06 March 2013

Rethink Clean: Making the Grade

About a year ago, Sloan started eating solids, and i started rethinking how we eat and what we eat. Not just the content but the quality of food. A year later, we eat mostly organic, unprocessed foods. Foods with recognizable ingredients and a lower risk of environmental toxins. But our environment consists of much more than what we eat, and while I have been mindful of what I put on Sloan's body, safer soaps and creams, I haven't really considered the soap we use on our dishes or our clothes, aside from fragrant free, until now.

We used to buy the Kirkland-brand (read: Costco) dishwashing detergent, but they changed the fragrant from citrus to floral (even though it is still labeled "new and improved" citrus) it made my dishes taste like soap, and as a kid i remember our dishwasher had that same effect on our cups, and I always had to rinse them extra to make sure my water didn't taste like soap. Well it came back to me again with this new soap so we returned it (one of the nice things about Costco and a few of my favorite stores, is the customer service and the no questions asked return policy - Poor Rick HATES returns, but hates an unhappy wife even more). We returned this new formula, and picked up some cascade, but i cooked a coconut crusted cod-fish and sweet potato wedges the other night and i kept tasting soap. Floral soap.

A friend of mine turned me on to this website, and if you haven't checked out your household products, I encourage you to do so:
EWG's Guide to Healthy Cleaning
The score my dishwashing detergent received was an F.

An F was never acceptable in my regular life (let alone a C or D, though a C might be slightly tolerable) so i set out on another mission, and while I cannot completely eliminate all the toxins in my life in one year, I can set goals to reduce them, one by one, as best we can.

Most people think that eating healthier and eliminating toxins costs more money, and to an extent, it does! And if you go out and buy pre-packaged cleaning products it could get costly, but why not make it yourself! If there is anything I love more than a healthy life, it is saving money!

I found some all purpose cleaning product on a blog i follow for 40% off, which sadly (for you) ended yesterday, but I am going to try it out over the next year and see how much i like it and how long it lasts me! The timing was too good to be true! And the product has so many uses it is unbelievable  They haven't made the EWG website yet, but I am hoping to see them there with an "A" in the near future!
bb with baby

My cousin told me about the Duggar's website and they have a "recipe" for laundry detergent. He said it cost them about $10 a year (with 3 kids) on laundry soap. What a steal! I checked out the ingredients and it contains Borax, and while it might be for you, Borax also receives an F and might not be a safe choice, so I found some safer solutions since I have sensitive skin and the baby most certainly has sensitive skin. I did the same thing for dishwashing soap, and found a Borax Free solution. I can always add essential oils if i need to add some scent to it to freshen it up, but I find perfumes and strong scents to be more offensive than helpful.

Side Note: A coworker came into my office the other day and I could smell the laundry detergent on his clothes, and while i appreciated that he was "clean," I really did not appreciate the headache it gave me. These things linger, on your clothes, your body, everything. And i personally find them just as offensive as someone blaring music out the car windows or bumping their bass so loud that it shakes YOUR car windows... (yes this bothers me and always has). Maybe that makes me uncool, but I think it just makes me courteous and aware of the fact that not everyone wants to smell your TIDE surf detergent, a pack of cigarettes, or your Chanel #5 perfume. Unless we are hugging or touching one another, i shouldn't have to smell you! I find this kind of "pollution" rude and offensive and apologize for any part I might have played in this at any time in my life (college years come to mind).

Back to my blog; I have decided that am going to make my own dish soap and laundry detergent, and plan to share my results in the next couple of weeks. Do i love it? Does it work?  If it does, I will share my recipe. The ones i found, give the per load ingredients, so i have spent the time on Sunday, calculating enough for 16 loads (3 weeks of dishes, and over a month of laundry cycles) and I will sit down and figure out the cost per load. Fortunately OxyClean (my life saving stain remover) received a score of a B, and for now, I can live with that!

My next goal is to change my skin care and cooking/bake ware. I need to use stainless steel rather than teflon coated or "no stick" containers. I had to throw out one because it was flaking and I don't really wish to ingest that. So now I will be looking for a good stainless steel pan. I also have a good Iron Skillet which i like to add more IRON into my diet... that's a thing right? (my sister said it was so it must be true) One thing at a time. It could become overwhelming, but i do aspire to  do the best I can for both myself, and my family. Rome wasn't built in a day, but we sure are making leaps and bounds in that direction!

I would love to hear your ideas or products if you have any. I am going to be shopping for new makeup (foundation, powders and mascara) in the near future.  Does your brand make the grade?


  1. Hey! I was making my own laundry soap for awhile and here's the recipe that we used: http://littlebirdiesecrets.blogspot.com/2009/02/make-your-own-laundry-soap.html - it may be the same one that you have since it does contain Borax. Also, I'm not sure if you have heard of Norwex or not, but a friend of mine is a Norwex consultant and they offer cleaning products that lessen the amount of toxins and chemicals in the home. I use many of their products and they are great and also save tons of money! I can put you in touch with my friend if you'd like to know more about it, but I'd say that you should definitely check out Norwex because their stuff is awesome!

  2. Love this post and love EWG! I did a total cleaning product, make-up, and body product overhaul about 5-6 years ago. It used to be so hard to find good make-up especially, but now there are more and more choices. Overall, I love the Jane Iredale products and some of Dr. Hauschka's too. I have a great book that I'm happy to send you - Gorgeously Green by Sophie Uliano (sp?). She has a lot of recipes for cleaning products and beauty products that you can make at home, as well as recommendations in nearly every category.