Cleaning Question for You Green Moms

Updated on October 02, 2009
N.D. asks from Vancouver, WA
10 answers

i am on the search for a green cleaner for the leather seats in my van. i thought i had found the solution with raw linseed oil however after i got it from the hardware store, it states on it that it is carcinogenic. after further research, it looks like i could get food-grade oil but that it tends to go rancid so i probably don't want to put it on anyway. so now i am back to square one. does anyone have a green cleaning/conditioning solution for cleaning leather?

p.s. i also read that baby wipes are really BAD for cleaning the seats, which is of course what i was using because they were handy.

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K.C.

answers from Seattle on

Just wanted to share some info on mineral oil, which someone had recommended. Although it sounds very natural, it is actually made from petroleum products and is not safe to use, especially on eating surfaces like cutting boards. Here is a link to an MSDS form (Material Safety and Data Sheet - I am an environmental scientist and I commonly look at these types of things). http://www.jtbaker.com/msds/englishhtml/M7700.htm

Here's a brief blurb from the MSDS.

MINERAL OIL: WARNING! HARMFUL IF SWALLOWED OR INHALED. CAUSES IRRITATION TO SKIN, EYES AND RESPIRATORY TRACT. COMBUSTIBLE LIQUID AND VAPOR.

2 moms found this helpful
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D.L.

answers from Spokane on

Hi Nicole,
I am a mom of 4 and grandmother of 10. I am also a breast cancer survivor AND parkinson's patient...wow! So, a few years ago, I set out on a mission to find safer products. I work with a lot of young moms and share Melaleuca's 350+ safe products. They have an awesome leather cleaner called Rustic Touch. If you would like to explore, go to www.melaleuca.com or www.saferforyourhome.com.
My email is [email protected]____.com and I would love to share some great info with you. Thanks!

2 moms found this helpful

R.S.

answers from Portland on

How about mineral oil, which is used for renewing cutting boards? It soaks into the wood well.

1 mom found this helpful
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P.P.

answers from Portland on

Gentle soap and water. I have a 10 year old leather couch with no stains, I've just kept up with using a (dye free/ fragrance free/ no detergent) soap with some warm water. I've had all KINDS of stains over the years from my kid and my pets, and soap and water ALWAYS does the trick. Of course, wipe the dust/ grime off first, then clean with soap and water.

1 mom found this helpful
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R.C.

answers from Portland on

I was told that to take the best care of leather, don't use anything to clean it that you wouldn't use on your skin. So I just use a diluted solution of Dr. Bronner's liquid soap. Then you could use one of the leather treatments for leather sofas, to condition and protect. The ones at Restoration Hardware will be good quality.

1 mom found this helpful
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M.H.

answers from Seattle on

Saddle soap?

You could also get an easy seat cover (or put an old blanket under your kids seat - could cut slits to put the seat belt through) that you can take out and wash but protect the seats in the mean time.

1 mom found this helpful
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M.G.

answers from Portland on

I have not tried it yet, but recently read a book on green housekeeping & the author recommended saddle soap for cleaning leather, as a non-toxic alternative to all of the wipes etc on the market for that purporse. . . The book is either called "Green Housekeeping" or "Organic Housekeeping" & the author is Ellen Sandebeck. It is a great book -- the suggestions I have used from it have really worked out well.

1 mom found this helpful
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M.W.

answers from Seattle on

Linseed oil is from flax seeds... I think the "carcinogenic" concern lies deep in if you CONSUME it and it's rancid...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linseed_oil

You might want to read the wikipedia article and do some further research. We use murphy's oil soap mixed with water for our leather sofa when it needs a cleaning, then follow up with some (probably toxic) leather lotion we got at IKEA.

1 mom found this helpful
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N.I.

answers from Portland on

I love my "green" cleaners. They are so awesome. They clean everything from your house, car, garage, kids are safe, they work better then store bought - they are economical so much so that you safe tons of $. There is a website called http://nontoxiccleaners.myshaklee.com. Please go visit it.

I think the first thing I would do is get the Basic H2 with the three spray bottles and try it out. The price would be for a 16oz bottle of Basic H2 would be $12.15 and the three spray bottles would be $8.10. I would buy the spray bottles because the directions on how to use the Basic H2 are on the bottles and the bottles are formaldehyde-free. The Basic H2 is made from Corn and Coconut surfactants. Shaklee products (Get Clean) is also NOT on the poison control list - call them and ask. So for $20.25 you can see for yourself how it cleans - how long it lasts (forever it seems) and what it can replace in your home.

I usually buy about every year or two - that's how economical it is.

N.
SAH Mom, Nana, Wellness Coach and I love my "green" cleaners which I have used for over 35 years - I love them that much.

1 mom found this helpful
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