I have posted about all sorts of  things we have tried around our house, and most we have stuck with.  I figured it was time to summarize a few of them.  The following are just a few items in the cleaning department that are safer, more natural, and/or more cost effective than standard cleaners:

  • Jet Dry–Use plain vinegar instead. 
  • Floor cleaner–Use plain vinegar.  The vinegar smell is only temporary.
  • Toilet cleaner–Use plain vinegar.  It neutralizes any unpleasant smells.
  • Bleach as a washing-machine cleaner–Use plain vinegar. 
  • Window cleaner–use a 50% vinegar/water spray instead for a chemical-free, streak-free shine.
  • –OK, to summarize here, vinegar is a great, all-around cleaning product!
  • Dishwasher soap–Homemade soap (click here for recipe)
  • Laundry detergent–Homemade laundry detergent (click here for recipe)
  • Lotion–coconut oil (be sure to use the organic, virgin, cold-pressed kind)
  • Eczema/skin/rash creams–coconut oil (same as above)
  • Fiber supplements–try flax seed instead.  These are extra healthy and can be used in a myriad of ways! If you grind the seeds into a meal first, then you can use small amounts as a partial-substitute for flour.
  • Water for bread and baked goods–use leftover milk, fresh unsoured buttermilk, or whey.  It is a great way to use up leftovers and add a protein and calcium boost at the same time.
  • Caustic oven cleaners–use a sharp razor blade or metal paint scraper.  It scrapes the burnt stuff right off the interior of your oven!
  • Chemical grime removers–Mr. Clean magic eraser.  They aren’t completely natural, as they do contain a chemical base, but it is mild.  FYI, the e-mail floating around with the kid that has burns all over is NOT, in fact, caused by these.  It was a hoax e-mail.  They are quite safe, and I would much rather my children use them than risk getting into the myriad of other liquid cleaners out there.

I know that’s just a start.  We are saving a small fortune using this stuff though, and I highly recommend it.  If you have substitutions for common items, please feel free to comment!  I would love to hear some new ideas!