Air & Dust
Unfortunately today we even have to clean the air! The indoor air of our home is full of toxins – from formaldehyde being released from adhesive man-made woods like plywood or MDF cabinetry or furniture, to formaldehyde and other chemicals off gassing from carpeting, area rugs, paint, etc. And toxic dust particles from flame-retardants applied to electronics, furniture and mattresses float around and live in the dust of the home.
- Healthmate: $600
- Healthmate+: $715
They both have carbon/zeolite and true med HEPA filters, but the HealthMate+ is different in that the carbon/zeolite is impregnated with potassium iodide, which provides the additional formaldehyde filtering action.
- Both recommended for those with allergies, asthma, odors, gases & chemicals
- 5 year guarantee
- both units can cover 1,500 square feet
Make sure that you purchase HEPA air cabin filters for your CAR as well. Bosch sells these for most models: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01JYSWOSY/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Vacuums & steam mops
A legit vacuum will be designed so that the canister or barrel, is sealed with a gasket (sealed system). The gasket ensures that nothing is escaping the canister (releasing the dust back into your air), and any air being sucked into the canister is being forced to go through the filters.
- Home vacuum: Miele Compact C2 Electro+ for a home vacuum with HEPA
- Shop vacuum: (wet/dry) Nilfisk Aero 21 (model# 107418440) or Aero 26 (model# 107419097) – make sure you get the models that include HEPA filters
- Get a drill shroud or bubble to capture dust when drilling holes into walls that might have layers of lead paint from Dustless Tools
- Steam “mop” – Sargent Steam Cleaner – you might find it cheaper somewhere besides Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Sargent-Steam-Cleaner-Multi-Purpose-Attachments/dp/B002ATLPBC/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8
Find more information about recommended items here.
- Scraper – made of wood by an Etsy seller/woodworker named SummerBeeWoodworks. Ask for them without the logo – they are amazing!!
- Scraper – made of metal: Dexter-Russel Mini Turner (2 x 2.5″)
- Bottle Brush – made of wood and plant Tampico fibers: Iris Hantverk Tampico Dishbrush, item#: 1102-03, or Curved Dish Brush 10.25″ or Curved Dish Brush 9.25″. I also recently tried a silicone bottle brush from Sur La Table. There are a few times when plastic can be the most effective, but let’s not ALWAYS go to plastic when there are better alternatives. I find spatulas and this bottle brush to be the few exceptions where plastic is really effective.
- Sink Brush – hard bristles – made of wood and plant Union fibers: Redecker/Burstenhaus 2.25″ diameter
- Pot Scrubber for tough spots – this one made of broomcorn by Little John of Plant-Based services gets tough spots out
- Baking soda – used for washing any stubborn bits of food on dishes, stovetop, table, floor, or anywhere!
- Washing Soda – see above. What is washing soda? How is washing soda made? Read a full explanation and report from Meliora here. You will find the cheapest prices for sodium carbonate at Walmart, Blaine’s Farm and Fleet, Ace Hardware, and Walgreens.
- Shaker for Baking Soda/Washing Soda – $7 w/ handle // or $8.80 without handle
- Hydrogen Peroxide for disinfecting counters after preparing meat. I put a spray bottle top in the brown bottle – keep peroxide in the brown bottle it comes in to preserve its action.
- Fit Organic Dish & Hand Soap – this, at 18oz, is a small bottle. Fit Organic also offers a 42oz dishwasher gel – could this be used as a ‘concentrate’ and diluted 50% to be used under the sink in a soap dispenser? Could diluting to 50% cause bacteria to grow or do you think the denatured alcohol in the gel would cover this issue?
- Earthview (made for those with MCS)
- Meliora dish soap bar or Big Block French Kitchen Soap, made by Bee Alchemy of Milwaukee, WI
- Clean ingredients but problematic for use: MADE OF Organic Foaming Dish Soap – nice but only sells in small bottles; Dr. Bronner’s – clogs dispensers;
- Less pure products: Honest Dish Soap – Free & Clear, BioKleen (contains Citrus Grandis – http://www.IReadLabelsForYou.com recommends that companies should either test GSE or not use it, due to independent studies showing that “Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract may be contaminated with the chemical substances. For instance, they are benzalkonium chloride, benzethonium chloride, triclosan, and methylparaben, and they act as preservatives (source and source). While grapefruit itself has some preserving properties, it is not powerful enough to act as a preservative without the help of other preservatives in the formulation of citrus paradise (source). For instance, the company that makes WaterWipes has started disclosing that their wipes contain benzalkonium chloride.”
