Monday, July 18, 2011

Amy's Top Five: Household Products

Yes, I realize this is not a sexy post. 

And most of you could care less about household products. 

I know all this. 

But, friends, my daughter broke her arm. So I'm spending an inordinate amount of time inside my house. I don't know exactly why, but it makes me clean. And it makes me realize the value of having the right tools for the job. 

Or in this case, the right cleansers. 

Also, I've become much more aware of the chemicals all around us. I now wash scrub my produce with soap {all natural, of course). I don't want to ingest or inhale any chemicals I could otherwise avoid. Especially in my own home. So, yes, I have made a concerted effort to switch to all natural cleaning products {we even use all natural bath soap}. And surprisingly, I have been more than pleased with their cleaning power! 

So without further adieu, I bring you my top five household products: 

1.  Bon Ami's powerful powder cleanser is made from biodegradable and renewable cleaning agents such as corn, coconut and palm oils combined with time trusted natural abrasives, feldspar and calcium carbonate.  It is both incredibly effective and eco-friendly. Simple, sustainable and efficient -- the perfect abrasive cleanser. And truly, I'm a sucker for charming packaging. *chirp, chirp*
My sinks get a douse of this every couple few nights. 

2.  Ok, this may be new to you. It certainly was to me a few months ago when I stumbled upon it while searching for natural laundry options. Truly, go look at the list of ingredients in your laundry detergent. Yuck! 
Charlie's Laundry Powder is hypoallergenic, non-toxic and completely biodegradable. It is safe and effective on every fabric which goes through my machine -- including silk, wool, linen, cotton and microfiber athletic gear. The small canister does 80 full-size wash loads for just pennies per load. It rinses completely leaving no residue on your clothes or in your washer {no washer stink}. There are no perfumes, fragrances or chemical brighteners {which also makes it perfect for babies}. Clean, fresh clothing - winning! 

3.  Concentrated Simple Green is truly one of the most versatile cleansers in my arsenal {yes, I just said I have a cleansing arsenal - intervention may be required}.  It is non-toxic and biodegradable {albeit not 100% natural}. I buy it by the gallon and dilute it for various purposes. I keep a spray bottle for each of the kitchen and bathrooms. And a squirt bottle for mopping the hardwood floors {note: I never said I actually mop the floors, just that I provide a nice, non-toxic product for such purpose}. It even degreases the greasy mess that accumulates around my cooktop. Truly, a one-stop shop.  

4.  No list would be complete without my go-to problem solver: vinegar {remember the father in My Big Fat Greek Wedding - I believe in vinegar like he does Windex}. Truly, it naturally cleans anything and everything, removes odors, residue, rust, stains, grease and more. And it's cheap, cheap, cheap! Another big gallon jug under the kitchen sink.  Always. 

5.  Our family dinner table is an old French country house wood table. It is worn and old and patched and battered and absolutely perfect for my house {and unruly family}. I feel like it is virtually indestructible. Which is probably a false sense of security, but suffice to say, an additional knick or water mark only adds to the character. When I want to eradicate said additional knicks and water marks, though, I use Mylands Wax. It combines the finest natural waxes available including beeswax, carnauba and shellac wax in a toluene-free carrier. I use the pigmented wax on all my old pieces and love it. I also consider the process of waxing on and waxing off exercise {hey, it worked for the karate kid}. 

There you have it, friends. My five favorite household products.

Do you have a favorite product or are you laughing out loud that I stayed up late to complete this post?  Be honest.  I can take it. 

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