“I keep it very simple…” I told my husband the other day.
It was a busy day and I didn’t feel well, so he offered to clean our bathroom, a job I normally do. Which was very sweet of him! And of course I took him up on it.
I gave him 2 Norwex cleaning cloths, a non-scratch scrubber, and a glass spray bottle of our homemade all-purpose cleaner. Then he went to town and cleaned our whole bathroom from top to bottom… very simply and very well!
I clean our whole house similarly. The kids do help. Together, we clean the entire house every other week, from top to bottom, all with simple, sustainable tools and non-toxic cleaning products.
In this day and age when we’re bombarded with toxins everywhere — disrupting our hormones, contributing to cancer, giving us headaches and chemical sensitivities — it’s so important to use non-toxic products. I’ve talked about it before (right here — see point #2).
Just know: it’s very, very, very important to our health and the health of our families to ditch the conventional, poisonous cleaning products and use non-toxic methods instead.
Since Carmen M. just asked me what I use to clean my house, I thought it was perfect timing to share how we do it all on today’s #AskWardee!
Keep reading or watching below to learn more!
Subscribe to #AskWardee on iTunes, Stitcher, YouTube, or the Podcasts app.
The Question: What Non-Toxic Cleaners & Products Do You Use To Clean Your House… Even The Floors?
Carmen M. asked:
I am in the process of replacing everything in my household that is toxic.
Could you please tell me what you’re using to wash the floors with? What is your multi-purpose cleaner?
I have linoleum floors in the kitchen and bathroom, and wood floors in the other rooms in the house.
What is working on linoleum? What is working on the wood floor?
Also, please tell me what to use for cleaning the sinks and the toilet bowl with?
I can’t wait to ditch all the toxic cleaners!!!! I will celebrate soon.
Thank you for mentoring me in so many ways.
Carmen, thank you for your question!
Because we’re featuring your question today’s #AskWardee, you’re getting a gift — a FREE Mini eCourse! Our team will be in contact with you so you can choose which one you’d like!
Step #1 (Surfaces) — The Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner
My homemade all-purpose cleaning spray with essential oils is the basic cleaner I use everywhere — sinks, counters, toilets, showers, etc. (I don’t use it on floors… see below for floor info.)
It’s very easy to make and requires 3 ingredients besides water: liquid dish soap, rubbing alcohol, and essential oils. Get the full recipe here. Plus… get a FREE glass spray bottle when you become a new customer of Grove Pantry Collaborative right here.
What if there’s a tougher job?
- Baking soda — I use baking soda now and then, like for scrubbing the cooktop. I make a paste of baking soda and water and then use a non-scratch scrubber to work those things off.
- Hydrogen peroxide — For stains, I use hydrogen peroxide and let it sit. Always test a small area before using anything that “bleaches”!
Step #2 (Surfaces) — The Norwex Multipurpose Microfiber Cleaning Cloths
I use Norwex multipurpose microfiber Enviro cleaning cloths everywhere. These microfiber cloths last a lonnngggg time. I’m still using cloths purchased in 2011 — like the green one pictured above!
And… they clean with water only. Yes, water only.
Most of the time I choose to use my cleaning spray above simply because I want to. I like the smell and I like the anti-bacterial properties of the essential oils.
However, sometimes I’m in a hurry or need to make up more cleaning spray, so I use them as is and I feel completely confident in their cleaning ability!
How can they work with just water?
It’s the design. Not only do they remove up to 99% of bacteria on any surfaces they clean, when used properly, the cloths have a built-in silver anti-microbial agent called BacLock that works within the cloth to self-purify and inhibit odors from bacteria, mold and mildew growth within the cloth.
You know how some of your cleaning cloths get stinky and you can’t really get it out short of bleaching them? These cloths don’t do that.
I use one Norwex multipurpose microfiber cleaning cloth for a few rooms, then put in the wash with our other towels. Then they’re ready to use on the next housecleaning day, or for any uses in between.
What kind of water is best?
In my opinion, you’ll get the best sparkling clean results on your shiny surfaces if you use filtered and conditioned (softened) water such as I shared in #AskWardee 134 where I told you which whole house water filtration system we chose and why.
What about other brands?
Yes, there are other brands offering microfiber cloths. I have tried a few (not all).
I found that Norwex cloths are sturdier and last longer. They are easier to hold and use because of their sturdiness.
