lady... we have a Shark and LOVE it. I use it on all hardwood and tile surfaces, and I have not noticed any streaking. Of course, our hardwoods are bamboo, so they're lighter in color. But we're really happy with the Shark. GOOD investment.

  4. I tried making my own fabric softener and I couldn't get it to mix well. I tried and tried, but ended up throwing it out. I assumed this is how it would be with any non-powder cleaner so I haven't tried any more liquid. I love making my own laundry detergent, though.

    Also, I don't think I'm ready to make another dress like the one I made for Chloe Jo. And definitely not without my Mom hovering over me. If I decide to make another one in the future, I'll let you know.

  5. I guess I should clarify. We have super dark smooth maple hardwoods so I'm sure that has something to do with my streaking. I LOVE my Shark though. It's not enough streaking to upset me' and it doesn't happen all of the time. Plus since there is no clean up Jarred will actually do the floors on the weekend. Now that makes it worth the investment!

  6. That one cute baby. don't blame you for looking for the right safe cleaning products