I did a lot of “healthy home” research when I started having babies ten years ago. My youngest is five now, and, after reading this book, I realize that a lot has changed since I first started my journey toward greener living. The basic principles are the same: typical household and personal care products have a ton of added chemicals that are hurting us on a daily basis. But I can’t believe how many more readily available and budget friendly organic resources there are now. Seriously, ten years ago, I could barely find cloth diapers, even quasi-organic skin care, reusable sandwich bags, and the list goes on. I’m happy to see how many more options are out there.
Clean Mama’s Guide to a Healthy Home starts off by explaining all the reasons why it’s important to use as many organic household products as possible. There isn’t much new to me in this section, but I guess it’s always good to lay a foundation for the newbies… She encourages readers to go through the entire house and throw away all products that are filled with chemicals. If you feel bad about wasting products, then use what you have and buy an organic alternative the next time around.
Chapter 5 is very useful in that it goes through the few simple products you’ll need to get your house clean. Author Rapinchuk lists them out and then details what tasks they can be used for. So for example, hydrogen peroxide can be used to treat stains (on white clothes), clean grout, or disinfect toilets and showers. Other basic cleaning products she uses are soap, vinegar, baking soda, essential oils, epsom salt, kosher salt, coconut and almond oil, oxygen whitener, rubbing alcohol, vodka, and borax. She gives a ton of “recipes” for cleaners, but her simple, all-purpose cleaner is a good place to start:
All Purpose Vinegar-based Cleaner
- 3/4 cup water
- 3/4 cup vinegar
- 5 drops lemon essential oil
- 5 drops lavender essential oil
Chapter 7 is another favorite of mine, where she lists ten changes you can make right now to get your home cleaner—like taking off your shoes inside, putting plants in high-traffic rooms, using an air filter, and opening the windows.
The last part of the book gives room-by-room cleaning suggestions. She lists ingredients in products to look out for (and remove), suggests cleaning products (purchased and DIY) to replace them, and offers quick tips for making immediate changes. Her advice covers the kitchen, bathrooms, bedrooms, living areas, laundry room, entryway, garage, and basement.
One of the things I love most about this book is that, in addition to giving so many DIY cleaner recipes, she also offers affordable, available, and effective product suggestions. Like I said, there are so many more “green” options available to families than there were even just a few years ago. What a game changer. I’ve listed some of my favorite “new to me” products below.
- If You Care paper (and compostable) sandwich bags
- Bumkins fabric snack bags, zipper closure
- Lunch Skins fabric snack bags, velcro closure
- Bee’s Wrap reusable food wrap paper
- Grab Green natural dishwasher detergent
Hand Soap & Sanitizer
This book has already been an invaluable resource to me. It is packed with information, and even though I know I can’t possible make all these changes at once, it has given me both a good place to start and a goal to work toward. I know I will be referencing it again and again.
Huge thank you to Edelweiss and Harper One for the ARC!
I liked the book so much, I went out and bought it. 🙂