Back in the apartment, I never really gave much thought to the cleaning products I used. I went with what I knew, which was generally what my mom used, or what friends had recommended. I had heard of people making their own “green” cleaning products, but this conjured images of spending days on end combining all kinds of obscure ingredients.
It wasn’t until we were moving out of our apartment, as I searched for a way to remove a carpet stain, that I learned I could clean with some of the non-toxic, everyday things in my kitchen. My first encounter was with vinegar – I came across a website that listed hundreds of uses for it, and on my next trip to the grocery store I bought a huge jug, excited by the possibilities. I used it to clean the walls, the microwave, the kitchen floor, and I was amazed to see that it did just as good a job as the store-bought cleaners I usually used. Around the same time, a friend at work recommended I try adding Borax to my laundry as a booster. I bought a box, and was again amazed at the number of uses this simple, natural product had!
After moving into our house, I got some more food for thought. I’ve always lived with town or city water and sewer systems, and before we started house hunting I was clueless about wells and septic systems. And guess what? The house we bought has both of these things, so I had to learn fast! Learning to live with a septic system really got me thinking about what went down the drains, and by extension had me thinking about my cleaning products again.
Now, I’m making an effort to gradually switch over to green or homemade cleaning products when I can. I see it as an investment in my home and our health. Added bonus – all of this is WAY cheaper than store-bought cleaning products!