My Favorite Things: Natural Recommendations for Your Home

I frequently get asked, “what’s your favorite natural detergent? what’s your recommendations for cloth diapers? What homemade products do you still make and use?” Since I have been experimenting and reviewing various natural products for the last several years since I began my own journey to sustainable living, I have certainly bought, sampled, liked and disliked numerous things. I want to save you some trouble today by offering a list of my personal tried and true products in the natural world. You will discover that I keep things very simple in my home to the best of my ability. I don’t like several different cleaning products – I want one tried and true that can do it all! I don’t like numerous options of body care products – I want to stay frugal and sustainable with one or two products to get us by.

Body Care

Deodorant – my homemade recipe has withstood the test of time (except when you use old baking soda – keeping it fresh seems to be pretty important)! When I’m lazy, I keep Tom’s of Maine aluminum free deodorant on hand.
Shampoo & ConditionerTrader Joe’s Nourish Spa line (this is the cheapest and most conveniently accessible product I have found at just $3 per bottle at Trader Joe’s. Sorry, Amazon prices are definitely higher, but I wanted to give you a visual of the product). We made our own homemade shampoo for awhile until we just didn’t like the texture, lack of lathering ability, and smell. I dilute the shampoo with baking soda to make it stretch further. I have found 1 Tbsp baking soda to 1 Tbsp shampoo to be very effective in cleaning my hair, removing all problems with itchy scalp and allowing me to go 3-4 days between washings. The Nourish line is made from mainly organic ingredients and essential oils and works really well to clean our hair naturally. It just feels good! Another good backup option, is to use the subscribe & save feature on Amazon for Kiss My Face shampoo.
SoapGraham GardensI absolutely love Graham Gardens soap bars. They are so wonderful for the skin and natural and safe for the whole family. Graham Gardens offers buy 4 get 1 free sales with flat rate shipping making it affordable to stock up on soap for our family. I’m not into have a special separate products for the little ones, so we all use these with great results. This is all we use in the shower and for shaving. I use this soap bar to shampoo up the kids’ hair as well. Our favorite alternative is Dr. Bronner’s lavender or unscented soap bars.
ToothpasteTrader Joe’s fluoride free toothpaste (this is so nice and mild and not hot for the kids like most peppermint flavored toothpaste) – at just $1.99 per tube at Trader Joe’s this natural toothpaste is much more simple to purchase than make my own. If TJ’s was not accessible, I would likely use Tom’s of Maine children’s toothpaste
Lotion – My all time favorite lotion and moisturizer are  the Graham Gardens lotion bars. They work for all my skin issues and I don’t use anything else. This works on all of us too. Otherwise, coconut oil alone would works as a backup although more greasy to the touch naturally.
Hand soap – I have really been enjoying the foaming hand soap from Jenuinely Pure…it is certainly the best refillable natural hand soap option I have found. I also have used and love Mrs. Meyers hand soap refill packs. A great way to save on packaging waste. Mrs. Meyers is my favorite natural household product line for the wonderful scents, texture, and effectiveness of their products!
Makeup – I currently use Everyday Minerals base and face powders for my makeup with a touch of mascara. I love mineral makeups and this company offers you the ability to test any powder shade for free with the cost of shipping. The samples lasted me forever! I was formally using Bare Minerals but found over time that they irritated my skin. Everyday Minerals has been a perfect non-irritating product!
Sunscreen- I only apply sunscreen if we are going to be outside for several hours or outside in a pool/lake or something when a lot of skin would be exposed. Otherwise, I just put sun hats on the kids. I personally think that it can often do more harm than good on our skin the way it absorbs into our bloodstream. But if you are in a hotter environment, you may need to use more. It’s pretty mild here in the Northwest. When we do use it, I use Avalon Organics Baby sunscreen. I also recommend California Baby, which is also available at your local Target.
Bug Repellent – Graham Gardens Bug Bar and Apple Valley Natural Soap Bug Spray are two natural bug repellents that work equally well. We used both extensively in the Philippines last year and highly recommend them. Graham Gardens is a rub on lotion and Apple Valley’s is a spray…so chose whichever you prefer.

