Married to the Empire

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Our chemical world

Usually I clean house on Thursdays, but I have a lot of other things to do tomorrow. So, since I've moved cleaning day to today, I thought I'd talk a bit about cleaning products. (Sounds thrilling, doesn't it?) A few years ago, I became unbelievably sick with chronic hives and random swelling of my body. I had days I couldn't walk because my feet or knees were so swollen. Days I wouldn't leave the house because my face would make a circus freak look normal by comparison. Many doctors, tests, numerous meds, draining of our savings account, prayers, and tears later, we learned we had a freon leak in our air-conditioning system. A bad leak. Once it was repaired, my symptoms started to dissipate and disappeared completely within a few months.

Apparently, I'm highly allergic to freon.

Actually, as the years pass, I've learned that I'm more and more sensitive to various chemicals. I've had to adjust how I clean my home. There's a wonderful book out there called Clean House Clean Planet by Karen Logan. It not only has recipes for earth-friendly cleaners, but it also rates their effectiveness. I've taken to using 2 things from this book. One is just using club soda to clean my mirrors. Who knew carbonated water could do such an effective job? The other is a cleaner called Earth Scrub. This stuff is great. Not only is it very effective, but it's safe, and it smells wonderful.

Earth Scrub
Mix 1-2/3 cups baking soda with 1/2 cup liquid soap.
Add 1/2 cup water and mix.
Add 2 Tbls. vinegar and stir until lumps are gone.
Pour into a squirt bottle and use as needed.

Be sure to use something like castille soap for the liquid soap. I first made it with Palmolive, and it was way too sudsy. I now use Dr. Bronner's Castille Soap in peppermint scent, and it works beautifully. This cleaner is great for the kitchen and bathroom. The house smells just wonderful after I've cleaned with it!

Another cleaner I love is Red Juice from The Clean Team. It is non-toxic, biodegradable, safe to use around food, and it has no scent at all. It's quick, economical, and safe. The Clean Team has some really great products that are truly worth the money.

It's pretty scary when you think about all the chemicals that are in our world today. I can't help but wonder if we have so much sickness (cancer, auto-immune disorders, etc.) because of all the garbage we pollute our environment with. I do what I can to keep our house clean and chemical free.

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