We like earth, pet, and conscience friendly products at our house. I always felt there was something wrong with cleaning chemicals that made me feel like I needed to wear a gas mask when I used them. How could that be clean? Some of my favorite cleaners are made by Mrs. Meyer's, Method, Caldrea, and Biokleen. Not pictured in the line-up above, baking soda, and distilled and white vinegars - true cleaning champs.
Of course, to be really earth friendly, I could make my own cleaners. I recently came home with this book, which is full of recipes for doing just that. It also has recipes for homemade first aid and body care products, as well as tips and instructions on organic gardening - all in a hand lettered and beautifully illustrated little book. Get your copy here or here. You need very few supplies to make your own cleaning products, and doing so really saves a ton of money. I plan to gradually start switching over, though I'm sure there will be some store-bought products I just won't want to give up.
I was just checking out the cleaning tools at Caldrea, which are 25% off 'til March 28, by the way. They are gorgeous. This is their French Door Cleaning Brush. I think there is something to be said for using high-quality tools, or just plain fun tools. They really make doing a job more pleasant. Caldrea's products are really a luxury. Their fragrances are so wonderful, and their tools are made to go the distance.
Speaking of fantastic fragrances, I really love Mrs. Meyer's. Right now we're using a couple of products in Basil, which is just lovely. However, I think her Lemon Verbena is my very favorite. I should really pick up some of this hand soap refill. It really bothers me that more makers of earth-friendly hand soaps don't offer refill packs. I'm glad Mrs. Meyer's does.
While I'm giving shout-outs, I can't say enough good things about Biokleen. We LOVE them, and they are located in Vancouver, WA, which means they don't have to travel very far to get to us. We use several of their products, but my favorite-ist is the Soy Cream Cleaner. This stuff is amazing. I use it to keep my pots and pans shiny, to get gooey labels off jars, to soften the baked-on crap that clings to the sides of my glass baking dishes, to clean the oven... It's the best.
Anyone out there have go-to cleaning tips/tricks/products? What are your cleaning rituals? What do you most hate to clean? What bothers you most when left undone?
edit: Check out these tips for safer Spring Cleaning at Environmental Working Group's site. You'll also find lots of great articles here.