I thought I was going to gag. I almost got a headache. My lungs got tight. I’m not exaggerating. Elias (my 11 year old) was with me, and he started to feel queasy. We were there only about seven seconds.
Where had I taken my child, you ask? To aisle nine. We were simply walking down the cleaning products aisle at the store.
I avoid that aisle at all costs. But that particular day last week, I needed one item – an ingredient to make a homemade cleaning product. Go figure, after those seven seconds of torture, I still couldn’t find what I was looking for.
Elias asked, “Mom, why is that aisle so disgusting?” Obviously, I’ve avoided taking my kids there since my eleven year old didn’t know that it even existed. If found it hard/ironic/frustrating to explain that all of those products that seemed so nasty to him are offered for sale to help us get our house, dishes, hands, air, clothes, furniture, bathroom, floors, and windows clean.
I’m all for getting rid of the dark cloud of dirty sock scent that hovers over my boys’ room. But when did “clean” begin to smell so toxic? And why are there so many hundreds of varieties of cleaning products to choose from? Do I really need twenty-seven separate products to clean approximately five major areas of my home? Must we all keep a large cabinet full of sprays, bottles, drops, powders, and scrubby bubbles in order to be fully equipped with everything it takes to keep a house clean?
Absolutely not. Be relieved and take a deep breath (but by all means, get out of the cleaning aisle first so that you don’t pass out).
I’m inclined to ask, “What would Grandma do?” I spent hours at my grandma’s house, helping her cook and clean. Try as I might, I can not remember where in the world her cleaning cabinet was. This leads me to believe that she didn’t have one. She wouldn’t have seen the value of spending money on a variety of different cleaning products when her home naturally had everything she needed. In fact, as long as I can remember, she made her own bars of soap. If I close my eyes, I can still smell it. Mmmm, there’s nothing toxic about it. In fact, it didn’t have much of a scent at all. It only smelled…clean.
I’ll admit – I don’t make my own soap. Instead, I have found some great online resources for a few products I trust for our skin, hair, laundry and dishes.
As for cleaning my home? Well, I don’t find that it’s very complicated really. There’s nothing like good old water. Norwex products are awesome. And the best? Baking soda and vinegar.
I found a great online resource, sharing 27 Ways to Clean with Baking Soda. Not to be outdone, here’s a post I found called 1001 Uses for Vinegar. I’m guessing Grandma knew many of these tricks, because she knew that getting her home clean didn’t require that she spend much money or use toxic chemicals. I’m guessing, actually, that she never gave thought much to toxic chemicals – she simply used what she had, and she knew how to keep her home clean.
Ahhh, fresh, clean, and chemical free. That’s what I call cleaning your home naturally.