This is honestly all that we use on our skin! For my hair, we use a few not so natural options…but they work well to give us the results we desire. I use Foxy Curls to maintain my natural curls otherwise I also like to straighten my hair for variety, and my hubby uses Tigi’s Men’s Workable Wax.

Baby Care

Diaper Cream - I use my homemade salve for any problems with yeast infections and Graham Gardens diaper cream for any standard rash when I need a quick healing together with a disposable diaper. Graham Gardens is such an effective cream that lasts forever!

I occasionally use Burt’s Bee’s Buttermilk Lotion to give my kids massages after bath times as well.

Household Items

Laundry DetergentCharlies Soap (while I still love Soap Nuts, Charlies’ Soap is wonderful and simple because it works great for our cloth diapers and regular laundry. I love the subscribe & safe option through Amazon.)
Stain Remover – I’ve tried a lot of natural stain remover options without much success. The one product that I have found that really works the best is OxiClean Stain Remover spray. It is made from oxygen bleach so definitely superior to regular chlorine bleach.
Dishwashing Detergent – Bright Green Dishwasher Powder (Bright Green natural products are available at Safeway), Green Works or Seventh Generation (whichever is most convenient or frugal). Green Works product line is available in most every grocery store now giving us all a frugal natural cleaning line. They all work equally well.
Dish Soap – Again, any of the above mentioned product lines for dishwashing detergent works for finding dish soap.
Cleaning Product – Mrs. Meyer’s All Purpose Cleaner - I love this concentrate because it lasts forever! I dilute it in individual spray bottles and use it for cleaning everything in my house. I place small spray bottles with a rag in each bathroom under the sink for easy clean up of messes. I also use a homemade window cleaner, made from vinegar and lemon juice. My final cleaning product, is baking soda in a shaker for dusting inside the toilet. My cleaning bucket has literally 2-3 items in it!. Jenuinely Pure’s all-purpose cleaner is another great option.

I am a firm believer in the concept of less is more and that is why we use very few products in our home. Our skin doesn’t need tons of products to keep it healthy. I don’t use any sort of face wash, toner, etc. I personally find them unnecessary. It also saves money to keep your product choices to a minimal.

I may have missed an item or two in this list…so if you have a specific question for a product recommendation you don’t see discussed here…feel free to ask! What are your favorites? 

Please note: There are affiliate links in this post which we only use to share products that we truly love and recommend for your family. We receive a small percentage of each sale made through our links which we use to help support an orphan home in India and other ministries. 

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of three, homemaker, and writer. She is the editor of Passionate Homemaking since its beginning five years ago. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

58 Responses to My Favorite Things: Natural Recommendations for Your Home

  1. Kari July 2, 2013 at 12:30 pm #

    Thank you for this article! I just had a question about how you add the baking soda to your shampoo. Do you mix it in the actual shampoo bottle or mix a little in each time you use it?

  2. Becky December 15, 2012 at 7:33 am #

    my husband prefers body wash over soap bars, would the Mrs. Meyer’s hand soap that you recommend be good to use as body wash?

  3. Nicole November 8, 2012 at 8:55 am #

    You are missing the most matural one of all. Distilled White Vinegar. Mix 50-50 with water for an all purpose cleaner. Use in place of fabric softener…the possibilities are endless!

  4. Mary in FL September 30, 2012 at 10:53 am #

    Instead of toothpaste, I use soap chips for teeth. The chemical list is at or near zero, and it’s not abrasive. The brand I currently use is rose of sharon acres, and the type I use has neem bark and xylitol. I will post about it on my blog within the next month or so.

  5. Mira K. Bryan September 10, 2012 at 5:27 am #

    Hi Lindsay!

    EWG just came out with a cleaning database and I’m afraid Charlie’s soap scored between D and F, which is the worst:
    http://www.ewg.org/guides/brand/6611

    But if you search, there are many alternatives that scored and A for laundry detergent.

