Sunday, July 6, 2008

Why Natural Cleaning Products?

Now that we're open, I will move on to greener pastures (or topics, as it may be).

I currently carry two lines of natural cleaning products. Mrs. Meyer's and Howard Naturals. Between them, you can clean everything in your home! (unless your home is made from cornstarch or some other material that would disintegrate if it got wet.)

Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day makes aromatherapeutic cleaners for your kitchen and bathroom. Most come in four fragrances: Basil, Lavender, Geranium, and Lemon Verbena. I have been using these products for almost a year and I love them, which is why I decided to sell them. I carry their full line of regular cleaning stuff--powdered cleanser, counter top spray, concentrated cleaner, dish washing liquid, and window spray. I also have Lemon Verbena automatic dishwasher liquid, chamomile cat litter freshener and Basil laundry soap.

I had been thinking (and reading) a lot about chemicals in the home and it really started to sink in how important it is to get rid of them. The a-ha moment for me was when I was spraying the bathroom mirror with something bright blue (which will remain nameless) and I saw the mist floating gracefully down onto my toothbrush in its cute little chrome holder. Ugh! Then I noticed that when I'd spray my counter in the kitchen, the spray was getting on the wire basket of vegetables and bowl of fruit on there. I wash or peel them before I eat them, but it still really bugged me. Why use something made by Dow or Chlorox when I could use something made by Mother Nature? Or at least Mrs. Meyer with some help from Her. I still try to avoid getting the cleaners on my food and dental tools, but if it does, I'm pretty sure it won't make me grow a third arm or something. My mom pointed out that they now have "green" cleaners at her local grocery store, but they are made by the big chemical companies. I'd rather have my money go to someone who never created the problem in the first place! Most of the Mrs. Meyer's stuff is $4.99. The concentrated cleaner is $7.99, as is the automatic dishwasher liquid. The laundry soap is $11.99. Fairly comparable to the "regular" brands.

Howard Naturals covers all the categories that Mrs. Meyer's doesn't. Like wood, stainless steel, marble and granite, and upholstery. Their wood stuff is amazing! I don't have stainless or marble/granite in my house, so I've asked my customers who do to let me know how they like those cleaners. Their products also smell great. It's amazing what a clean uplifting (and non-chemical) fragrance can do to boost (or calm) your spirits while you're doing your chores!

I'm very sorry that I didn't take before and after pictures of my mom's butcher block table that I reconditioned for her on Mother's Day. I also failed to take any of the oak chair I have in the store that was a little dried out and tired looking before I used the furniture conditioner on it. Jose (fellow business owner in the neighborhood) came by the next day and asked me if I had refinished the chair! He bought the furniture conditioner the first day I was open. I also used it on the wood "floor" of the front window instead of staining and varnishing it.


Anonymous said...

Hey Laurie -- I've got a question for you. My friend Nancy (a chemical engineer) says that EVERYTHING is chemicals. If these natural products aren't made of the same stuff as the bright blue liquid, what are they made of? I'm really ignorant, but I think you and Jill should do a joint blog entry that lists the different cleaning supplies typically available in a grocery store and which Mrs. Meyers or home remedies (baking soda, for example) would do just as well.

I've learned a lot by reading both of your blogs, so thank you for all the info. Angela

Anonymous said...

Hey Laurie -- Disregard last message. I looked up Mrs. Meyers on the internet and found out the answers to a lot of my questions. Thanks anyway. Angela

Jill said...

Hey Ange,
Everything (including you and I) is made of chemicals. But some of these occur in nature and some only at giant chemical plants. The latter often result in poisonous substances that harm us and the environment.
If it hurts a bunny's eyes...why would you use it where you and Jasper live and eat and breathe?
(yes, they still do test a lot of this crap by spraying it in bunny eyes to see if it hurts. DUH! It's going to hurt.) The natural stuff is usually not tested on animals and is usually made of things that occur in nature.

As noted on my blog, my favorite cleaning supplies are baking soda and vinegar. Or salt and lemon juice. Or borax and which ever acid is handy. Maybe I will do a cleaning supply specific blog entry. Thanks for the idea.

For those with less interest in living like their great great grandmother, the new natural cleaning products are great. My citrasolve is natural, but formulated more carefully than my dump-n-pour technique and with more of the specific cleaning stuff extracted than I get when I put salt in the sink and then scrup it with an orange peel (but both smell great).

And don't you LOVE aromatherapy cleaning products?? You get healthier while you clean instead of getting ammonia-lung.

Niki Hughes said...

Congratulations on your store Laurie! It was so wonderful to see you and I can't wait to stop by to see you and shop!

Niki Hughes

Laura said...

I'm with you, Laurie, I really think about the chemicals I'm using in our house now - especially with little ones inhaling and touching everything I clean. I really hate using anything harsh. (I still regret having the house sprayed by Terminex when we first moved here, I wasn't thinking about 6-month-olds inhaling those awful chemicals, and their little bodies can't process anything as easily as us bigger folks.)

I'm using Method products now, but maybe I'll transition to Mrs. Meyers eventually. And ALL of those products smell better than the harsher ones! They make cleaning much more fun!