Natural Cleaning Supplies

Updated on October 09, 2007
E.S. asks from Plano, TX
34 answers

I have been a loyal user of scrubbing bubbles, 409, soft-scrub, lysol. I have tried several other but they are the only products that truly remove all grease and soap scum and give me a feeling of disinfected and clean. Now, I am starting to be concerned of the effects that these harsh chemicals might have on my kids and family. I have been tempted to buy several of the First Generation brand of cleaners but hate the thought of spending all that money and not being completely satisfied with their cleaning abilities. I know there are also several product lines out there that are sold by independent consultants. Does anyone have first-hand experiences (good or bad) with any natural ingredient cleaners? I really would like to make the switch but need an "excellent de-grimer/de-greaser" guarantee.

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So What Happened?

Thanks to EVERYONE who responded. WOW-I love mamasource. I immediately tried some of the in-home remedies and quickly realized it takes a lot more time and effort than I have.:( With nobody having anything negative to say, and not being able to find the ingredients of the products on-line I am a little skeptical of Melaleuca. So I will be trying the Method brand, Simple Green, and 7th generation. Now I just need 1st hand experiences of the effectiveness of each product. Thanks to all the mamas!

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J.S.

answers from Dallas on

I to have been worried about the ingredients in cleaning products. After doing some research I have found a website that gives you recipes for cleaning products you can make with everyday house hold items.

The website is www.geocities.com/Heartland/Prairie/8088/clngrn.html

1 mom found this helpful

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S.M.

answers from Dallas on

I read an article a while back that said stay at home moms have shorter life expectancys than moms who work outside the home b/c of long periods of being exposed to all the toxic chemicals from their household cleaners! Then I read an article by Kelly Preston (John Travolta's wife) on their son and kawasaki disease -- that was enough to have me make the switch and make a choice to become educated on what I use in my home! You can learn a lot from this site:

http://www.checnet.org/healthehouse/virtualhouse/index.asp

I order my laundry detergent and dishwasher detergent from here:

http://www.greenhome.com/

We use the Charlies Soap for our laundry and I have been VERY impressed with it!! You use very little and it leaves no residue on your clothes. I realized, after using Charlies soap for a while, that I never actually knew what clean clothes smelled like, only what clothes full of perfumes smelled like.

Overall Charlies soap is a better value than the seventh generation laundry detergent. You pay more for seventh generation and get less.

I do use the mold & mildew and tub & tile products on their site as well (they're vegetable based), but overall I mostly use vinegar for everything. It is inexpensive, non toxic, and is a natural disinfectant.

I don't use Meleca products b/c we have 2 cats and tea tree oil is toxic to cats.

We use Seventh Generation dish soap as well. It doesn't work as good as dawn, but a little extra elbow grease solves that problem.

Vinegar can also be used in your steam cleaner (most models) to clean your carpets with, it disinfects them, fluffs up the fibers, and is so much safer than carpet cleaners.

And here is a site w/ 131 uses for vinegar!

http://tinyurl.com/2zo3hy

Good luck to you!!

--S.

3 moms found this helpful
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M.G.

answers from Dallas on

old fashioned vinegar works wonderfully at de-greasing and de-soap scumming. With any natural cleaners more elbow grease will be needed but it is well worth the trade. Here's one of my fav websites for different cleaners...

http://mlmgorilla.com/naturalcleaningrecipe/

Good Luck!!

2 moms found this helpful
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K.K.

answers from Dallas on

check out this forum...where people review the different natural products they try: http://www.naturalbodyandhome.com/forum/

I also use vinegar, borax, hydrogen peroxide, etc. I use club soda to clean my windows and mirrors. I also bought a set of microfiber cleaning cloths from W-mart that really help with cleaning. From my personal experience, Melalueca is not as natural as they lead you to believe. As far as I can tell, Shaklee is pretty good. Shaklee has been featured on Oprah and was given as gifts at the Emmy's so it is definitely getting some attention in Hollywood. I have a friend that sells Shaklee if you want more info: www.shaklee.net/grapevineschmidts. I don't use the cleaning products because I feel like my house is just as clean for way less money. There are a few Shaklee products that I might try though, like dish soap, etc.

