Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My All-Natural Household Cabinet (Part 1)

Emily's post inspired me to create my own list and product review of the natural bath and home products that we use. I always find it interesting to read what other people use, so hopefully this helps someone :-) I run a Frontier cooperative through my yahoo group (see link on the left side) - it allows me to purchase many products I would not otherwise be able to afford...anyone is welcome to join the group! I won't be running another co-op until probably January, maybe December...depends on how adjusting to baby #2 is going. My friend, Bridget, runs them too - we alternate months.

Bi-O-Kleen Products (I purchase these on Drugstore.com b/c Frontier does not carry them. Once you purchase from Drugstore, you get credits for purchasing, and they often send incentives to get you to buy again, and with the free shipping, it turns out to be a good deal.

Bac-Out - Love this stuff! I use it for any elemental stain/odor issue, whether it be laundry or carpet or kitchen. Sprayed on poopy diapers, it helps neutralize odor and starts the cleaning process while they sit in the pail. Sprayed on Poco (our chihuahua's) stains on the carpet, it neutralizes the odor and effectively removes stains. I squirt a bit in an especially dirty load of laundry, such as in my kitchen towels (we use un-paper towels, so sometimes there's dried milk, food, etc. on the towels) or diapers.

Automatic Dish Powder
This is the *best* natural dishwasher powder! It smells fabulous, you only need to use 1T., and it works wonderfully.

Soy Cream Cleaner for Bathroom and Kitchen
I like this, too, though it's not as exciting as the other Bi-O-Kleen products I've used...If you like a cream cleanser, this one is great. I use it mainly for sinks and toilets. The smell is not as wonderful as the other Bi-O-Kleen products, which is probably why I'm not as excited about it LOL! But it works fine, so I'm not sure what else I should expect.

Dishwash Liquid, Lemon Thyme
Mmm, another yummy smelling Bi-O-Kleen product! I will say that it doesn't suds very much, which does not mean it's not cleaning - suds are a mental thing for us, really. So it's a little thing that I have to admit I miss when I use this. I also feel like I have to use more than I think I should, to feel like things are clean. I recently tried a "fresh and natural" dishwashing soap from the grocery store - I think Palmolive brand - and honestly, it does clean better than this product. So I'm not sure that I'd get it again. I'd probably recommend the Dr. Bronner's over this for dishwashing...but this one smells great ;-)

Oxy-Bleach Alternative
With GSE, this contains naturally deoderizing agents, and it works almost as good as bleach for whitening. I often soak any white shirts that have stains in the sink with a scoop of this. I add 2T to my diaper load every few loads, to freshen and whiten. Like all the Bi-O-Kleen products, it smells fabulous :)

Life Tree Fresh & Natural Bathroom Cleaner
Just got this a few weeks ago and I cannot rave about it enough! Made with Tea Tree Oil and Lavender Oil, it smells wonderful - as I clean my bathrooms, I am treated to a relaxing aromatherapy experience! With no harsh chemicals or smells to worry about, I feel fine if Graeme "helps" me clean the bathroom (which is an added bonus - he can start learning at a young age!). And it works! I was frankly quite surprised at how well it works. Now, I haven't tried it to remove mildew or anything, as we haven't had too much of a problem with that here, but as an all-purpose bathroom cleaner, this stuff is awesome. In the Frontier co-op, it was around $3.00, which is quite reasonable. I am planning on trying some of their other products.

Dr. Bronner's Liquid Soap
Another deal I buy from Frontier, Dr. Bronner's works for lots of things. I've used it as a dishwashing soap, mixed my own kitchen spray with it, mop floors...I like the new orange scent for the kitchen. I will say that the castille after-scent is a little strong for me - so when I used it as a spray, sometimes it would annoy my nostrils. So I actually don't reach for it a ton, compared to some of my other products - however, I know of a lot of people who "swear" by Dr. Bronner's.

Deep Steep Liquid Hand Soap
This is a recent area I decided to make a change in - I've just been using Dial liquid antibacterial hand soap for our sink soap. But, after recently reading on how the over-use of antibacterial products is adding to the increase in anti-bacterial-resistant strains of bacteria, I decided to try to "naturalize" this area of our household - since Deep Steep was on sale last month at Frontier, I decided to try it. I have three scents: Rosemary Mint (kitchen), Tangerine Melon (guest bath), Lavender Chamomile (kids bath). I like all three for where they are. The scents are exactly as described. The Tangerine Melon, however, is the most yummy smell - it got raves from my dinner guests last week! I think they were making excuses to use it LOL! Definitely a beautiful hand soap.
I will also comment that first, I transferred us to using bar soap at the sink - but it just makes such a mess. I was using it in the kitchen as well, but realized that it was not the best choice for washing up after handling raw meats - the bacteria will sit on the soap and multiply...so though I valiantly tried to do the bar soap thing, it just isn't my favorite.

Alrighty, this turned out to take a bit, and we need to get lunch, so this will be Part 1! I'll come back to post bath/body products. :-)

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