I have yet to throw one out, and as I said, I’ve had some since 2011. So I’m a fan of Norwex and will continue to invest in these.
What if there’s a tougher job?
- Norwex bathroom scrub tile mitt (picture above; the pink cloth) — Norwex offers this bathroom cleaning mitt that has rougher surface on one side. I use that side to scrub the walls and floor of shower and tubs because I like the extra cleaning friction.
- Blue non-scratch scrubber — I keep one in my cleaning bucket for scrubbing soap scum in sinks and for scrubbing toilets. I cut each one in half so the batch lasts twice as long!
- Brushes — I keep a toothbrush and a grout brush in my cleaning bucket for scrubbing in cracks and crevices on an as-needed basis.
- Magic erasers (pictured above; the white block) — These are a soft sponge material (melamine) and they are AMAZING… they will clean scuffs and marks you didn’t think would ever come off… like scuffs on walls. (Be careful as lower quality paint may come off, too.) When you buy, get a lot like in this set, because as you use them, they disappear. You’ll see what I mean when you start using them. 🙂
About the magic erasers… Our washer and dryer got soooo beat up from 2 cross-country moves and the magic erasers made them look like new. I thought they were ruined, but they weren’t. It was amazing!
Step #3 (Glass & Shiny Stuff) — The Norwex Polishing Cloth
I love, love, love the Norwex purple polishing cloth (see photo above)! This amazing cloth shines up any surface without Windex or any other cleaner needed.
All I do is wet down the surface — faucet, fridge, stove, mirror, tile, windows, etc. — with a multipurpose cloth (water only), then go over the surface with the polishing cloth to dry and and shine it up.
I keep these cloths throughout the house every day. (On #AskWardee 134, it’s hanging on the oven; I forgot to remove it before I turned on the cameras!)
I keep one on the towel rack in the master bathroom and my husband and I use to clean our eye glasses. He’s the one who put it there first because it’s the first cloth that he liked to use on his glasses, and he washes them religiously. 😉
I keep another cloth in the kitchen and throughout the week, I can — and do — easily remove fingerprints and spatters from dishwasher, fridge, oven, windows, and tiles so they’re not building up or bothering me.
We even take a polishing cloth with us on vacation… yes, it’s true. We take it to keep our glasses clean because there’s nothing else that works better.
One time, we ended up using it to clean the bathroom mirrors in a vacation rental house on the last day. The house wasn’t stocked with anything that worked as well, so we used our own polishing cloth!
What about other brands?
Again, there are other brands of polishing cloths and I’ve tried them. They don’t work nearly as well as the Norwex purple polishing cloth because they’re not sturdy enough. They’re so thin that they bunch up under my hand and I end up streaking the thing I’m cleaning with my hand instead of polishing it up with the cloth.
Step #4 (Dusting) — The Norwex Chenille Dusting Wand
We dust baseboards, doorjams, ceiling fans, chairs, under the fridge, and more with the chenille dusting wand (aka Envirowand) from Norwex.
You buy it and you never have to buy anything else because the chenille cover slips off for washing. It traps like ~100% of dust so you’re not just moving it around, you’re actually capturing it.
It’s pictured in the photo above, propped on the wall behind the mop system. I love it so much! I also have the Norwex dusting mitt, but I don’t use that very often since getting the wand.
Step #5 (Floors) — The Norwex Wet & Dry Mop System
To sound a bit like a broken record… I loooovveeeeee the Norwex wet & dry mop system.
You have the main unit that has a swivel head to work around in any direction. It comes with 2 cloths: the orange dry cloth and the blue wet cloth.
Both of these cloths work on any hard floor, whether it’s linoleum, tile, wood, etc.
We bought our first Norwex wet & dry mop system in 2011. It looks practically brand-new; that’s how well-made it is. When we moved into our new house in Idaho, we decided to purchase a second mop system so we could have one downstairs and one upstairs, too.
How and when to use the wet and dry mops.
You use the orange dry cloth to dry mop (a.k.a. dust) hard floors whenever needed; we try to do our wood floors once per day.
You use the blue wet cloth a little damp (wet it down with water and wring out) to “wet” clean your hard floors… yet with water only. It has the same anti-bacterial properties as the other cloths.
We try to use this once every week or so on the wood floors. If you have a large surface to clean, you might be re-wetting it a few times so it doesn’t get completely dry during use.