2 moms found this helpful
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A.S.

answers from Dallas on

Not sure if you ever have watched How Clean is your House on BBC America, but they tend to use White Vinegar, Lemon Juice, Baking Soda and Borax. All are natural and from experience and a handy nylon scrubber, they work fantastic. That's all I use. Like Kim says, "Cheap and Cheerful"!!!! You can also use essential oils like Lavendar and tea tree oil that are natural disinfectants and make your own cleaners. Their website has some fantastic recipes, and if you google cleaning with vinegar, or cleaning with baking soda it will come up with several websites with recipes for cleaners.

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A.S.

answers from Dallas on

You can do it at home much cheaper and I find that it takes just as long to clean but leaves it much, much cleaner. I use vinegar to clean my mirrors, and I've made the recipe for my own cleaner off the website www.centru.com. There's a cleaning section. I also clean my floors with Ivory soap and vinegar. My house smells great and looks better than before.

1 mom found this helpful
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A.P.

answers from Dallas on

E., I just logged in and saw your request. I also noticed you received a lot of information. I wanted to share my little story with you. I was a Clorox fan and used all of the same cleaners that you did. The smell would be so strong that my husband and the kids would leave the house when I cleaned the bathrooms. However, I developed severe allergies and my son was born with Excema. I found that once I changed all of my cleaning products including my laundry detergent, my allergies dramatically improved. My son's Excema also improved and now that he is 3, he does not have any break outs at all. I know that I helped him out by making the changes early on in his childhood and now I do not have to worry about the long term effects of harsh chemicals. I believed in the products so much I became an independent distributor as you are talking about. Our cleaning products were featured on Oprah in May and since then more and more people have found this is the # 1 choice in natural safe cleaners. You do have to order it and it is shipped, but once you have it, it lasts forever!! Everything is super concentrated. There is also 100% money back gurantee. What I liked most is the company has been around for over 50 years and does not have one bad mark. Not too many companies can say that. Well, good luck on whatever you choose.

If you would like to know more about it let me know.

You can also visit my website www.shaklee.net/portales.

1 mom found this helpful
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L.

answers from Dallas on

I love the Shaklee brand of cleaning supplies. I bought the clean home starter set and it has lasted forever. It is good to you and the environment. For that go to Shaklee.com
I also just started using Wintree laundry detergent that can be bought at Costco, it is $10 for a huge jug that lasts forever and it good to the environment. It smells great too. You'd be surprised how bad everyone's favorites like Tide and Gain are for your skin and the environment. I hope this helps.

1 mom found this helpful
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J.M.

answers from Dallas on

Melaleuca is the way to go! I have been using their products for almost 5 years and love them. I love to clean and have high expectations for cleanliness.

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K.P.

answers from Dallas on

You have received a lot of great suggestions! I thought I'd add my two cents, too. I've been using the Melaleuca products for about two years now, and they work great. My favorite three products for cleaning are the Sol-U-Mel - safe, and works on almost anything, Tough & Tender - kind of like 409, but much safer, and the Tub & Tile - does a great job on my bathroom without all the dangerous ingredients like bleach. Getting all the grocery store brands with their not-so-safe ingredients out of my house has helped my allergies and my oldest son's migraine headaches tremendously. The products are concentrated and cost effective. Feel free to contact me with any questions.

Regards,
K.

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J.L.

answers from Dallas on

I think you have gotten great recommendations, so far. What you use depends on what you are willing to pay. For cleaning, I like Melaleuca's Solumel, their Tub-n-Tile cleaner, and their Tough-n-Tender. I signed up for membership twice, but got fed up with their points requirement, their charges for sales tax, and their outrageous shipping charges. I quickly found many of the same types of products at Lowes, Home Depot, Sprouts, Whole Foods, and Target. Another good place to check for all natural products is at Wells Brothers in Plano, near Sams on Hwy. 5. TKO Orange oil is awesome, but it's not for everything as you would think. Tried it in my wash, and clothes came out with oily spots. It is great, though for mildew, cleaning ovens, and if you wash your baseboards with it, you will see very little creepy crawlers. I also sprayed the mixture on the green algae around my porch, foundation etc. that had resulted from all the rain. It dissolved it right quickly. Another product that I like is Simple Green, professional formula found at Home Depot. It does great for dysinfecting floors, sinks, tubs, and toilets. As far as finding something natural that cleans all the spots out of my clothes without fading the colors, I have been out of luck. Am curious, though, to try some of the suggestions made by other moms. Good luck. Look forward to hear out things turn out.

