It seemed like I just put the baby gates in the attic when the new puppy arrived at our house. My oldest was in school and the youngest had just begun preschool. I found myself a mother of two little boys and one hyper puppy, baby gates and all.
Puppies eat just about anything they can find. Little boys are eternally curious and moms have the job of making the home a safe place to live. When the boys were babies I bought baby locks and electric plug covers and any other devise that I thought would help. We will do anything for our kids and our pets for that matter.
Instead of just hiding cleaning supplies by keeping them out of reach let’s rethink the whole reason they need to be put up in the first place. We all know it is because most cleaning products are toxic. The question is do they have to be toxic anymore? Are there new products out there that are nontoxic, environmentally friendly and still do a good job cleaning? I don’t worry about kids getting into things anymore, but lately I have been thinking about what I keep in my home and why. Can I buy green cleaning products where I shop? Are they more cost effective than what I use?
With a little research I found out about some environmentally friendly cleaning products. I checked the cleaning supplies in my home and found I was already on my way to green living. A few years ago I decided to not purchase one time use cleaning products in plastic bottles. I bought gallon size cleaning products and a few reusable spray bottles. Some of the cleaning products I bought were green too, I just didn’t know it.
The first thing you need to do before you run off and buy new environmentally friendly cleaning supplies to make your house safer for babies and pets is to learn to read the labels. Then go through your house and see what you already use. You may be surprised like I was. Once you understand what you don’t want in your home, start shopping for new green solutions. There are a lot of environmentally friendly cleaning products out there. Some of them cost more than others. You will need to decide what works best for you.
In the past most cleaning products have been petroleum based, toxic, harmful to your health and the environment. Here are some things to look for that you do not want in your home; butyl cellosolve which is used for a solvent in cleaning products, the disinfectant triclosan, fragrances that contain phthalates, ethoxylated alcohols found in liquid detergent and phosphates found in some dishwasher detergents. In general anything that sounds like a chemical is one and should be avoided.
Ingredients that are considered green are natural, biodegradable and nontoxic. If you don’t want to make cleaners yourself, there is an array of environmentally friendly cleaning products on the market that use natural ingredients like baking soda and vinegar. A little vinegar and water will clean glass and most other surfaces. Baking soda and warm water substitutes for those caustic scouring products we are used to. Other eco friendly ingredients include grain alcohol, natural oils like coconut oils, sage, eucalyptus, or rosemary for a disinfectant, plain soap, washing soda, lemon juice and borax.
WARNING: Product will still need to be kept from pets and babies. Some environmentally friendly cleaning products are still very toxic to swallow but less harmful to use and have a less negative impact on the environment. Some products aren’t toxic but still not something you want your child or pet to ingest.