It’s spring cleaning time, and I’m sure I’m not the only one with the desire to put away the woolen sweaters, pack away the snowboots and get the bathroom smelling clean and looking fresh. But bleach, toxic cleaners for your body and bathroom and too many cluttered bottles aren’t the answer. What is? See my suggestions below, to keep it simple, healthy, clean and chemical-free too.
Be Mindful of the Drain: Everything you put down the drain ends up in our water supply and in the bodies of animals, fish and shellfish (some that we like to eat, which means we ingest waterborne toxins too). Don’t put anything you don’t want to drink down this sink or tub (chemical drain cleaner, bleach, etc.), all of which poison our limited fresh water supplies.
Clean Your Mouth with Natural, Clean Products: I’ve only ever used natural toothpaste and have never had a cavity! Fake sweeteners and colors don’t contribute to mouth health and just expose your body to more toxins. Tom’s of Maine also just introduced its Naturally Clean toothbrush (win one—see how at the bottom of this post), which is BPA-free and features a plant-based handle made from renewable castor oil plants instead of petroleum and no artificial colors – it’s also recyclable. And don’t forget to floss!
Wash Your Bod with Biodegradable Soaps: I like castile soaps, which come in tons of scents, or black soaps, which have been used for thousands of years for great skin. You can find both in large sizes, and they are inexpensive, which keeps costs down.
Natural Loofahs and Sponges Are Better for Skin: They’re gentler and will biodegrade (you can even compost them!) once you need to replace them. Those plastic poofs? Not so much.
Use Recycled Toilet Paper: If you’re not, your TP is very likely to have been sourced from old-growth forests, which are irreplaceable ecosystems (destroyed to make toilet paper? Yup.).
Clean Naturally: Baking soda is a great, supercheap scrub for tub, toilet and sink. Orange cleaners like CitraSolv come in concentrated form (cheap!), smell great, and are totally biodegradable and won’t harm wildlife. I use a refillable spray bottle, old sponges and a glass bottle of baking soda to clean my bathroom each week.
Forget Fancy Shave Gels: Go for good quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Almond Oil, which doubles as a shaving cream. Just apply to legs in the shower, shave, and your legs are already moisturized! Men’s razors have less expensive razor heads and are a cost-effective way to avoid disposable razors.
Buy Organic Cotton Towels: (But only when you need to replace your existing ones.) Organic cotton is grown without pesticides and harmful chemicals (that often poison local ecosystems where cotton is grown).
Hang Towels to Dry: If they are aired and dry directing after you use them, hey won’t get smelly (use them longer and cut down on washing). You can also hang towels to air dry post-laundry and just put them in the dryer for 2-3 minutes before you fold them (it’s the motion in the dryer, not the heat, that makes towels soft and fluffy). Save lots of electricity!
Use Organic Coconut Oil as a Face Wash for combination and dry skin; sounds crazy but it’s super-moisturizing, cleanses well, is really inexpensive, and smells great. Pat dry. Depending on your skin, you might not need a moisturizer too.
Free Toothbrush Alert!
To celebrate the launch of the Naturally Clean Toothbrush, Tom’s of Maine is inviting consumers to tweet their pledge to make a simple switch to @TomsofMaine using the hashtag #naturallyclean. The first 500 people to do so beginning today at 9 a.m. EST through March 29 at 9 a.m. EST are eligible for one free Tom’s of Maine Naturally Clean toothbrush. Good luck!