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K.S.

answers from Dallas on

I too use Melaleuca. I made the switch over a year ago and my son's skin problems have gone away and we have less allergies. I use Melaleuca for all my cleaning, including laundry... I even use their toothpaste! Anyway, I back there cleaning products 100%. www.melaleuca.com If you look, they have two prices listed, one says PC.. that is preferred customer, it's only $29 for a lifetime to become a PC. Also, if you are not COMPLETELY satisfied they will give you a refund.

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T.M.

answers from Dallas on

I am one of those independent consultants. First thing I want to make clear for everyone (after reading all the other responses to your request). For my company, not sure about any of the others, there is no membership fee, no minimums, etc. etc. Second, we have a 100% guarantee on ALL our products. If you try something and you are not satisfied then you can return it for a full refund (including the shipping). Shipping - orders over $75 are shipped for free or I can deliver anything to you.
Now about the products. Completely amazing. I have personally used these products for 10+ years. Only in the last year have I decided to pursue it as a business. It is hard to write why they are great, using them is the best testimonial. Check out my website, www.truebalance.mychoices.biz (the home section) to learn more about what I have. or you can call ###-###-####

Blessings,
T. Mattingly

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M.B.

answers from Dallas on

I use vinegar and baking soda for most of my scrubbing cleaning, for tubs and stainless steel kitchen sink. I also keep a spray bottle mixed with vinegar for counter tops, spills, etc. I use the 7th generation toilet bowl cleaner and dish soap. I don't like their auto dish soap and use another brand I found at Sprouts CitraDish. If keep a bottle tea tree oil around when I need the antifungal properties of melaleuca.

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D.O.

answers from Dallas on

My 3 little boys have definitely made a lot of messes & stained so many clothes in their short little lives. Tub & Tile is fantastic. I used it to clean the grimy shop sink in our garage and now it looks like new! :) Tough & Tender smells so good! It doesn't have any bleach or ammonia in it either. I could go on and on. I'd be happy to give you all of the info about the products we use. Email me anytime!

D.
www.myfamilymyfuture.com

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A.A.

answers from Dallas on

I use the Method line of cleaners and I get them from Target.

C.M.

answers from Dallas on

I am also a Mela momma. I was a loyal customer for 4 years before I ever decided to try the business end. The products are awesome, low priced and I loved not having to shop at a store. Yes, they do work awesome. I do not know about some of the natural brands at the store, but I would try them if Mela isnt the route you are wanting to go. Anything has to be better than using dangerous chemicals with yourseld and the kids. I am sure they prob work well.

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R.W.

answers from Dallas on

I use water and vinegar and baking soda and that works great but I also like the Seventh Generation products and BioKleen :)

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T.T.

answers from Dallas on

Hi E.!! Just to make it clear about Melaleuca: first of all they are AWESOME! All natural, no chemicals/toxins. They work great and are safe and help with allergies, asthma, excema, Autism, ADD, etc. There is a small membership fee, but that's so you can shop at discount prices, etc. You should not be buying these products from others, but have your own membership so that you can benefit from ALL of the membership perks they offer! If you'd like to hear more and/or have any questions at all, please don't hesitate to contact me! FYI, they have almost 400 products (cleaning, hygiene, personal, fitness, makeup, etc)

Thank you!
T.
[email protected]____.com

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B.A.

answers from Dallas on

Melaleuca tub and tile works very well on shower soap scum.

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S.K.

answers from Dallas on

You have received a lot of great referrals, I'm also a fan of the Melalueca products. I'm a recent fan, I just switched all of my cleaning and bath products over to the Mela products about 2 months ago and have seen a huge difference with my skin and my daughter's excema and allergies. I was the type of cleaner that my hands were raw and rough after a day of cleaning so I'm pretty critical if products work and I've been very satisfied with all the products I have in my home. I'd love to talk to you more about these products and getting you set up with them if you'd like. Best of luck to you; I'm sure whatever you choose you'll see that the eco-friendly products make a huge difference!!

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K.C.

answers from Dallas on

I started using the Mrs. Meyers line from Sprouts and I love it. They make an all purpose cleaner that you can dilute down so it lasts a long time and it smells so good. We really love it. I started making the change to more biodegradable and toxin free stuff over the last six months and so far the Mrs. Meyers cleaners and the Eco-something dishwashing detergent are awesome. I tried to use a dishwasher detergent that was biodegradable but it was awful. I went back to Cascade Complete. I did find that Arm and Hammer makes a plant based laundry detergent and I have been really happy with that. I have also started using the Seventh Generation baby wipes on my 2.5 yr. olds (one of them has really sensitive skin) and have been really happy with those. Anyway, Sprouts is where I go to stock up - I feel like my house has become more kid safe (or just people safe!). It was starting to worry me a little bit, too. Good luck!

