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Must-Have Cleaning Essentials for a Healthy Home

by Rachel Myers

How do you keep this clean but still stay green?


As a green mama on a budget, I strive to teach people that often what we think we can’t live without are actually products that we should never be living with. Chemicals, plastics and toxins in our everyday products are unfortunate obstacles that we need to learn to navigate.

Babies explore the world with hands feet and mouths. It is essential that what they are touching has been cleaned with toxic free products so they are not ingesting it through their skin and lungs. I strongly believe that there should not be a cabinet or drawer in your home containing products so toxic, that if your child got into them, you would have to call 911! If it isn’t ok to get into, why would you spread it around your home?

Thankfully, with a little knowledge and armed with a, “Green Hugs Approved,” product list, your nest can be a safe haven for health and comfort wrapped up in a budget-friendly package!

Compiled with love of family and a disdain for chemicals, here is a list of cleaning must-haves that will keep your family safe and your nest sparkling!

Must Have Cleaning Essentials:

Clean Well: As far as hand sanitizing spray, foaming hand soap and wipes go, every green mama knows they are a staple at changing stations and in diaper bags everywhere! Unfortunately most anti-bacterials contain

Triclosan, a nasty biocide that should be kept out of your nest. Just replacing your sprays, soaps and wipes with the Clean Well line, takes this chemical out of your home. 

Earthworm Family Safe Cleaning Products: From floors to counters to an odor eliminating spray, Earthworm stands out for safety and affordability. Earthworm uses natural, enzyme based sprays that break down organic materials. It leaves your home safely clean and deodorized. They carry a unique, Household Odor Eliminator Spray that is great for those intense areas such as changing stations and diaper pails!

Biokleen Laundry Detergent: Phosphate and Chlorine-free, Biokleen excels at keeping clothes clean and soft without the use of harsh chemicals. It is my favorite detergent and is cloth-diaper safe. They also carry, Bac-Out Stain and Odor Eliminator, which is a great pre-treatment for your cloth diapers.

Rockin Green Soap: RGS is a fantastic mom-made laundry detergent that smells delicious, is cloth-diaper safe and works like a charm.  It is a cult-favorite and can be used with confidence on your entire family. From Bare Naked Babies to Smashing Watermelons, the all-natural scents can’t be beat!

Ecover Dishwasher Tablets: Ecover dishwasher tablets are phosphate-free and actually work at getting your dishes clean and sparkling. It is an affordable and safe line. I also recommend their laundry stain remover and fabric softener.


For the true Do-It-Yourself Mama, the following are tips and recipes to make your own clean, green cleaning products. The ratio for using vinegar to clean is usually 1 cup of vinegar to two cups of water. For heavier cleaning, I would use straight vinegar. The strong vinegar smell will dissipate when it dries. Use a glass spray bottle when mixing your own spray cleaners.

There are four main components to cleaning:

Bleaching: Baking Soda or Lemon

Disinfecting: Vinegar

Killing Germs: Lemon or essential oils like Tea Tree Oil

Conditioning wood or leather: Olive Oil


Toilet Bombs:

Add vinegar and baking soda to your toilet bowl. Watch it bubble up, don’t flush and leave overnight to clean and disinfect. The next morning use a bowl brush to swipe it down and then flush!


Furniture Polish:

1/2 teaspoon oil, such as olive 

1/4 cup vinegar or fresh lemon juice

Mix the ingredients in a glass jar. Dab a soft rag into the solution and wipe onto wood surfaces. Cover the glass jar and store indefinitely.


All Purpose Green and Clean Spray:

Mix 1 teaspoon Castile soap or plant-based liquid soap and 3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar with 2 cups of water in a spray bottle and shake.


Get your natural ingredients or your store bought green finds and bring love and good intention to cleaning your nest. Your entire nest will benefit greatly and it will improve the overall health and environment of your home. Happy nesting!


Green Hugs,

Rachel Myers

Green Nest and Healthy Home advocate


Reader Comments (4)

I love your post, I've been looking for some more natural cleaners and haven't been satisfied with what I've found. Thanks!
Also, just today, I gave my daughter (10 months old) the yogurt and spoon to try to feed herself. She sits in the same chair as your little girl and I have almost the same pictures! So funny! You can see them on my blog: robnchristy.blogspot.com.

Sep 29, 2011 at 11:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterChristy
Vodka & peroxide are both also great for cleaning with. Peroxide is great if you have a stain that needs removing on white clothing, and is also great for surface cleaning too. Vodka mixed with water in a spray bottle is also great for a general all purpose cleaner. Vodka & baking soda or peroxide and baking soda made into a paste, then spread over rust spots in the tub or shower and left overnight are excellent ways to get rid of hard water and rust stains. Just scrub in the morning after allowing to sit all night long, and rinse clean. Works beautifully!
Feb 28, 2012 at 9:20 AM | Unregistered Commentermoderndayhippy
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Sep 19, 2013 at 7:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterWelcome back!
For those wanting to use essential oils in their cleaners be very careful of what you use and where as they can be toxic to pets who walk on surfaces and then lick their paws.Also for cleaning glass just spray with vinegar full strength and use newspaper to wipe, Not the full color ad pages, just the black and white newsprint, little to no streaks and no lint.

Best regards!
Spitalfield Carpet Cleaners Ltd.

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