    • Becky December 19, 2012 at 12:34 pm #

      thanks, Mira, for suggesting the ewg website! I re-evaluated my purchases and was able to find safer solutions. It is so helpful for more than just cleaning products, I was able to find safer shampoo, soap, produce, etc… I will be using that website often :)

  6. Rebekah May 10, 2012 at 9:48 am #

    I took your suggestion about going half-and-half with baking soda and shampoo– I’ve only done it twice so far, but wow, I love it! I have a chronically itchy scalp and my hair can be a bit… limp. But I’ve liked what the baking soda has done :)

    (It doesn’t hurt that this will make my expensive Aubrey’s Organics shampoo last even longer! haha)

  7. Rose May 2, 2012 at 3:08 pm #

    Thank you for the deodorant tip. I am always looking for ways to take care of myself without harsh chemicals (I love everyday minerals as well!).

    A really easy way to get kids to brush is with sugar. Okay, well, not sugar exactly, but xylitol. Fake as it sounds, it is a natural sugar that is low cal, has no effect on blood sugar and is better for your teeth than flouride. I actually had a few of my daughter’s cavities reverse (they were in the “baby” stage) from brushing 3x’s a day with 1/2 tsp xylitol.

    Anyway, just in case anyone wants to know ;)

  8. LM May 2, 2012 at 12:47 pm #

    We shop in Trader Joe’s after our weekly BSF. My kids love helping Mommy out at the market. I was excited when you suggested their Nourish Spa Line Shampoo/Conditioner. We were going to purchase some today until we noticed they contained Parabens. Do you have any other suggestions?

  9. DoterraMom May 1, 2012 at 9:06 pm #

    Hi!
    I really liked the suggestions you made and subscribed to your blog. Keep up the great work! I wanted to recommend some great essential oils by the company doterra. I love their natural products and the oils are cptg, certified therauptic grade oils.

    Email and I can share more!

    Thanks

  10. Kaitlin @ More Like Mary May 1, 2012 at 7:03 pm #

    Do you know if the Mrs. Meyers contains phthalates?? I know it has “fragrance” on the ingredient list and that always has me worried that it might contain phthalates. I really want to use it though!

  11. Kristi April 30, 2012 at 3:27 pm #

    is there a natural sunscreen you like and have found effective?

  12. Emily Grunenfelder April 30, 2012 at 3:04 pm #

    What is your ratio for diluting the Mrs. Meyers all purpose cleaner?

  13. Kristi April 30, 2012 at 6:19 am #

    do you have a natural sunscreen that you like and have found effective??

  14. Heather Brandt April 28, 2012 at 11:54 am #

    Does Charlie’s work in HE machines? Is the stain treatment you use effective on food stains? I’m starting to think that either my soap nuts detergent or my homemade stain treater is just not working.

    • Lindsay April 29, 2012 at 6:12 am #

      Yes to both! We have a HE machine and all our stains are food related!

  15. Sarah April 28, 2012 at 3:15 am #

    I keep a quart jar of baking soda in my shower (bulk from costco is economical) and dump some soda on my hands with my soap to wash my face. it is the absolute best exfoliator I have ever found. It doesn’t lacerate the skin from harshness and it is very addictive! While I’m in the shower I just toss baking soda all around and clean the shower while I’m in there anyway. I brush my teeth with it as well. It’s my go-to for diaper washes that need a little extra cleaning power as well. I live on a tropical island and I have yet to find a natural deodorant that will stand the testing of a summer here but baking soda and coconut oil is the best competitor so far!

  16. Mary April 27, 2012 at 5:19 pm #

    Hi Lindsay,

    i love the Trader Joe’s products too! I can also recommend the Graham Gardens soap and lotion. Very good stuff. My dermatologist gave me the tip. But i think there’s one thing missing regarding to your body care collection. Did you ever come across cedarsoles? It’s a very good thing to keep your feet (and shoes) dry. Because of that, it’s one of the best things to prevent stinky, wet feet and even nail fungus or athlete’s foot. These insoles consist of 100% natural cedar wood. So is absolutely chemical-free.

