I got a call from my mom today asking me for a slate floor cleaner recipe. Having your mom call YOU for a recipe? How cool is that?! She also knows I am in the middle of researching what floors we will be installing in our energy saving cabin. So now I’m the families flooring expert. *snort*
She also contacted me because I have operated as a “make it myself” household for years. What do I mean you ask? Well, maybe you didn’t but I’m gonna tell you anyway…
It means that I try my best to make my own laundry soap, dish detergent, floor cleaners, wood polish, toothpaste, shampoo, window cleaner, mouthwash, salad dressing, taco seasoning, make-up (yup… make-up). You get the idea. Most anything I can buy I try to make myself.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the air inside the typical home is on average 2-5 times more polluted than the air just outside and, in extreme cases, 100 times more contaminated largely because of household cleaners and pesticides. Say NO to toxic cleaners!
Why bother with all this work when it’s all available at the store and ready for me to throw in my cart?! Well if the above quote didn’t scare you. it’s because I started a self imposed list of rules years ago:
- Rule 1: Do I know the definition of the word on the ingredient label. Don’t know? See rule two.
- Rule 2: RESEARCH.
- Rule 3: Can I even pronounce it? You caught me. This rule is just for fun because I have really been stumped by some of these
- Rule 4: Would I want to subject my family or pets to this hazard?
Ok, I see how it is. You need proof. So let’s say I want to buy some Mop & Glo, which I did purchase YEARS ago and it DID make my floors very shiny.
Here are only two of the ingredients on the label:
Let’s apply my self imposed rules and see what we come up with shall we?
- Rule 1: Do I know the definition? Nope have no idea what that is.
- Rule 2: RESEARCH! Done.
- Rule 3: Can I pronounce it? Perhaps with difficulty and slightly spitting on myself.
- Rule 4: Do I want this in my house? NO!
If you’ve made it this far I’m going to give an amazing gift. A website that made reading all this worthwhile. EWG.org
Check out what EWG.org says about these two ingredients:
“ETHOXYETHANOL: High Concern: developmental/endocrine/reproductive effects; Some Concern: general systemic/organ effects, cancer, damage to DNA, respiratory effects, nervous system effects, digestive system effects, skin irritation/allergies/damage, damage to vision.
METHOXYDIGLYCOL: High Concern: developmental/endocrine/reproductive effects; Some Concern: cancer, damage to DNA, respiratory effects, digestive system effects, nervous system effects, skin irritation/allergies/damage, damage to vision
Top Scoring Factors: Regulatory violation; May contain ingredients with potential for developmental/endocrine/reproductive effects; acute aquatic toxicity; biodegradation”.
This particular product rates an F on the EWG health scale.
Nope. I don’t want my family walking barefoot on that. I certainly don’t want my dogs, who always seem to be barefoot, to trot across this chemical stew either. Hence the choice to make my own.
DID YOU KNOW: U.S. manufacturers of baby-care, household and personal care products are not required to fully disclose toxic ingredients, even if those ingredients could be hazardous to your health?
At first I was overwhelmed by the thought of making ALL THIS STUFF! But my stubbornness took over and I just jumped in… barefooted.
Let me say that once I started ~ I couldn’t stop. Here’s a secret: many of my cleaning recipes use the same ingredients over and over. Shhhhhhhhh! Let’s let people think we are amazing!
So once I discovered how easy it was to create many of my household cleaners in bulk, I moved on to toothpaste, mouthwash, air fresheners, soap, make-up and much more. Candles are coming soon! Soy based of course. No, you have to wait to find out why and yes, you heard this soy-hater mention soy. Hint: you don’t eat it.
Now not everybody is
crazy able to spend the time to make all this stuff. Good news is there are products on the market that care about you, your family, your guests and even your dogs bare feet!
Here’s a small sampling:
Dr Bronner’s Sal Suds Concentrate: Great all purpose cleaner! AND it’s Fair Trade. (I always have Dr. Bronner’s soaps like their Liquid Castile Soap on hand. J’ADORE this product. Nope, I don’t get a dime for saying this. Maybe someday when I’m a big girl and can be an Amazon Associate but for now, nada dinero). Truly love Dr. Bronner’s products. Yes, you DO have to measure 1 teaspoon into your mop bucket. Sheesh. Alright, here are a couple that require no mixing AND scored an “A” on EWG.org.
Aunt Fannie’s Floor Cleaner Vinegar Wash Concentrate, Fresh Lime Mint. They have other scents if Lime Mint isn’t your thing.
Aussan Natural floor cleaner concentrate. EWG.org says it’s Green certified by the EPA however I was unable to find their listing on the EPA site.
Where was I… OH! So this is why my mom called me. She agrees with limiting her household chemical input while saving a few shekels. Smart woman!
A natural and inexpensive all purpose floor cleaner, especially good on slate floors.
- 1 gallon warm water
- 1/8 cup liquid dish detergent (homemade 'natch) or store bought if you insist
Dry mop floor with a mop that has cotton fibers. No Swiffer-style mops or you will create a cottony mess that looks like it snowed on your floors. Don't ask.
Sweep the dry mop in the same direction each time, moving slowly so no dust or dirt is scattered.
Combine the warm water with the liquid dish detergent.
IF your floor isn't super dirty, plain old water is just fine!
Stand back and behold! Then call your Mom.