Whether you’re pregnant or have little kids or pets in the house, cleaning always comes with quite a dilemma: you don’t want to be surrounded by icky germs, because they could make you and the little ones sick. But you don’t want to remove those icky germs with a cleaning product that contains harsh chemicals, because inhaling these ingredients could be harmful to developing or vulnerable immune systems.
Here’s a natural cleaning product guide that’s great for moms-to-be, moms with little babies and toddlers, pet owners—or anyone who’d rather not clean with chemical-filled products.
Chemical-free kitchen cleanliness
Wipe down the countertops with GrabGreen Degreaser Cleaner (the light, natural citrus scent probably won’t tickle scent-sensitive pregnant noses), which borrows its cleaning power strictly from plant-derived agents and essential oils. Got granite? Earth Friendly Stone Countertop Cleaner (go for the natural parsley scent) is perfect for all stone surfaces and is free of formaldehyde, petrochemicals, GMOs, phosphates, chlorine, and that old-school favorite, ammonia. Tackle stainless steel appliance grime with Earth Friendly Steel Cleaner and Polish, which not only is all-natural but is made from 10% sustainable, plant-based products.
If you’re going to be elbow-deep in dishwater for 20 minutes every night, you’ll want to feel secure that you’re not submerging your skin in chemicals, dyes or toxins, so an all-natural dish soap like Ecover Dishwashing Liquid is a good choice. (An even better choice: ask your husband to do the dishes, and put your feet up and have a nice cup of tea instead!) Meanwhile, feed your dishwasher with phosphate-free, eco-friendly Ecover Ecological Automatic Dishwasher Tablets and you’ll feel good about making the world a better, more eco-friendly place for your baby to roam!
Banish bathroom germs (naturally)
Surprising fact: you can kill 99.9% of household germs, including salmonella, staph and influenza, without bleach, ammonia or any artificial ingredients or chemicals.Powered by thyme oil and scented with refreshing lemongrass, Seventh Generation Disinfecting Bathroom Cleaner is a safe choice for moms to be that will get the job done. Attack grout grime, soap scum and even mildew with non-toxic Method Natural Tub Plus Tile Bathroom Cleaner, also available in an antibacterial variety. And if you still have the energy to scrub the toilet and don’t want to breathe in potentially dangerous fumes, Ecover Ecological Toilet Bowl Cleaner is a great choice—plus, it’s safe for all septic systems. (But ladies… perhaps dad-to-be would like to give this product a test drive? I believe you still have a cup of tea to enjoy…)
Must-have jack-of-all-trades cleaners
In addition to these specific products, it’s also good to have an all-purpose cleaner for pet stains, disinfecting, odor removal and other miscellaneous messes. Fortunately, you need look no further than your pantry for some apple cider vinegar, which you can use for bathroom and kitchen surfaces, windows, glasses and mirrors. Mix ½ cup of apple cider vinegar with 1 cup of water and let the magic begin!
Also, you can’t go wrong with Dr. Bronner’s Baby Mild Organic Pure Castile Liquid Soap, which you can use to rinse vegetables, and as a household cleaner for laundry, dishes, floors, rugs, even cars and boats. (Just dilute one part soap into 40 parts water for light cleaning, or use a 1:1 ratio for heavy cleaning jobs.) And aside from all that house cleaning, of course, Dr. Bronner’s baby soap may come in handy for other purposes, in 9 months or less…
Jorie Mark is Vitacost.com’s Director of Marketing Communications and mother to three children, ages 3 to 10.