My journey to a more eco-friendly lifestyle started by eliminating commercial, chemical-filled cleaners and making my own cleaners. Not only were homemade cleaners cheaper and better for the environment, they were also safer to use around my children and pets. However, over the last few years, I went back to work full-time, and my kids are busier than ever, so finding time to make all my own cleaners is sometimes difficult. Not to mention, I live in a rural area which requires me to order many of my ingredients through Amazon.com. All these things have led me to look into eco-friendly, non-toxic cleaning products that I can buy and have on hand for when life gets a little too busy.
When looking for eco-friendly products, I have noticed a lot of misleading information on labels. For example, some products claim to be Earth friendly, but are made plant derived materials, which means harsh man made chemicals may be mixed in with the plant base. Then there are the plastic bottles and labels that are used, some of those are harmful to the environment, if not disposed of properly. Finally, there are the ones that have natural ingredients, but are not specific as to what those natural ingredients are, and contain 99% other ingredients.
Fortunately, more and more smaller eco-friendly companies are emerging and finally giving us products we can fully rely on. If you are looking for already made eco-friendly non-toxic cleaning solutions to use around your pets, start looking local. Try your local farm markets or indoor flea market/craft fairs. Many times you will get products with clear labels, refillable or reusable bottles, and a real person to talk to about the product they are making. If you do not have places like this near you, the next best thing might be Etsy.
I recently tried Karmalades cleaning products that are sold through Etsy. One thing I liked about this company is that they are located in Washington, D.C. and I know the products did not have to travel far to get to me. The product I tried was the all purpose lemon lavender spray. It came in a reusable and recyclable glass bottle with a clear label of all the ingredients used. I loved the small bottle because I could leave it in my bathroom for quick, daily, touch up cleaning of the sink, faucet and mirror. The smell was nice but not overwhelming and I knew my pets would be safe if they licked an area I cleaned. The Karmalade company is definitely a good place to start if you want pre-made eco-friendly non-toxic cleaning products. Even if you want to make some of your own cleaners, the all-purpose sprays they sell are great to keep for when you run out of time or materials to make your own products.
If you know of other great eco-friendly non-toxic cleaners, please leave a comment below for other readers!!!
If you do have the time to make your some of your own cleaners, check out my ebook, Cleaning for a Cause. The book is filled with cleaning recipes and many of the recipes are also available on my Hubpages page. (Proceeds from the book are donated to Alex's Lemonade Stand and other cancer prevention organizations).