    @prasti: Yeah…. the baking soda is my standard equipment! ;)

    Lots of love
    Mary

  17. Christine April 27, 2012 at 11:43 am #

    What an awesome post! I bookmarked your site a long time ago and just re-found your site again today. : )

    Can I ask what the ratio of vinegar to lemon is for your window cleaner?

  18. Kendra April 27, 2012 at 5:57 am #

    I priced the toothpaste you use on Amazon. I wanted to mention a brand I use that is a less expensive – for those who don’t have access to Trader Joe’s.

    It is the NOW brand and uses xylitol for sweetener. It is fluoride free. There are several flavors. We’ve tried several flavors and like them all.

    I hope this helps.

  19. Dena April 27, 2012 at 5:17 am #

    Hi Lindsay,

    Is there one particular soap from Graham Gardens that you like best for your kiddos? And do you have any particular favorites for yourself? Thanks!

    • Lindsay April 27, 2012 at 1:48 pm #

      I use the unscented avocado & oatmeal bars for my hubby (for shaving) and with the kids. My favorite is definitely the coconut milk & lavender soap bar for my hubby and I in the shower and which I also use for my own shaving. I also like the Bella Luna bar as well. I don’t think you can go wrong with any of their soaps…there are just lovely.

  20. Cath April 27, 2012 at 2:50 am #

    I have yet to find a good product for curly hair that ticks all my boxes too. I am currently using Morrocan oil intense curl cream which works well for me amd it seems to be a bit more natural than some of the other products on the market. It is expensive but a little goes a very long way. I use mine daily and it lasts about six months.

  21. Julie April 26, 2012 at 11:41 pm #

    Do you use sunscreen? If so, what kind?

    • Lindsay April 27, 2012 at 1:52 pm #

      Honestly, not really. I only apply sunscreen if we are going to be outside for several hours or outside in a pool/lake or something when a lot of skin would be exposed. Otherwise, I just put sun hats on the kids. I personally think that it can often do more harm than good on our skin the way it absorbs into our bloodstream. When we do use it, I use Avalon Organics Baby sunscreen.

  22. Anna Holczer April 26, 2012 at 11:35 am #

    Great idea for stretching your shampoo to last longer by adding some water and baking soda! Thanks!

  23. Allegra April 26, 2012 at 11:06 am #

    Thank you for this list!!! As a person who has tried so many different products, I always like to know what other people think about certain products before I buy them myself. I love that you mentioned coconut oil- I use it for everything: leave in conditioner for hair, skin moisturizer, diaper rash cream, and cooking.

    I also want to mention, for those that are really lazy, lol, I take a small tupperware (the little round ones) and put about 1 teaspoon of baking soda, plus a couple sprays of vinegar. Mix it with my finger and apply it as an underarm deodorant! I store this little tupperware under the sink in the bathroom and do this everyday. Takes about 30 sec, and there are only 2 ingredients. It does a good job, no odor the whole day!

  24. Sarah April 26, 2012 at 10:57 am #

    For washing your children’s hair, do the soap bars burn their eyes? I am trying to find a natural alternative to johnson’s baby shampoo. i just found out that it has a chemical that numbs their eyes and makes it “tear free”. My 3 year old complains it burns, so I was trying to find an alternative.

    • Allegra April 26, 2012 at 11:13 am #

      For my baby’s hair I use the “Shea Moisture” organic raw shea chamomile & argan oil baby wash. I thought it was a little pricy at 8 dollars, but it has literally lasted me a year! She gets it in her eyes and it doesn’t burn.

      Also, you can try those bath sponges and have your child lay down so the water/soap flows away from his/her eyes.

    • Lindsay April 27, 2012 at 1:54 pm #

      We use the unscented bars from Graham Gardens on the kids and naturally, they don’t like getting water or soap in the eyes for sure, but they never complain of it burning. We just keep a towel close at hand for them to wipe across their eyes if they get anything in them.

