I was enjoying the scent of lavendar today as I was cleaning, and thought I would share how much nicer it is to do chemical-free cleaning. You see I used to clean with Scrubbing Bubbles and other obnoxious cleaners...gasping for air and opening every window I could fine for fresh breath, while closing every door possible to keep the fumes away from the boys. Then about a year or so ago I realized (after reading many books and online comments) that my home could be cleaned with baking soda, vinegar, hot water and essential oils just as easily as it could with all of those other misc. cleaners.
So that is what I did. Slowly I have gotten rid of all of the cleaning chemicals in my home, including bleach and ammonia. I must say though, in regards to the bleach, I am not an obsessive person with white clothing and other such items that "need" bleaching. I do wish all of the bottoms of my socks were bright white...but not having bleach in the house is way more important to me. Also, 95% of my clothes are used...so I am not majorly invested in whether I have ruined an item. I try to take good care of things, get stains out early, etc. but if not...I can go to the thrift store and buy another item. I am also not finatical about my home being super germ free and overly clean. I like things in order, I like cleanliness...but I don't feel a need to bleach things to make that happen. There are plenty of essential oils (tea tree for one) out there to help with that or I wipe things down with straight rubbing alcohol.
I must say the major benefit to all of this, for me, is it makes cleaning so much simpler. You have so few items to clean with, so there is no thought of "I need the bathroom cleaner, kitchen counter wipes, shower spray, etc.". Plus my home smells so fresh. I love essential oils and how clean they make everything smell. Lavender, tea tree, eucalyptus...they are heavenly! It is amazing to me though how much cleaning you can get done with just a rag and some warm water. Truly...that in itself goes a long way!
Anyway, I hope if you haven't thought of cleaning without chemicals in the past...that this will spark some interest for you. It saves so much money, so much waste from all of those empty bottles, who knows how many health problems, and it really can make cleaning so much more fun. Enjoy finding what combination works best for you.