Gift Idea #2:  For the Green Cleaning Newbie

You can change someone’s life with this next gift.  It is empowering, inspiring, exceedingly useful, and at the moment, rather trendy.  Personally, I love gifts that are useful.  And I love gifts that don’t clutter.

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The Essentials:

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Optional Add-Ons:

  • Vinegar and
  • Another spray bottle (for a glass cleaner)
  • Tea Tree Essential Oil
  • A bucket
  • Some lemons
  • More microfiber cloths (Costco sells a pack of 35 for $15)
  • A copy of Karen Logan’s book, Clean House, Clean Planet

Print out the Castile Dilution Cheat Sheet and the Sal Suds Dilution Cheat Sheet on some cardstock and laminate them.  The lamination keeps them from getting messed up amid the housecleaning.

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Use the bucket as the gift basket and the microfiber cloths instead of tissue paper.  Add a bow and you’re good to go!

It’s Not Easy Being Green!

17 thoughts on “Gift Idea #2:  For the Green Cleaning Newbie

  1. What a wonderful house warming gift this would make!! Have a wonderful holiday season, many blessings for the New Year!!

  2. Great post Lisa, as ever.
    By the way, love the new website!
    Keep up the good work.

  3. Thank you! Love the cheat sheets. I’m going to lamindate them, punch a hole in the corners to run a cord through them, and hang them in my laundry area. I love your posts which are so helpful, and I love Dr. Bronner’s earth-friendly products! I tell everyone about them.

  4. Would you agree to my adding baking soda or Chlorox to clean toilets, stainless steel sinks?
    Thank you.
    Great Site!

  5. Thanks for the cheat sheets! I’ve been using the tea tree variety for a while now. Its good stuff.

  6. I just found your website and have been contemplating testing out Dr. Bronner’s products for a while now. Let’s say I’m sold and will be placing an order tonight! I have tested spray bottles using other diy cleaning solutions and haven’t found one I want to use again. What type of spray bottle do you suggest? THanks!

  7. Sal Suds contains SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulphate). I thought this was a no-no in going green. SLS is a skin, eye and respiratory tract irritant that Environment Canada has also categorized as inherently toxic to aquatic organisms.

    • I have done some research on this previously because like you I heard it was super bad as well. In high enough concentration, foaming agents and emulsifiers (which is their role in cleaning products) will cause living organisms irritation. You can find cleaning products with SLS substitutes but I think the general consensus on price and particularly effectiveness is underwhelming. As you know, however, Sal Suds is not for your person but for hard surface cleaning, and is meant to be diluted. In terms of toxicity to aquatic organisms, these are very sensitive, and you are hard pressed to find any chemical, apart from water, which is not toxic to them at sufficient concentration. If you read the MSDS on Tea Tree Oil you are meant to wear gloves, a lab coat and splash goggles (just to amp up the danger phrases a bit more, it is also a flammable liquid). Vinegar, which is regularly consumed by humans, contains 4-5% acetic/ethanoic acid which is an irritant at concentrations above 10% and corrosive at concentrations above 25%. I hope this is useful information for your cleaning product choices. I recommend bike-riding instead of cleaning.

  8. Hi! Your blogs are very helpful and have sold me on this product! I am wondering about the spray bottles you use…I know with essential oils you have to use glass or specific types of plastic bottles…is this the same for the soap with essential oils?

    • Hi Ashlen – Pure essential oils are pretty intense liquids. Some can affect certain plastics, and even eat through our skin if we get them on us undiluted. However, there are two things to consider when choosing spray bottles for your cleaning solutions. One is that the essential oils are tremendously diluted in the spray bottles. If you follow my recommendation of 1/4 c. of soap in roughly 1 quart of water, the 2% concentration of essential oils in the soap is diluted by 16-fold. That means that your spray bottle has around a .1% concentration of essential oils. If you choose to add the optional extra tea tree essential oil, about 1/2 tsp., you’re upping that concentration to around .4% concentration of essential oils. This is still pretty small and will not create possibility of eating through plastic. The second consideration is the type of plastic used to make the spray bottles. Most plastic containers in the US have the little number inside the chasing arrow symbol on the bottom. An explanation of what all those numbers mean and their safety is beyond my ability or space here, but the long and short of it is, Dr. Bronner’s uses PET 1 for its bottles (ours is 100% post-consumer recycled so no new plastic was generated ). This is a BPA-free, non-deteriorating plastic. Look for this same type of plastic when buying spray bottles.

  9. I’ve started to make my own liquid cleaner with vinegar and lemon peels. I wanted to give it a boost with adding some Castile soap but wondered what the dilution/mixture should be.

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