  25. Jodi April 26, 2012 at 9:39 am #

    Lindsay, I just love your blog. I have been able to reconect with God and have been better serving my husband and I’m a happy mom because of it. You must check you this product; http://www.bunchafarmers.com/, it is an amazing all natural stain stick that takes everything out of clothes and I mean everthing. Thank you again for setting me back on the right path.

  26. SHannon April 26, 2012 at 4:37 am #

    Thank you Lindsay for posting this!!

  27. Summer April 25, 2012 at 5:57 pm #

    Have you ever heard of/tried SallyeAnder Soaps? My husband’s aunt and uncle own and run the place – they make soaps, bath salts, deodorant stones, shampoo bars (not liquids, which are mostly just water anyway), lip balms, bug deterrents and bite treatments (which work amazingly, by the way!), and other things. They only use natural ingredients (essential oils and edible ingredients – and that’s about it!) and their products are specifically tailored to those with sensitive skin/issues. Check them out! http://sallyeander.com/

  28. Dianne April 25, 2012 at 5:23 pm #

    I would love to share this great information on my blog.

  29. Michelle April 25, 2012 at 2:15 pm #

    Another vote for Charlie’s Soap! Gets the laundry cleaner than anything else in my experience.

  30. Ambritt St.George April 25, 2012 at 1:14 pm #

    We LOVE Melalueca products! We use them for all of our home cleaning, D/W, laundry and now personal care as well. They have amazing shampoo/conditioner, make-up, etc. LOVE it! I also love that I can just get everything from one place, no shopping around or having to even go to stores for anything anymore.

  31. Rachel April 25, 2012 at 1:07 pm #

    I use a lot of the same products as you! I use a lot of white vinegar for basic cleaning, I think I’ll try the Mrs. Meyers All Purpose Cleaner though.

    I love the Burts Bees baby shampoo and lotion…makes my babies smell so good! I also love CJs Butter for baby care. I use it on my boys’ mild diaper rashes since it’s cloth diaper safe and it is a great moisturizer. {I even have some of the scented butter for me to use in place of lotion.}

    And thank you so much for the makeup link! I’m not a big makeup wearer but I need a few products and I wasn’t too impressed with the selection/prices at our local Earth Fare {natural grocery store}.

  32. Katie April 25, 2012 at 11:49 am #

    Lindsay,

    Which products do you use on your face (soap/moisture)? What do you use to wash the mascara off? I’ve tried many natural lines, but none of them performed well enough to justify the price.

    I tried your deodorant recipe last summer & haven’t bought a commercial product since, love it!!

    Thanks for the honest reviews!

    • Lindsay April 25, 2012 at 2:22 pm #

      I only use the soap bars from Graham Gardens for my face for both washing and moisturizing. I use coconut oil on a cotton ball as a natural makeup remover. It works really well while moisturizing the skin as well.

  33. Amy Walker April 25, 2012 at 11:20 am #

    Wow. This is a great resource. I’m especially excited about the shampoo and toothpaste recommendations! The baking soda and vinegar wasn’t sustainable for me. This looks like a great alternative!Thanks.

  34. Tammy April 25, 2012 at 10:34 am #

    Lindsay,
    I would love to see a post listing items you like to buy at Trader Joe’s. That would be helpful for those of us who live a long distance from one and only get there occasionally. Thanks for your informative site!

  35. mommy April 25, 2012 at 8:38 am #

    Hi Lindsey,

    Thanks for posting this. I love learning how to make things myself—- your deoderant is just the best. My hubby is a dentist, and we use TJ’s toothpaste–with baking soda and fluoride.

    I make my own clothing detergent. I order Zote soap-it’s a basic household soap. I grate it (it comes in pink and white. I just use white since it doesn’t have the dye). One bar yields almost 5 cups of soap. For Every CUP I add about 4 oz of WASHING baking soda and 4oz of borox. I use three tablespoons for a large load (sometimes 4). It works for our family. I order the soap from Lehman’s, an online store. A pack comes in three huge bars for a little over 3 dollars.