Why water-only cleaning is AMAZING for hard floors!
You know why water only for the floors is great? Because soap is hard to rinse off completely and soap residue attracts dirt.
So if you use water only, you’re not only saving money and time, your floors will stay cleaner longer. It’s a huge win-win!
What about small spaces?
I love that the Norwex mop system fits under the doors so I can wet or dry mop small rooms like the bathroom more easily. Because it’s not very tall, even with the cloth on it, and because the head swivels, the doors don’t get in the way… even if they *are* in the way! Ha, ha!
How to wash the wet and dry cloths.
The wet and dry cloths are machine washable just like the other Norwex products. I throw them in the laundry with my other cleaning towels. Then they’re ready for next time. 🙂
What do you do with the dirt the dry cloth collects?
Hair and dirt gets trapped in the dry cloth. You can use a brush like this to brush it off into the garbage.
You’ll still have a little bit left on the floor, which you can then sweep into a dust pan.
I decided to purchase this chenille mop cloth (the green cloth pictured above) for the mop, because it’s softer on wood floors and traps more of the dirt. I don’t have to use a dust pan as the final step very often because I can take the chenille head right to the garbage and brush it off.
Step #6 (Laundry) — My Green Fills Non-Toxic Laundry Soap
With sensitive skin and allergies on the rise, one of the biggest culprits contributing to eczema and reactions are toxic, conventional laundry products! So I thought we should talk about how we handle laundry in this episode, too.
We use non-toxic laundry soap from My Green Fills. It is a subscription-based service, but you can pause or reduce your subscription any time. So I’ve found that I’m really only buying the laundry soap we would use anyway.
Here’s what I love about My Green Fills laundry soap:
- it is the cheapest per load I’ve found!
- you get the jug in your first order and after that, you only get refill packets — this reduces shipping costs and garbage
- it is non-toxic and non-fragrant so our skin loves it
Click here for more info about My Green Fills non-toxic laundry detergent and to get 50 Loads FREE!
What about stains?
My Green Fills has a couple stain removing products — the powdered enzyme stain remover and the stain remover stick. I’ve tried both and they really work, yet are gentle on clothes.
What about brightening whites?
My Green Fills has a brightening product that I really like.
What about odors?
I add 1 to 2 cups of white vinegar to every load for additional odor control. And if some t-shirt or item is really clinging to odor, I’ll often do a long soak in vinegar water. White vinegar is cheap and amazing!
What about dryer sheets?
Instead of toxic and expensive dryer sheets, we use homemade wool dryer balls (or buy here) to reduce dry time, save electricity, reduce static, and soften our clothes.
Members, we gave you a video on how to make your own wool dryer balls in March 2018. If you don’t already have it, let us know and we’ll add it to your account (you must be a premium member)!
And with those 5 steps… we keep our entire house clean!
Want More Non-Toxic Info?
If you’re looking for non-toxic cleaning info, then you should also be interested in natural healing remedies… because you know that better health doesn’t come from a pill. It comes from what God gave us in the natural world, the herbs and oils that God created for us to use in our own health care!
And for a limited time, you can get 95% OFF an entire library of natural healing info… in the 2019 Herbs & Essential Oils Super Bundle! It’s a collection of herb and essential oil resources — 40 eBooks, eCourses, and printable packs with a total value of $701.14 PLUS $79.87 in bonuses — all 95% OFF for a limited time.
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Extra FREE Bonus!
I’m throwing in an extra FREE bonus just for Traditional Cooking School readers! This is in addition to the ~$79 in bonuses that the Ultimate Bundles team has waiting for you.
Here’s how it works…
If you purchase the 2019 Herbs & Essential Oils Super Bundle through my link at Traditional Cooking School, I’ll throw in another free bonus. It’s an air-tight, dark glass herb storage jar from Infinity Jars. This is the 150mL size — a favorite size especially for traveling. I also use this size for spice mixes so I have them on hand for sprinkling on meats and salads.
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How To Get Your FREE Glass Herb Storage Jar (150mL)
- Go here to purchase the 95% OFF 2019 Herbs & Essential Oils Super Bundle — hurry, as the sale ends Monday, June 10, 2019. You must use one of my links to be eligible.
