Sunday, January 27, 2013

Natural VS. Chemical Cleaning Products

For today's installment of the Well and Cleanly Series, I'd like to ask you how you feel about natural cleaning products.  I'll tell you how I feel about them: I have a schizophrenic relationship!  Here is a list of cleaning products in my house right now: Natural laundry detergent, Snuggle Fabric Softener. Natural dish soap and dish-washing detergent, Anti-bacterial Windex as my multipurpose cleaner. Clorox toilet bowl cleaner, Tilex for the tub, Natural wipes to wipe down the bathroom sink.  Pine-sol for the floors.  Bleach to go in the washing machine with my whites.

So, what the heck? Why do I sometimes buy the natural stuff and sometimes buy the traditional, big corporate names that use chemicals to get stuff clean?  I think cleanliness often harks back to childhood memories.  I grew up in a house that was always clean (it could be messy with toys and things like that, but if our food fell on the floor, we could always eat it.) And my laundry and sheets always smelled the same when they were clean.  Clean laundry is a favorite smell for almost anyone, don't you think? It's right up there with fresh cut grass, and chocolate chip cookies in the oven.  It smells like home.

My parents never used, and still don't buy any of those "natural" products.  But as I've started living on my own, and making my own choices, I like the idea behind natural.  Not only is it better for the earth, but my money will go towards smaller companies that somehow seem less evil to me.  Maybe this isn't entirely true, but that's the hippie in me.  I'm not afraid that Windex is going to give me cancer, but I am afraid that it will contribute to pollution or global warming or something like that.

I have to admit though, that my toilet bowl just seems cleaner when I clean it with Clorox  rather than with the natural stuff.  Is it in my head? Is it true? I just don't know!

So, I thought I'd put this out there to see if anyone else is like this.  Or do you always buy the same cleaning products every single time?  Sometimes I'll have natural dish washing soap and the next time I need to buy more, I'll buy Dawn.  I'm not brand loyal, like I said I'm all over the place with this kind of thing.  Any thoughts on this? Can you convince me to always buy the same brands every time? Let's hear about products you swear by and why!  And I'd love to hear if you are strongly for or against natural products.


  1. I'm with you on the schizophrenic relationship to cleaning products... Sometimes I get it into my head that I need to be crunchy and natural, and other days I get to the store and go with the cheapest thing possible. There's no rhyme or reason to it, I'm not terribly brand loyal... it's nuts.

  2. ditto...its about a 50/50 ratio in my household too!

  3. If you have read my blog - you know I'm all about living a chemical free - organic lifestyle. I wasn't always like this. I'm extremely, we'll call it "frugal". So I used to just buy whatever was on sale or cheapest.

    But in the last few years (maybe 4-5) I have really been conscience about what I buy and would rather pay a little extra for something I know is good both for the environment and my health.

    I don't want to take over your blog and preach- it is never my intention to be preachy about my stance. But if you haven't watched it - please watch the documentary Chemercial -

    It really is truly amazing to see this family transform, and also see their health transform over the course of riding their house of chemicals.

    Ok! That's all I'm saying, I've given you the tools =)


  4. Over the years I've replaced most of my cleaners with Mrs. Meyers. I realized that their products are not only just as good, but often better than the big corporate names that we all grew up with! AND they smell great! I still have some left over harsh chemicals (like toilet bowl cleaners left over), but as they are used up I replace them with a natural alternative!

  5. I use a lot of Method products, but I usually buy whatever dish soap is cheapest. :)

    I like the idea of using non-toxic, natural products since I have a cat. I would hate it if he ever got into something. I don't strictly adhere to this though, and I can't find a natural toilet cleaner that works as good as the chemical stuff.

  6. This is so random and fitting as my husband and I just watched a movie about cleaning products today (Chemerical on Netflix). We are totally on board the natural boat and I can get some pretty terrible head pain when I'm around some of the chemicals and fragrances in other products. I think with that though, the more you get away from them the more sensitive you become, if that makes sense.

    We use some Seventh Generation, some Method and then make some of our own as well, but after watching that movie I am re-motivated to start making even more and buying less.

  7. this post is so great and reading everyone's comments is really interesting! buying all natural products would really fit into the rest of my lifestyle nicely, but like you said, sometimes you just grab the cheapest. and sometimes it just feels cleaner with the chemicals, unfortunately. i kind of wanna watch that movie now, too— i'd love to be more educated on the subject.

  8. The majority of your cleaning products can be replaced with good ol vinegar and baking soda. Vinegar and water solution can be used to clean your surfaces, shines glass better than anything, disinfects, clean your coffee pot,kill mold and mildew, cut soap scum. Wash your clothes with baking soda, use it as a scrubbing agent for sticky messes and cleaning your stove, scrubbing the bathtubs and sinks. For tough stains on clothes keep hydrogen peroxide around. It's also good for whitening your teeth. Gargle with it for about a minute or so and brush with baking soda for extra whitening power. It will kill all the germs in your mouth and is WAY cheaper than listerine whitening and is just as effective.

  9. I have to second the vinegar and baking soda. My mom swears by it! I use it sometimes, especially to clean soap scum, but most of the time I want a pretty smelling product! Or, I'll do a little vinegar and follow up with a spritz of something scented. I have about 50/50 natural vs name brand products.

  10. suggests you every kind of cleaning products and equipments. They are high in quality and low in rates.


  11. This is a great article and very informative. So many products these days are becoming all natural. There are a lot of natural air fresheners and natural cleaners these days. I think most of them are always good option and make the use of these solutions a lot safer. However, I also think that there are products these days that contain certain chemicals that are safe. There have been a lot of improvement in the development of new chemical solutions. Chemicals such as Biomedical Polymer have been used a lot lately for new products which is encouraging.

  12. I agree with you. If workplace or office will be clean, then clients and coming visitors will also impress with its clean environment. I am also a commercial cleaner and I know its importance. In my opinion, regular cleaning is best way to keep office clean for a long time.Office Cleaning Vancouver

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