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Goodbye harsh chemicals, skin irritants, and synthetic fragrances. Hello clean—the green way! There are many benefits of switching to all-natural cleaning products and avoiding using harsh chemicals and toxins in your home. Not only does using natural cleaners make your space safer for your family (especially kids and pets), it also makes cleaning much more pleasant for everyone involved. Plus, you’ll be supporting environmentally responsible companies that are committed to naturally-derived ingredients, recycled packaging, and more sustainable production practices.
When you’re ready to make the swap, rather than throwing everything away and starting over, use up your existing products and slowly replace items with natural alternatives as you run out. This prevents additional waste and is easier on your wallet. Natural cleaning products are now comparably priced to leading traditional brands, and they are available at most big-box retailers—like Target and Amazon. With so many great options out there, it’s easy to find budget-friendly brands without compromising your values.
Here are a few of my battle-tested, major mess approved brands and tips for green cleaning your home!
From countertops to cooking disasters (and even mopping!), Seventh Generation’s All-Purpose Natural Cleaner is my must-have for pretty much everything. When it comes to hand soap, dish soap, and other all-purpose cleaners, Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap and Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day are always great staples—and they offer refillable packaging options to cut down on waste.
For a deep-clean in the bathroom, I’m a fan of Seventh Generation’s Toilet Bowl Cleaner and Method’s Bathroom Cleaner. Method’s plant-based formula has a refreshing eucalyptus and mint scent and works serious wonders on tile and showers.
The Honest Company’s Laundry Packs are more concentrated than liquid detergents—minimizing water usage in production and making them lighter to ship or even carry home from the store. Seventh Generation’s Chlorine-Free Bleach gets your whites super bright, without the harsh bleach smell. And when it’s time to dry your clothes, ditch the dryer sheets. Instead, prevent static and soften fabrics with reusable wool dryer balls, like these from Molly Sud’s.
It’s easier than ever to get your dishes squeaky clean without the chemicals. Method—the dishwasher detergent I always have on hand—is packed with a whole lot of powerful natural cleaning solution to fight grime, grease, and it comes in an earth-friendly pouch!
Another small switch that can make a big difference in your home is minimizing paper towel waste with super-absorbent bamboo towels. Towels from brands like Econuts and Bambooee are super versatile and are washable for up to 100 uses!
I find that the simplest home remedies are the best cleaners—and easily concocted from ingredients you’re already using in the kitchen. DIY cleaning products can often be the quickest and cheapest options to reach for.
A good, old-fashioned baking soda and white vinegar mixture is the magic solution for almost everything.
KITCHEN: Sprinkle baking soda all over the surface you want to clean. Let sit for a minute before spraying the vinegar and wiping down with a wet cloth. The baking soda acts as an abrasive to scrub pots and pans, and deep cleans the sink and stove top. To sanitize the dishwasher, run it empty with a cupful of white vinegar on the top rack.
LAUNDRY: This same natural combination is a great substitute for bleach in the washing machine.
AROUND THE HOUSE: Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle for glass, mirrors, and windows. You can add a few drops of essential oil to make your own scented cleaning spray.
Lemons are another easy cleaning hack. After cooking or making tea, I’ll save used lemon wedges to rub over the sink (especially around the drain) to remove odors and to clean pots and pans.
To get rid of lingering smells in the kitchen, save your used coffee grounds. Place grounds in a bowl near the stovetop, in the fridge, or sprinkle some in the trash can or sink garbage disposal to eliminate odors naturally. Like salt and baking soda, the grounds also make a great abrasive for tackling those dirty dishes.
Now that you have your guide to tidying up, it’s time to transform your routine for the better. Happy green cleaning!
To put it bluntly—2020 was a real bummer. When we entered the year, we all had that “20/20 vision” mindset of making the year one of travel, joy, discovering new hobbies, and conquering our fitness goals. But come March, that vision became a blurry mess of sheltering-in-place and being forced to throw our normal routines and our aspirations out the window.
Who would have thought that something like getting a haircut would be off-limits? Or that those monthly massages wouldn’t be around to help us unwind? 2020 forced us to get creative, and you blew us away with your stick-to-itiveness.
We recently polled you on Instagram to see which beauty and wellness services you missed the most and how you’ve re-vamped your self-care routines to stay sane during this train wreck of a year. And I must say, as I read your responses in my sweats, rocking the messiest top knot of all time, I definitely felt like I need to take it up a notch when it comes to getting ready for the workday.
Seriously—an alarming number of you have been on point when it comes to sticking to your daily morning routines and actually wearing work clothes while on Zoom calls. Kudos to you!
Curious to see what the takeaways were from our Instagram poll? Keep reading.
According to your responses, you're all sick of your exposed roots and split ends equally, with 51% of you preferring to get a haircut and 49% opting for hair color. The numbers were also pretty close when it came to your nails—with 52% of you opting for a manicure over a pedicure. Due to the pandemic, the state of the beauty industry has been on a rollercoaster of openings and closings—and they need our help and support now more than ever. If you happen to live in an area where you’re able to enjoy beauty services, make sure you show your stylist or nail artist a little bit of extra love when tipping them.
Anybody who knows me will tell you the thing I miss the most is getting a monthly massage—and 71% of you seem to agree. With most of us working from our beds or hunched over our laptops on our couches, our posture (if not our comfort) has taken a serious hit. While most of us either live in an area where massages are off-limits or we just don’t feel safe going in for one quite yet, there are some touchless spa treatments you're ready to try.
Call it wishful thinking, but I was fully expecting most of you to say, “Zoom camera off” as your go-to beauty tip—but I guess that’s just me. Instead, you've all been pretty consistent with your morning routines—working out, showering, and dressing like you're actually going into an office. Some of you are even going the extra mile and putting on a red lip and some earrings. I’m taking notes.
And even though this year’s challenges put a damper on our normal routines, it's inspired us to get creative with our skincare regimen. Some of you have added new serums and masks to your skincare arsenal, while others have tried out at-home facials for that quarantine glow. By far, one of the most popular answers was the incorporation of Gua Sha to help detoxify, brighten, and tighten your skin.
This year was one for the books. But I think it made us realize there is always wellness—and that taking care of ourselves is crucial. If you're in an area where in-house beauty services are an option, book that appointment (if you feel safe to do so). If your only option right now is to stay at home, keep carrying on with your feel-good, at-home routines.
If you're curious to see what some other wellness trends you should take note of in 2021, check out this blog.