When I left my parents house seeking my own identity, fame, and fortune, I took with me the list of cleaning supplies my Mama used in our home. These were the products that I grew up with, each had a specific job and I believed, as my Mama did, that your house wasn’t clean unless you could smell pine and bleach. I was in for a shock the first time I went to the grocery store clutching my list….. my cleaning supplies took half my budget! But they were a necessity and it continued like that until I had my second child who was born with very sensitive skin and my first old friend to bite the dust was my Gain laundry detergent. When I came out of my mourning period I took a deep breath and began the search for a greener and may I say cleaner laundry soap.
The more research I conducted, the more it became clear to me that I needed to make my own cleaning supplies. I was in Nirvana, this stuff was so easy and cheap to make, but I had some rewiring to do first.
Turns out suds don’t equal clean. What!?! I need bubbles…how do I know that the soap is doing its job unless I have bubbles, everybody has bubbles. I had already gone through the painful process of deciding to break up with Gain, what more could the universe ask of me… come on!
Every site told me that soap bubbles usually indicate Sodium Laureth Sulfates (SLS) which is harmful to the environment and commercial companies only add it to give you bubbles. It’s like the cherry on top of the Sundae, you don’t need it, but boy if it’s not there you notice! Then the Sundae just looks naked. So I was left with a Gain-less and naked Sundae life……Yah.
But things got better, the first recipe that I tried for laundry powder worked great! But, as I became more and more concerned about the environment, I discovered that the soap bar that I was grating to make it contained petroleum products, and the search began again. I am not going to tell you about all the chemicals found in some commercial products, you have heard it all before, but for my family, I wanted to be chemical free. (If you’re curious about what is in your cleaning products and how they rate, visit the Environmental Working Group’s Website and look it up).
My environmental concerns lead me to a wonderful job! I am the Education Director for a local Conservation District and they pay me to talk about Environmental Issues and to conduct workshops like Green Cleaning classes. I get to share my knowledge with my community and now with you!
I still get nostalgic about Gain, and I have been known to sit closer than accepted in polite society when I smell it on someone’s clothes. And I would never camp outside of a store on Thanksgiving for Black Friday sales or wait in line for 24 hours to buy tickets to anything, but….if they ever produce an essential oil blend that resembles the scent of original Gain, I would body check a senior citizen to get to it. I hope you enjoy my favorite Green Cleaning tips and recipes.