Although I haven’t written about it in quite some time, I am truly a huge proponent of natural health. What that means to me is a focus on choosing as many all-natural, earth-based products as possible in my daily life, while avoiding the numerous man-made chemicals and toxins. This is no easy task. Once you head down the path of natural health you find that there are dangers around every corner – household cleaners (numerous chemicals), make-up (toxic metals), air fresheners and plastics (both contain endocrine disruptors) – to name just a few. I have managed to tackle each of these common problems with my own easy solutions that I hope to uncover to you over the next few weeks.
Let’s start with a particularly scary household product – carpet cleaner. I have talked about this toxic substance before in Kids N Pets. However, after several incidences of a slight yellowing in the carpet, I decided some stains require a different approach. I bought a Bissell Spot Bot this Christmas from Kohl’s (during one of their excellent sales – I love Kohl’s). As an aside, that model is a bit handier and easier to use than my full Bissell steam cleaner. But, it tends to leave a circle where the cleaning has taken place. And, because I was still using the Kids N Pets, the circle seemed to have a yellow tint.
In attempt to remedy the “yellow circle” effect I turned to several of my tried and true natural cleaning favorites – baking soda and vinegar. The baking soda did a nice job of seemingly absorbing the stain and hiding it a bit, but ultimately didn’t do much else. And, the vinegar just made the area smell, although the smell did dissipate within a day. I was about to give up when I turned to one last staple in my cleaning arsenal – Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap. I have the product in both peppermint and eucalyptus, but I opted for the peppermint version as I felt that smell was a better option. I put just a squirt in the formula tank of my Spot Bot, added water and a bit of vinegar (just for good measure). Then I ran the machine over the stain, being sure to use the hose feature so that the circle wouldn’t be so pronounced. The combined efforts really seemed to do the trick. The stain was gone and all that was left was this fresh pepperminty smell. I’m not sure if it would work on all colored carpets, but it did a great job on mine. Dr. Bronner’s markets itself as 18 products in 1. I don’t really know if one of those products is carpet cleaner, but if not I would certainly add it to the list.
I also use Dr. Bronner’s as a hand soap (diluted 1 to 1 with water) in recycled self-foaming pumps. And, also as a cleaner for my bathroom sinks and counters. And, in the summer, when temps become particularly hot and sweaty, I use it diluted in the shower for a very cooling body wash.