    I also use Nourish shampoo because it leaves hair super clean. I use it when I need a deep clean, usually if I curled my hair and need to get the hairspray out, but when i just need mild cleaning I use Alaffia. They have 3 or 4 different types of shampoo for specific hair types (dandruff/fine/etc), but I just found out that at the New Seasons in Happy Valley, they have the shampoo and conditioner in bulk for normal hair. Anyhow this is not a shampoo to use if you use lots of products, because it will not clean as well as Nourish, but if you want gentle/mind cleaning this is good. It’s a pretty “clean” shampoo-doesn’t have a ton of ingredients. It is pricey—but if one has issues with scalp or hair it is worth it.

    From Lehman’s I ordered Grandma’s lye soap for the kids. It’s very gentle and it lasts a while. My husband loves their grandpa’s tar soap.

    As a moisterizer I use organic jojoba oil from Mountain Rose Herbs. I apply it on my face after cleansing and over my body—better than any cream I have tried. It’s as clean as it gets, it works, and its good for you!

  36. Jill April 25, 2012 at 7:31 am #

    For foaming hand soap, I use dr. bronner’s liquid castile soap (lavender) and I re-use the foaming hand soap pump & bottle from any brand from the store. When it’s gone, I pour some dr. bronner’s in the bottom of the bottle, and then fill with warm water. Before using, I gently give it a shake, and we have foaming soap that cleans our hands great, and is cheap! One 32 oz. bottle lasts us a good 5 months! (We have a family of 5, and I use it in 2 hand soap pumps in 2 different locations.)

    For cleaning my home, I use Norwex microfiber cloths & water – can’t get any simpler than that! And one cloth, though a bit pricy at first, lasts a very long time. I’ve had mine for over 3 years, and just now need to replace them.

    For my kids, I don’t usually put lotion on them, but when they need it, I’ve been trying just plain coconut oil, and it’s been working for them and healing their dry patches.

    Lindsey, thank you so much for your deodorant recipe! I’ve been using it for over a year now! I’m so glad to have a safe alternative that isn’t so expensive! I have trouble with it’s effectiveness in the summer, but it’s not that bad.

    And thanks for the stain remover tip – I have yet to find one I like. I’ don’t much like sprays because I inhale some and I don’t like that, but I haven’t found a “safe” solid stain remover. Do you know of any??

    • Lindsay April 25, 2012 at 8:32 am #

      Jill, Oxi Clean sells a powdered version of their stain remover. I just have found the spray to be more effective.

    • Whoper April 25, 2012 at 1:28 pm #

      We use Dr. Bronner’s peppermint castile (watered down) for foam hand soap as well. I love it and it’s cheap! I also use their SalSuds for our dishsoap. I have a pump dispenser for that and water it down as well.

  37. Megan April 25, 2012 at 7:10 am #

    How do you feel about the oil cleansing method?

  38. Ashley-Nicole April 25, 2012 at 5:25 am #

    I noticed that the price you quote and the Amazon price are drastically different for TJ’s products. If I was able to find them in the store, would they be the prices you quote, and Amazon is simply way more expensive? Or did the prices just that drastically? We do not have TJ’s here, but I have lots of family in Indiana and can stock up when we visit!

    • Lindsay April 25, 2012 at 8:33 am #

      Sorry…that is the only link I could find to provide you with a visual of the product. In stores they are as I quoted…but if someone didn’t have access to a Trader Joe’s, I thought Amazon was still a reasonable price comparatively to other natural brands.

  39. Carrie April 25, 2012 at 5:07 am #

    Thanks for this very helpful post! We also use the Trader Joe’s toothpaste and Charlies soap for laundry, and love them both!

    I had thought the Trader Joe’s Nourish Spa hair care line had parabens in it, last I checked? Their tea tree oil shampoo/conditioner/body wash line is great, and I think has better ingredients (and just as cheap), but I find it dries out my hair and skin if I use it too often (due to the tea tree oil, I imagine).

    Wondering what you use for mascara? and how about your hubby for shave cream/gel? My hubby likes the Aubrey Organics spice island shave gel, but I’m hoping to find something cheaper eventually.

