You probably already know that incomplete ingredient disclosure is a big pet peeve of mine and cleaning products are notoriously misleading in this regard (even those found in natural stores!) Labelling laws are different for food, cosmetics, and household products, so I'm not even sure one can expect full disclosure in this area. Take this 'natural, hypoallergenic' dish soap, for instance:
"Ingredients: Natural based surfactants (derived from coconut and vegetable oils), citrus oil, natural softeners made from plant fiber, water, preservative."Maybe it's natural, maybe it's not, but we'll never know since the only ingredient they've actually identified is water. The rest are vague and fairly meaningless.
But, the point of this post isn't to call out any specific brands or products. Instead, I want to share some basic staples that I wouldn't want to be without.
Starting off with a couple hard-hitting, inexpensive multi-taskers: baking soda and vinegar. Baking soda sucks up odors, can be added to laundry, and is a gentle abrasive that can be used to scrub just about anything. Vinegar kills germs and is great for shining things, and when diluted with water, makes a great all-purpose cleaning spray. My most common use for these two is actually together, as a drain cleaner.
Dr. Bronner's Soaps have minimal ingredients, but SO MANY uses. I use them to clean my makeup brushes and to hand wash any delicates. But that's just the tip of the iceberg here - you can also use this goody for a whole host of other purposes, including dog washing and cleaning the floor.
Lastly, essential oils are great, both for boosting the scent of other other products - vinegar sprays, for instance, become much more palatable with a few drops of something yummy mixed in - and for their own properties. Just a few drops of lemon or tea tree in water will disinfect your counters, and Young Living's Thieves blend has even been shown to kill mold spores!
How do you feel about household products? Is using healthier options in this area as important to you as eating well and using non-toxic personal care products?