Safer Cleaning Products: How to Make the Switchjump to recipe
Today's post is brought to you in partnership with my friends at Branch Basics! We're talking about the importance of using safer cleaning products and how the switch may be easier, and more effective, than you think.
Fed & Fit family! Do you know that we have spent the last 8 (EIGHT!!) years talking about safer food choices? By now, we have likely all wrapped our heads around how our food has a big, direct impact on our health. We know the importance of avoiding rancid, inflammation-propelling vegetable oils (think: canola), the importance of grass-fed and pastured proteins, that organic produce can lessen our toxic load, and that not-real-food (think: artificial sweeteners, food dyes, and other creepy preservatives) can wreck havoc on our REAL bodies. We feel BETTER when we make healthier (personalized) choices and have found a way to make it work in our own real lives. We meal prep, we tackle the grocery store differently, and we even read menus through a new lens. In summary, we have GOT THIS food thing.
Then, 4 years ago, I launched the safer beauty column. We have spent the last several years expanding our desire for a safer diet to include a safer skincare routine. We learned (together) that what we put ON our skin can have a REALLY BIG impact on our health. We learned, we made strategic switches, we slowly transitioned our skincare routines over, and we felt better for it.
Now, I'd like to broaden our healthy living conversation a bit further. Today, let's talk about our environment. As much as it matters what we put in and on our bodies, it actually does matter what is AROUND our bodies, too. Similar to the “ah-ha” moment I had when I decided to switch to safer skincare, I FINALLY transitioned over my home products to safer alternatives. For too long, I *ignored* the toxins we lived in. Know that I'm not going to ask that you to consider throwing out your couch or replace every carpet with organic natural fibers. Nope, this new transition is MUCH easer than that. I'm going to ask you just reconsider the cleaning products you use most.
Your first concern may be something along the lines of, “but I want cleaning products that actually work!” I HEAR YOU. That desire is what personally fueled my healthy home procrastination. I wanted a glass cleaner that left no streaks and I wanted a bathroom cleaner that REALLY got rid of the gunk. I wanted my laundry detergent to REALLY deep-clean my clothes and I wanted my floors to get a truly good wash. I thought, “there is NO WAY a safer cleaning product can meet my performance needs.”
I humbly (and happily) admit that I was wrong. Dead wrong.
Spoiler alert: there's no streak-free magic in that blue liquid window cleaner that a safer alternative doesn't offer. Those strong fumes in your bathroom cleaner? You don't need those either. You don't need the blue liquid, the strong-smelling cleaner, or the laundry detergent that comes in little pods. You don't need all of those things to have a clean home …and this is really good news. I like to think of toxin-free, safer cleaning products as one of the few areas where you can have your cake and eat it, too. You CAN have clean floors *and* skip the overwhelming, headache-inducing artificial pine smell. You can have streak-free glass without the use of ammonia. Clean clothes, clean bathrooms, and clean kitchens are possible without having to buy bottles of toxins that NO LONGER MATCH your healthy lifestyle.
Now introducing, Branch Basics
HOW is it possible, probable, and doable? Well, if you're a minimalist who likes to stay organized, get ready to have your dreams come true. You get to toss a BUNCH of those bottles and replace them with ONE (two, if you want an Oxygen Boost) SINGLE PRODUCT.
You all know that I only work with companies that I *truly* admire and support (as a personal customer). I say that, because I want you to know that Branch Basics is the cream of the company crop. Branch Basics is run by 3 incredible women who are on a mission to EDUCATE (first) about how to create a healthier home and to (second) provide a cleaning product alternative. They have heart, skill, knowledge, and have created a toxin-free cleaning product line that makes it easy to swap-for-safer.
Here are the safer cleaning products possible with Branch Basics:
- All-Purpose Cleaner (what I use in my kitchen and around my house, it actually cuts grease on my stove!)
- Streak Free (what I use on windows, mirrors, computer/TV screen, and glass)
- Bathroom (for the toilet, tile, grout, and shower)
- Foaming Hand Wash
- Floor Cleaner
- Laundry Detergent
- Stain Remover
- Spot-Carpet Cleaner
Are you ready for the really cool part? Everything listed above is made possible by TWO ingredients: the Concentrate and the Oxygen Boost. Without the use of bleach, ammonia, dyes, harmful preservatives, or fragrances, these two products can help you create safer products for your home.
Here's how it works:
- Order your kit. THIS is the kit I ordered!
- Follow the instructions on the bottles (fill with water + concentrate per the lines on the bottles).
- Spray and go on with your bad cleaning self!
Note that it takes a bit of a mindset shift to swap your (toxic) individual cleaning products for two products that *look* to cost more, but you'll actually save this route. Here's an example of what one 32 oz bottle of concentrate makes:
- 16 All-Purpose bottles (24 oz), at $3.06 each ($0.12 per oz)
- 10 Bathroom bottles (24 oz), at $4.90 each ($0.20 per oz)
- 240 Streak-Free bottles (24 oz), at $0.20 each (less than $0.01 per oz)
- 17 Foamer Bottles (10 oz), at $2.88 each ($0.28 per oz)
- 192 Laundry loads at $0.26 per load
With typical use, you can fill 3 All-Purpose, 3 Bathroom, 3 Streak-Free, 3 Foaming Wash, and 60 loads of laundry!
What about hired house cleaners?
We actually hire a house-cleaner to visit our home twice a month for a good deep clean (some of the best money we spend). She brings her own products to our home and one day, I worked up the nerve to ask her to use my Branch Basics spread instead. I can't tell you how WONDERFUL it felt to walk into our home, after she finished her work, to a really clean home that didn't smell like toxic chemicals. I also loved that our sweet house cleaner (someone who we now know well) was able to spend a part of HER day away from those conventional product fumes. Get the products, walk your house cleaner through how to use them, and have a little more peace of mind about the toxins in your home.
Easier than giving up diet soda.
What excites me most about swapping my home products for safer cleaning products is that this is even EASIER than changing the foods on our plate or the makeup in our cabinet. These safer cleaning products work, they're economical, and they protect our health. If you're struggling with healthy food decisions, getting to the gym, or getting enough sleep, know that this healthy lifestyle change is a slam dunk WIN.