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More Traditional Cooking Info…
If you haven’t already, be sure to sign up for the FREE Traditional Cooking Cupboard… you’ll get 14+ FREE eBooks featuring recipes, info, and articles on Traditional Cooking School, and a free Traditional Cooking video series!
Click here to grab your 14+ free eBooks and free video series today!
Any Questions Or Comments?
If you have other questions or comments about your own experience with non-toxic cleaning products and routines, be sure to leave them in the comments!
- FREE 14+eBooks and FREE Traditional Cooking Video Series
- 95% OFF Herbs & Essential Oils Super Bundle (2019) — hurry! sale ends Mon Jun 10, 2019
- Claim your FREE 150mL glass herb storage jar here — after purchasing your bundle (link above)
- #AskWardee 061 — Non-Toxic Homemade All-Purpose Cleaning Spray Recipe
- FREE glass spray bottle
- My Green Fills Non-Toxic Laundry Detergent (get 50 loads FREE)
- #AskWardee 134 Which Whole House Water Filtration System We Chose & Why
- #AskWardee 073 — point #2 on why it’s important to avoid toxins
- Norwex multipurpose microfiber Enviro cloth
- Norwex polishing cloth
- Norwex chenille dusting wand
- Norwex wet & dry mop system
- Norwex chenille mop cloth
- Norwex bathroom scrub tile mitt
- Norwex dusting mitt
- Magic erasers (melamine sponges)
- Blue non-scratch scrubber
- Wool dryer balls
What Is The #AskWardee Show?
The #AskWardee Show is the weekly show devoted to answering your niggling questions about Traditional Cooking: whether it’s your sourdough starter, your sauerkraut, preserving foods, broth, superfoods or anything else to do with Traditional Cooking or your GNOWFGLINS lifestyle.
I share tips and resources, plus answer your questions about Traditional Cooking!
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How do you clean your house with non-toxic and simple methods? Please share your thoughts in the comments!
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Hello! Thanks for detailing out your cleaning processes. Its very helpful! I have a question about the BacLoc feature on the Norwex cleaning cloths. You mentioned it was treated with silver. Do you have any research or other info to point me to so I can understand what this is? Is it similar to the nano silver process used on some clothing and toothbrushes? Thanks for your help! Blessings!
These two articles give great insight into the silver used in Norwex
This one discusses nano silver in particular:
This article explains how Norwex works although we do disagree slightly with the “science behind Norwex” section. As one of our team members, Sylivia pointed out, “there is a level of disinfecting that is going to be acceptable to an individual. And then that individual has to just decide what to use. For most home use I think Norwex is good. Having had a bakery I know about disinfecting. You do have to let things stand for 10 minutes. You do have to allow dishes that are disinfected to air-dry. There is not a state in this country however that will allow a food business to substitute Norwex cloths for liquid disinfectant. That’s because Norwex as great as it is is not as effective as liquid disinfectant.”:
~Danielle, TCS Customer Success Team
Barbara Geoffroy says
Thanks so much for all this valuable information. I plan to check out Norwex and Green Fills. I will also take a look at the essential oil bundle! My question: Is Isopropyl alcohol acceptable to use in the cleaning spray (episode #061), or is rubbing alcohol preferable? Thanks again for all your enlightenment!
You are very welcome! Rubbing alcohol is either isopropyl alcohol or ethyl alcohol that has been mixed with water. Both rubbing alcohol or isopropyl alcohol are great to use for cleaning. 🙂
~Peggy, TCS Customer Success Team
Candace Nixon says
I enjoyed your podcast #135 about safe household cleaning products and looked up the Greenfields laundry detergent ingredients. Polyacrylic sodium salt was listed and the name sounded iffy so I looked it up and the following website states it should be avoided: Force of Nature, Chemical Data Base type in Polyacrylic Sodium Salt and it will take you to Sodium Polycrylate and give the info on what it is.
We asked My Green Fills about this. They said:
“There is less than 1% of sodium polyacrylate in our products. Polyacrylic acid sodium salt is an anti-depositor, meaning it is what prevents dirt, etc. from being re-deposited back onto the articles of clothing during the wash cycle. It does not get on your skin.”
~Danielle, TCS Customer Success Team
What kind of dish soap do you recommend? Looking to replace Dawn dish soap and want something that will cut grease effectively.
Seventh Generation Dish Soap is a great brand to try.
~Peggy, TCS Customer Success Team