So, it's been 7 days since I began my 7 day home detox. It all began with the new finish Power & Pure tablets. I was sent this very generous sample pack via Retromummy.
Want to know how they performed?
My dishwasher is used twice each day
And always gets things clean.
Despite plates and pots not rinsed
They emerge with a sparkling sheen.
The Finish Classic tablets I use
Keep cleaning demands secure.
But I was interested in less chemicals
And tried Finish Power & Pure.
No unwrapping needed the tablet smells great
But will it be good enough
For baked on food, dirty pans? --
It will have to be quite tough.
To my pleasure but not surprise
Finish Power & Pure came through.
With the same clean as Classic I feel good
That the chemicals used are few.
It's a big thumbs up from me!
I put these tablets through their paces - even washing some baked on dishes the day after.
I don't rinse before stacking my dishwasher, but that made no difference when using the Finish Power & Pure tablets.
I was thrilled, because for me to be convinced that the Finish Power & Pure tablets were better than my Finish Classic tablets I needed them to clean just as well as the Classic. They do and they do it with substantially less chemicals. Fantastic!
Putting my hand up to participate in Retromummy's 7 day home detox prompted the thought that it is by making little changes that significant changes are brought about. And I began to think about the chemicals I have in my home. It can't be that many. After all, I have chickens, fruit trees and a vegetable garden. Well, the vegetable garden is still in its infancy, but it's a start.
Oh, and I purchase bicarb soda in 5kg boxes, have a cupboard filled with vinegar and clean my floors with a steam mop.
|Bicarb laundry tub.|
I did a quick 30 second dash around my home and very quickly found that I had more chemicals than I realized. And that was after only 30 seconds.
|The results of my 30 second dash around the house.|
With dismay I realized that I would have to give up my Domestos (aka toilet cleaner) and Glen 20 (aka reassurance that the bin isn't breeding germs or the door handles aren't harbouring any nasties). I am quite attached to both.
I then needed to console myself with another 30 second dash, but this time looking for products that did not contain chemicals. I came up with these:
I felt slightly better.
After some internet research (there are a lot of excellent online resources available) and reading I felt ready to make some changes!
I determined some criteria for the changes that I would implement:
- It must be simple. Simple will stay. Complicated will probably only last a week or two.
- It must be effective. Like the Finish Power & Pure tablets, changes would have to produce the same result, but with fewer or no chemicals.
- It must be cost effective.
So, would you like to see what changes I made? I approached the detox by looking at my daily activities/routine and then determining whether or not I could substitute less chemicals.
I threw out a pot. Did you know that when the nonstick coating on cookware breaks down it may release toxic fumes? I was just waiting to throw out this pot anyway. I just didn't feel like I had a valid reason - it seemed wasteful. The non stick coating inside was worn and it was even peeling on the outside. My other pots are non stick.
I also burnt a pot. Accidentally. Thankfully, Shannon Lush (our great Australian cleaning guru) has a great solution that involves covering the burnt section with white vinegar, placing it in the freezer overnight, allowing it to thaw a little before adding some bicarb. That bicarb fizzed for about 5 minutes and almost turned into a family activity! A scrub with a scourer and the pot was clean again.
When I made a pie for dinner I swapped my aerosol cooking oil spray for a quick swipe of butter. Easy. I'll keep that change.
When the kitchen bench needed more than just a wipe with a damp cloth I popped into The Reject Shop and picked up some spray bottles. Using my fab book I made up some recipes. I wrote them on the spray bottles so that it would be easy to make them again when they needed refilling. They are great! I am so happy to have a Glen 20 substitute. I'm keeping this change.
I swapped the aerosol air fresheners for pump fresheners. Good. But I thought I could do better than that.
Our main toilet
gets a lot of action is used a lot and doesn't have an exhaust fan. Nor is their scope to install an exhaust fan. Despite being in a large room for a toilet, it is essential that air freshener be used. Really. So I tried this.
Lemon leaves in pretty recycled drink bottles. They look nice, but they were useless as an air freshener, regardless of how many times I squished the leaves to release the lemony smell. I'm not keeping this change.
Plan B. Distilled vinegar and lavender essential oil in a fine mist spray bottle. I'm keeping this change.
I am yet to find a true replacement for my Domestos, but I am working on it. I need something that will clean toilets without the need for a toilet brush. I am looking into denture tablets. For now, I sprinkle baking soda into the bowl, then squirt with vinegar. I let it sit for half an hour before flushing. It's working for now (I'll make sure I don't change my kids' diets!), so I'm keeping this change.
I wash our fruit and veg in a mild apple cider vinegar solution and have been conscious of seeking out organic products at the supermarket. I really had dismissed organic grocery products as being too expensive, however I was happy with these purchases discovered during two supermarket runs during the week. Coles has been a bit disappointing, but the Macro range at Woolworths is very good. I'm keeping this change.
In the garden I planted some nasturtium seeds underneath our fruit trees to repel unwanted pests and made some natural fruit fly traps. I also discovered a natural fruit fly control product to use later in the year. Hopefully we won't lose our crop to fruit fly like we did last year.
I have also made a point of opening up doors and windows to ensure more natural air flow. I requested that all shoes be left at the front door to prevent any chemicals picked up by the bottom of shoes from being spread throughout the house, but this was a complete failure. It was just too hard, as there is such frequent coming and going in and out of the back yard. Kids got grumpy at having to take their shoes on and off all the time. I'm not keeping this change - it's just not worth it!
I could go on, but I think this post is long enough! I have enjoyed looking at things differently and am more conscious of where chemicals are hiding (though sometimes they are in plain sight) around the home. I have a different attitude when looking for products to use and feel like my general awareness has been increased. I am better able to look after my family in the way that I would like and look forward to adding to the changes made during this last week. I am armed with natural remedies for preventing powdery mildew on zucchini plants, getting rid of gastro germs and killing dust mites as I vacuum. I'm excited!
And to think that this was all started by Finish.