Vegan, Jane Austen student, Minimalist, Reader, Librarian

Monday, March 2, 2009

Vegan Cleaning?

Being vegan spills over into all aspects of my life. But then again, I’ve always questioned how things are done, especially if they’ve been done a certain way for a long time.

For example, when I was growing up, my mother was a traditional housewife who stayed home with us (until fourth grade, and then she only worked part-time so she could be home when we got home from school) and was responsible for the maintenance of our home while our father worked. She always cleaned with products like Comet or Ajax for the sinks & tubs, some horrible blue stuff to clean the toilet, & Mop & Glo, Pinesol or Mr. Clean for the floors. I remember it all being very harsh & strong-smelling. I’ve always had a very sensitive nose and even today, I hate the odor of strong perfumes & cleaners. It literally hurts my nose & even sometimes gives me a headache. Not to mention that I just don’t want to be around these chemicals!

When I had my own household, I learned about alternatives that I had never known about and also because I’m into green living. Such as using Borax to clean the sinks & toilets or white vinegar as all-purpose cleanser & even to mop the floors. Today I use Borax to clean the sinks, Borax & vinegar to clean the toilet, an all-purpose cleanser mix of vinegar, water & a little of Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day multi-purpose cleaner (sold at Target or http://www.mrsmeyers.com/) in a spray bottle, & white vinegar, a drop of dish soap & hot water with a few drops of essential oil such as rosemary, lavender, peppermint or cedar wood in a bucket to mop the bathroom & kitchen floors. The house smells clean & fresh & these products clean very well. J. cleans the tub and he prefers to use a store-bought cleaner from Nutri-Foods called Naturally Clean Tub & Tile (but that’s because he usually doesn’t get around to cleaning the tub every week & by the time he does, Borax & a scrub brush make the job too difficult!).

I live in a 1951 bungalow, & my kitchen has not been renovated & has all of the original tile & cupboards. So, of course, I don’t have a dishwasher. I do dishes by hand & I prefer to use Seventh Generation Free & Natural Liquid Dish Cleaner. It comes in lavender (my favorite scent) & is sold at Target as well as Nutri-Foods. It’s also vegan & free of all perfumes & dyes. My husband first introduced me to this & he’s amazed how easily available they are now & how much they have come down in price. I think I pay only about $2.79 at Target for a 25 oz. bottle; Nutri Foods also sells it. Using these products makes cleaning a lot easier for my nose & more pleasant because the house doesn’t smell like chemicals.

My skin is very sensitive, so I also use laundry detergent either from Trader Joe’s or Target that doesn’t contain scent, dyes, or toxic ingredients. I use unscented softener dryer sheets once in a while because I cannot stand the smell of commercial fabric softeners. Again, it hurts my nose. Sometimes I will put a few drops of lavender essential oil on my damp clothes before I turn on the dryer & it’s just enough to give a very subtle scent. But clothes are clean & are supposed to smell clean, not like detergent or fabric softener.

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