    Thanks Lindsay!
    ~Carrie

    • Lindsay April 25, 2012 at 8:35 am #

      The Nourish line does have some parabens, but from my research they are only for serving as a preservative. I did not like the Tea Tree line either because I did not feel like it cleaned my hair as effectively and was very drying as you described, so have concluded that the Nourish line is a good compromise for the price.

      • Karen April 25, 2012 at 4:48 pm #

        Lindsay, I thought most parabens served as preservatives and should be avoided. Please clarify.

        I’m okay with the Tea Tree line (no parabens), but I don’t love it. I’ve been using Whole Foods 365 shampoo and TJ’s Tea Tree conditioner.

        • Adica April 28, 2012 at 4:20 pm #

          I used to use the Tea Tree line, too, because of the lack of parabens (they mimic estrogen in the body and have been found in some breast cancer tumors), but I found that it left a lot of build up in my hair. I switched to a shampoo bar from Chagrin Valley Soap (chagrinvalleysoap.com), and my hair is a lot better now. They sell sample bars for ~$2 and full-size bars for ~$6-7 (they’re a lot larger than other bars other companies sell, so they are actually a good price, and they last a long time). I recommend them to anyone looking for a natural shampoo but has trouble with store bought natural shampoos. I use Kiss My Face conditioner.

    • Lindsay April 25, 2012 at 8:41 am #

      To answer your other questions, I use Ecco Bella mascara and my husband just uses soap bars for shaving his face as I mentioned in the post.

  40. Rebekah April 25, 2012 at 4:48 am #

    Lindsay,

    Just to start, I discovered your blog at the start of this year and have been avidly reading your archives ever since. I subscribed and love it when I get an email to let me know of a new blog post, yours is my favourite blog! Your advice and examples of living a life for Christ both encourage and challenge me and for that I thank you! You are such an amazing woman of God.

    Ok, so now onto the topic at hand. You have read my mind with this post! I have found it a bit difficult to determine your recommendations as a new reader as over the years your opinions on particular products have changed (as things normally do!). I do still have a few questions on things you didn’t mention in this post. Do you still clean with vinegar, bicarb soda and hydrogen peroxide? Do you still use Norwex to clean? Do you still use soap nuts – either for laundry or other household cleaning? I am new to the green/frugal cleaning scene and have many questions, so sorry for the long reply..

    God Bless,

    Bek

    • Lindsay April 25, 2012 at 8:38 am #

      I still use Norwex clothes together with my all purpose cleaner. I especially like the Norwex polishing cloth as it does a fantastic job on stainless steel, streak free windows, etc. I found several homemade cleaners would clog my spray bottles over time, so I turned to the all purpose cleaner I recommended above, besides the homemade window cleaner. I use soap nuts off and on but find myself using Charlies more often because it is more convenient rather than having to wipe up a batch of soap nuts liquid and storing in the fridge between washings.

  41. Rachel O'Neill April 25, 2012 at 4:28 am #

    Thank you for the suggestions Lindsay! We are not very “natural” in our home, and yet I would like to slowly work our way towards more sustainable living. It’s helpful to know what’s out there and what works. Thanks again :) .

  42. Dawn April 25, 2012 at 3:15 am #

    For an all purpose cleaner I have made one that seems to outshine any that are store bought. It is 1/4 cup dishsoap (any brand you like) 2 cups vinegar. Add that to an old spray bottle and fill the remainder with water. It does not smell good, but works great on soap scum, water spots, grease, you name it. I’ve heard from others that equal parts vinegar and water work just as good. My best friends sister only uses water, vinegar, and baking soda for all of her household cleaning needs. She just uses them in different combination depending on the job she is tackling. Thank you so much for sharing your recommendations!

    • prasti April 25, 2012 at 3:38 am #

      i also use water, vinegar and baking soda for household cleaning :) . sometimes, i’ll use salt if i need to scour tough spots on the pan.

      thanks, lindsay, for this post. lots of helpful recommendations.