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L.S.

answers from Dallas on

Sprouts and Whole Foods carry a number of different products for you to choose from. I would suggest going there first and looking at them and trying a few. If you don't like them, hold on to your receipt and you can return it rather than having to ship something, sign a contract or anything like that.

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J.B.

answers from Dallas on

I like the Method brand cleaning supplies. I think they are sold at Target, but I have been able to find them at some Dollar stores. I'm with you on the harsh chemicals. I had a friend whose doctorate project was studying the effects of household cleaners on soil and rain water, which I kinda laughed at until I went over to her apt and saw her cleaning with a face mask on and diluting the products by applying directly to a cloth (no spraying). She was comfortable with using some of the cleaning products, but would never spray them directly in the air. Scary.

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E.S.

answers from Dallas on

I love Melaleuca. It is safe and the price isn't bad. The products they have are awesome and they WORK. They have an entire line--not just cleaning products.

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T.O.

answers from Birmingham on

I use vinegar and baking soda too.... when I clean. The housekeeper uses whatever she wants when she cleans every other week.

A friend of mine is a Melaluca distributor. She signed up to buy the products for herself, but she does sell them to others too.

If you're interested send me your email/phone and I'll give your info to her. She's not selling the products as a business, she sells Melaluca because she loves it and buys it for herself.

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S.G.

answers from Dallas on

We switched out all of our household products to a company called Melaleuca. It is amazing and so much better for you and your family. They have two products that come to mind. One is called Tough and Tender and the other is Solu-Mel. I would love to tell you about it more if you are interested in hearing about it. The prices are good, last a long time. They have vitamins, nutritional bars that are wonderful, shampoos, soaps, detergents, etc. We were very skeptical when we heard the presentation, but we have not been more pleased and the long term side effects of all of those chemicals you buy at Wal-Mart, etc. We no longer buy that stuff and it is cheaper than Seventh Generation and Tom's. Let me know.

S.

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R.A.

answers from Dallas on

Hi, E.--
You have received tons of suggestions! Nobody mentioned the Watkins line of products, so I thought I'd pass on my friend's website. Watkins makes excellent products, and they just introduced home care items. Just as an FYI: their cinnamon is beyond awesome!

http://greatliving.sahmsnwahms.com/

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H.

answers from Dallas on

Hi E.! I was a loyal user too. In fact, I loved those Clorox wipes! After my son was born I was looking for something to do from home and stumbled upon a company that sells safe, effective, environmentally friendly products that really do keep my home clean. Not to mention that they are very economical. If you're interested, I'd love to talk to you about them in person some time and share my personal experiences.

H.
Former very tired working Mom who is now a stay home Mom

D.G.

answers from Nashville on

Melaleuca products are good, but I don't need to hit my family budget with an un-needed $60-80 each month just to hit their point requirement. I like 7th Generation for some purposes (dishwasher, general cleaner), but for a super degreaser, I just use Simple Green. Mrs. Meyers is also good, but the fragrances can be too much if you're sensitive. Costco has a really good laundry detergent that is all that the Mela detergent is. I forget the name -Wintree?? maybe. It is in a giant liquid bottle, and is very obviously eco-friendly by the labeling.

Good for you for researching & making the change!

D.

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D.B.

answers from Dallas on

Hi I used and like Seventh Generation and Method brand from Target. No harsh odors.

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K.H.

answers from Dallas on

i also use white vinegar & baking soda. i add tea tree oil to my vinegar for the disenfectant. also you can add essential oils to it for the smell, & orange essential oil is wonderful for grimy spots, although i usually just sprinkle baking soda around the tub & toilet (i put it into a shaker like you would use for parmesean cheese) then i spray my vinegar, tea tree oil mix on it & it foams which always does the trick for me.

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L.M.

answers from Dallas on

I have tried Melaluca things and they work great. They last a long time because they are concentrated. The hassle come in when you order. you have to pay some sort of membership (If I recall correctly). I'm not quite sure how it works, but I'm sure you can find someone who is willing to show you. Good Luck

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