My Eco Cleaning Journey

My eco cleaning journey
Ok so first i need to put it out there, that this is a very BIG part of my learning and understanding of what it means to be “eco-friendly. Because its so much more than just a “plastic bottle” This is the very START of my journey, and im keeping it to cleaning. Damage SLS, parabens, palm oil, and lots of other nasties do to our oceans is for another time :) So when i first decided to start going eco friendly I was not expecting for it to be so time consuming, and it has definitely been a learning progress in which i am still doing. The thing is the more you learn about the damage we are doing to our precious earth the more you WANT to make changes.
Part of my first decision was based on what do i do a lot of on a daily basis that is causing harm. What is my “carbon footprint” as they say. I have a family of 7, so already our carbon footprint is higher than the average family. Along with our two cats :) My decision was quite simple actually, what cleaning do i do most of and how can i make it have less of a negative affect to our beautiful earth.  I do a MINIMUM of 18kg of wash loads a day,   ( i swear the rest of my street put their laundry in with mine lol) so laundry was the first one.
Secondly i have OCD and i am ALWAYS cleaning. I was so full of optimism and excitement but i didn't really know where to start.
With five kids and a husband to run around after ,my work has varied over the years, but for the last 4 years I have and still am a cleaner.
 
So this story starts with a product I was introduced to by one of the ladies I clean for. And that product was KOH. Now from when i was introduced to it , it was a very new concept but I was  intrigued by it. 
HOWEVER before I made this step I have to admit that I had used every cleaner under the sun. I LOVED my nice smells, my plug ins, my expensive shampoos and conditioners, all different polishes, i would often change my washing powder and fabric softener, I would buy new products before using up whatever one i was using, and in the end i had so many cleaning products, i quite frankly didn't know what to do with. So this was a MASSIVE step for me to take! But like i say once you know the damage you're doing you can't BUT NOT MAKE A CHANGE. 
I was hesitant at first but i always think that's a good thing. 
So with the KOH, i was amazingly surprised on how well it cleaned! Burnt on fat on the oven door.. GONE! With hardly any elbow grease needed AT ALL! This stuff gets shit done! Its NON TOXIC and is even safe to clean a fish tank with! Now you don't read that very often! . ONE product that could clean EVERYTHING. At first the price put me off, but as my client had brought it and wanted me to use it for her home i got a free trial so to speak. 
Ok so firstly it has no smell what so ever , but for any allergy sufferers out there this is a great go too.  
So yes, it did indeed clean great , and it also changed the way i cleaned. No wet cloths here :) I need only to spray the surface then wipe with a DRY cloth(s) , which came with the KOH cleaner. 
 I took the plunge and I bought 2 packs of KOH.
Ok so it said i could add essential oils , which i did as i didn't like not having a fresh scent. Peppermint is bar far my most favourite essential oil to use. Personal preference. I took the plunge. So obviously things started off swimmingly. It was a weird adjustment to start with. I didn't know what i was doing lol and instantly missed my nice smelling cleaning products that where still in the cupboard under my sink. But i was determined to ”clean it out” shall we say and persevere :) 
Ok i was wowed by it and not at the same time. I LOVED the fact i was doing what “i love” and causing no harm to my environment. That shit felt good! After a few weeks i was getting use to not having all my artificial smells. And then it became a bit more, well, “normal” to clean with it. However  I quite quickly moved away from it, and this was purely because, for the amount of cleaning i need(ed) to do and with the kitchen being the most central point of my home, i was just using it up far to quickly, and for me the price was just too high. And i wanted some anti bacterial protection in my kitchen. In thinking about these little niggles, i found myself googling away “how to make my own household cleaner”. Firstly OMG there are soooooo many variations out there, but I stumbled upon an everyday, extremely cheap item , that i really knew nothing about other than it is used for pickling. And that was WHITE VINEGAR! Oddly enough for years my Dad has been washing his hair and body with white vinegar, claiming “its all that he needed and is good for his hair and skin” to which i had seriously mocked him for. Needless to say i quickly got off my high horse when i was researching what it can be used as an alternative for. 
WOW oh wow, it can be used for cleaning, fabric softener, rinse aid, odour neutralising when sprayed. Ok so i hear you saying “what about everything smelling of vinegar” I had the same thought! BUT when dried it has NO SMELL! None what so ever. 
The basic “make my own cleaner” was so simple  2 parts vinegar to one part water. Now white vinegar does not kill 99.9% of bacteria but that does not mean that is does not have anti microbial properties.  Also learned that by adding 1 part vodka ( yes i know but I don't like it anyway ) it killed even more bacteria. Again i could add my essential oils. Which i did. 
Well wasn't this a simple, non expensive product that completely wowd me over. To note i still use this everyday. 
Not only did it remove what i can only assume was excess polish on my household polished items, it was also naturally sanitising what i was cleaning more than polish or KOH ever could, my house just smelled fresher.  It works absolutely BRILLIANTY on glass, and bathroom taps have never been so smudge free. This is such an inexpensive all round cleaner. BUT it does not stop there! As i said before it can be used as rinse aid, and guess what , i have not brought rinseaid since using white vinegar instead. Which is also great to help stop calcium buildup in my dishwasher. Like why would you not switch to white vinegar?! 
Ok, so then im like , hmm i've seen threads about using it as a fabric softener. In my research i read up lots about different peoples take on white vinegar and quite frankly i didn't really find ,if any , negatives. So i decided to start using it instead of my fabric softener. Ok so thankfully there was NO SMELL  that i could tell and none of the family had mentioned anything about smelling of vinegar ( I did this for weeks with out them knowing, much to their dismay lol)
So to sum it all up, to this day i am still using white vinegar as a polish, window, sink, glass, chrome, tile etc cleaner. I stuck to a normal anti bacterial cleaner for my kitchen, as with two cats who i know go on the god damn kitchen sides in the night and when im not looking! I need the bacteria DEAD! On the most AMAZING upside to this change of cleaner was……. METHOD! But that's a blog in its own right so i will get onto you with that another time :)
In conclusion, you really don't need fancy and expensive cleaners to go eco, all you need is an empty bottle, and some natural products and your house will sparkle! 

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