Did you make a resolution, goal, or intention to clean up or detox your life and home in 2019? Well you're in luck because I'd love to help. I posted on my Facebook Page (click here to ask to join) for feedback on what you are looking for help and ideas. If I didn't cover what you're looking for here, let me know!
Cleaning Supplies for House, Kitchen, and Bathroom
You don't "need" specific cleaning supplies for each room of your house, with the right things you should be able to use things interchangeably regardless of the room you're cleaning.
I use this stuff pretty much every day. I bought a bottle of the Basic H2 concentrate and the bottles (my husband says these are some of the best spray bottles he's ever used, and he's particular about that stuff) and use primarily the regular general cleaning one or the degreaser (which has a bit more product in it) mostly. I think I got this bottle 2 years ago and am still have a third of it left which will most likely get me through 2019. I have also used their laundry products, if you're going to order give them a try as well.
(Note I buy this through my friend Melissa, her link is included and if you want to talk to her directly, let me know, I'll connect you)
This is another one that I've done some research on and just haven't pulled the trigger on purchasing. It does seem to be a great solution, especially for bathrooms. So while I don't have first hand / personal experience with this it's on my list! If you've got a lot of tough spills and are a bleach fan, this would be a great clean swap for you. Also if you have pets or are cleaning rugs / couches frequently I think this would be a great product - and you use the same thing, everywhere, so no need to have different cleansers around the house, you only need this one.
These are great if you can be ok with cleaning with only water :) I have a starter set and like them, but can't get the rest of my household on board with not using some sort of a cleaner. I think that investing in a set of Norwex cloths to help clean your kitchen would be great. I do have one for the bathroom that I leave on the towel rack and use almost every day to wipe down the sink, both inside and an area around the sink that has water splashed on it.
Kid Friendly Cleaning Ideas (and products)
If you're using any of the stuff above, everything will be kid-friendly so you don't need to worry about your kids using any of the cleaning supplies above. I mean, you still wouldn't want your child to DRINK anything, but these are all things that I would feel safe letting my 2 year old use - and actually he does a few of these things regularly.
1. Cleaning not too dirty surfaces (tables & counters)
This is my 2 year olds favorite thing to do, he asks me to clear off our kitchen table and then help him get up and clean it. He knows where to go find the spray and microfiber cloth, and then climbs up on the table and cleans it. It does require a bit of supervision, and the removal of the spray after 10 sprays since he uses way too much but it's a great way to get him involved and actually get the table clean. You can do this on counter tops too, either put them up there or have them use a stool to reach. I would skip letting them clean up after doing something like cutting meat, poultry, or seafood since they may not do as good of a job as you would, and there is a risk for illness - probably a no-brainer but safer to not assume!
2. Sweeping the floor
We have two sets of little dust pans and brooms under our kitchen sink (it's not locked since we don't have anything toxic under there!) which both of my kids really like to go and grab out and help sweep up. If they make a mess, spill something, create some crumbs on the floor then this is an empowering and easy task for them to do. The 4 year old can now sweep it into the pan and dump it out in the trash. The 2 year old still needs help with getting it into the dust pan but that's too be expected. It also helps develop fine motor skills...double win!
3. Handheld vacuuming
Keep a little dustbuster around, and this is something that most kids even really young ones can manage, and if they aren't scared by the noise they might really enjoy it. We keep ours in a place that the kids can reach, and instead of me going to use the vacuum for a small mess I will have my kids help. And hey if they decide to do the whole floor that's ok!
4. Putting their dishes away / getting them out themselves
When we moved into our new home (about 2 years ago) we set up the kitchen to have all of the kid-stuff on the bottom floor level. This allows you to have the kids help put the dishes away and get their own dishes out. I also have cups that hold their silverware - so they can do it all! I also often take out the silverware tray for the adult silverware and both kids can help take the silverware out of the dishwasher and put it in the organizer - I have just let go whether or not the silverware is in the right place in the organizer.
Safe laundry detergent, you want fragrance free but need to look for something more than just a "free and clear" one since while these MAY be better they aren't always. Check the Environmental Working Group website or Healthy Living App to check on the grade of your current laundry detergent.
My favorite laundry detergent is Molly's Suds, they have a regular laundry powder (I use the powder after getting over feeling like liquid cleans better. The powder is more economical and environmentally friendly since it's all the power of the soap, just none of the water to make it liquid. They also have a Sport Wash version, so for those with athletes in the family or those that just love athleisure clothing (it will help make it last longer - also skip the dryer).
I've been searching for a safe fabric softner and finally found something that works and doesn't cost a fortune...ready for it? It's white vinegar. The kind you can buy at the store for $2 a gallon. Yup, super simple and you can literally eat it. I add it to the my wash in the little container for fabric softner when I am planning to hand my clothes on our clothesline (yes I really do that). I was skeptical that it would make everything smell like vinegar, but it doesn't and it works really well. I mean, don't get me wrong, nothing is going to give you light and fluffy towels on a clothes line, but pretty much everything else it keeps soft.
In the dryer I use New Zealand wool dryer balls. Molly's Suds has them but I have another brand that I found on Amazon - if you're searching you want ones that are 100% wool, organic and preferably from New Zealand. You probably need at least 6 for lots of laundry and can do with 4 if you only have small loads.
So what are you going to tackle first? Anything here that you use and want feedback on? Another area of the house or your life that I didn't cover? Post to comments, or reach out to me via Facebook / Instagram - lpappas01.