Making Green Cleaners and My Own Laundry Detergent

Saturday, February 21, 2009

I've been collecting the supplies for a few months now, and even mixed my own all-purpose cleaner, but today I attended a class put on by the Oregon Center for Environmental Health, where they provided the ingredients and supplies to mix my own all-purpose cleaner, creamy soft scrub, and laundry detergent! I'm really excited; this is new to me, but I have a feeling once I get it down, I'll never go back. I know there are many environmentally-friendly cleaning lines out there, but making cleaners yourself really is so much better. For one thing, it's a lot cheaper. Secondly, the manufacturers of cleaners and detergents don't have to disclose their ingredients, and many of them contain harmful toxins. In fact, if you want to dispose of your household cleaners, you have to take them to a hazardous waste facility, yet we use these in our home every day. Thirdly, making cleaners yourself means you get to choose which essential oils you use, so you can experiment and get creative with different scents. Then there's the fun that can be had with label-making for your homemade cleaning bottles and jars.

One thing the instructor said that struck me today was how our perceptions of clean have been largely influenced by advertising. For many of us, a shiny surface means clean, when in fact, the shine is from a toxic residue from the conventional cleaner. Vinegar, water, and a little essential oil might not leave a shiny surface, but it will be a clean surface. It's interesting for me to reflect on how much marketing has influenced my own perceptions of clean. Having said that, everyone wants their cleaning materials to get the job done, so I will be writing a series of blog posts on green cleaners and will share what I learn along the way. For now, I have a crying baby and a sick little boy, so I'll be back tomorrow.
(Pictures by Landon--thank-you!)

2 comments:

Kate said...

Thanks for the good example and inspiration, Karli. You're awesome.

Ange said...

Thanks for the great info! I will put it to good use for sure!

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