Disinfect – team Branch Basics all-purpose solution with Vinegar and Hydrogen Peroxide. Research studies show Vinegar and 3% Hydrogen Peroxide used in combination (in separate bottles) are more effective at killing germs than chlorine bleach or any commercially available kitchen cleaner. Find instructions and more info in our blog post: How to Clean and Disinfect Cutting Boards Naturally
- Dishcloths – this 100% hemp fabric – 10oz from http://www.OrganicCottonPlus.com works well for making dish cloths.
FLOORS & GENERAL CLEANING
- Hardwood floors – only very diluted solutions of Branch Basics should be used on sealed wood floors because a more concentrated solution may break down the finish. Use 3/4 teaspoons of the Concentrate per 2 cups of water. Minimize use of water on wood floor by spraying the solution onto a slightly damp mop to clean the floor.
- Other floors – for entire floor, mop using a mixture of 1-2 oz (1⁄4 cup) of the Branch Basics Concentrate with a gallon of water.
- Wood dusting – spray the All-Purpose Branch Basics solution on a cloth or microfiber and wipe to dust off furniture. For our homemade dusting spray, see below.
- 1 cup distilled water
- 1/2 teaspoon Branch Basics
- 1 TB extra virgin olive oil or jojoba oil, optional • 3 drops organic lemon essential oil – optional
- All purpose – 1 part Branch Basics to 11 parts water
- Bathroom – 1 part Branch Basics to 5 parts water
- Streak-free – 1 drop Branch Basics to 24oz distilled water
- consider a Wall-Mounted Rotating French Soap Holder – Amazon. Refills
- Handsoap: if using a foaming soap dispenser. I find that Dr. Bronner’s soap ruins every foaming soap dispenser eventually (although you can try cleaning the dispenser with vinegar), so go with a different foaming soap brand like Earthview (made for those with MCS) or Soapply (more expensive) or Branch Basics (1 part Branch Basics Concentrate to 4 parts water). If you don’t need foaming soap, this Pottery Barn soap dispenser is good quality.
- get a soap case for when you travel from Redecker – Amazon
- If you like bar soaps, try Meliora, Dr. Bronner’s, Porcupine Soaps, or others listed on the Debra Lynn Dad website
- DIY options. If you don’t or can’t make yourself, buy Meliora or Humble Suds
- Branch Basics – 1 part Branch Basics Concentrate to 2 parts water. Use 3⁄4-1 capful of Laundry solution. For delicates: add 1⁄2 teaspoon of the Concentrate to a bucket, pail or sink of cool water; Soak for 15 – 30 minutes; Gently agitate (this does the cleaning!); rinse by hand or run in the gentle cycle; hang to dry or lie flat as needed. $0.24/load
- Laundry Wash from http://www.MyGreenFills.com of 50 loads-worth costs $12.95 to start, and $18 for refill packet. Find out more about why I choose My Green Fills. $0.28/load
- check the Debra Lynn Dadd website for updates
To brighten white and colors: sodium percarbonate with a little sodium carbonate (soda ash). Presoak garments or bedding in ROOM TEMPERATURE water for up to 24 hours — 2 T sodium percarbonate per gallon of water. Mix in a little washing soda (soda ash aka sodium carbonate). I already had these two ingredients around for use as brighteners for porcelain sinks, tubs and toilets. You will find the cheapest prices for sodium carbonate at Walmart, Blaine’s Farm and Fleet, Ace Hardware, and Walgreens.
For oil stains, keep a container of diatomaceous earth, cornstarch or arrowroot powder to soak up the oil on the garment. Lemon essential oil also works really well – dab on a drop, toss in the wash, and see what happens.
I like the following idea for parents with kids…Hey, maybe even for myself! 😉