You might already know that when I don't make my cleaners, I like to use The Honest Co. cleaning products. I love their bathroom cleaner, and when a friend notified me a few weeks ago that The Honest Co. was on Zulily, I knew the time was right not only to try Zulily, but to try some new Honest Co. cleaning products! Because let's just face it: cleaning is way more more fun when you're using cute, non-toxic, effective, and yummy-smelling cleaners. It's just a fact of life!
The Short Story
- I generally first go over my tile floors with my vacuum (a Shark Navigator Lift-Away) in the "Bare Floor" mode, which turns off the brush rollers, to suck up the bigger stuff.
- I then go over my tile floors with a Norwex dry mop pad to collect the dust and smaller stuff.
- I next wet my Norwex tile mop pad with water, wring it out, lightly spray my tile floors with The Honest Co. floor cleaner, then scrub it with the mop (the pad is attached to the bottom of the Norwex mop system at this point).
- Done! It's a super easy routine that requires little time, even less effort, and no toxic cleaners. We have a small house, but I find that I can easily keep up with the floors. It helps that we don't ever wear our shoes into the house. And I'm kind of obsessive about the tile floors being clean because I hate when crumbs stick to my feet! This method definitely helps me spend less time cleaning.
The flooring in our house is a combination of tile and carpet. For the tile, I've been using a Norwex mop with a microfiber pad (it's like higher-quality, reusable Swiffer) and I LOVE it. I think you have to have a tile floor to understand the many issues that come with it. It looks great when it's clean, but it doesn't stay looking clean for long. In fact, simply walking across it with socks on leaves marks, never mind what a drooling baby, a father-in-law who wears his shoes in your house (my #1 pet peeve is shoes in the house but somehow we love him anyway), or a messy eater do to it! We also have a coal stove, and the coal dust kicks my butt. Never again! It probably helps that we have black grout, which is convenient and creepy at the same time since I can't tell if it's dirty! My mother-in-law uses cheap "teeth whitening" toothpaste and a toothbrush to get her grout clean, and I've seen plenty of success with a combination of baking soda, borax, and vinegar, soap, lemon juice... I personally haven't tried a DIY grout cleaner and I'll try not to get too off track! Anyway, cleaning our tile floors with microfiber has been effortlessly easy. I actually used to have a Shark Steamer and I never loved it. I felt like it just pushed stuff around and I also read somewhere that you have to hold the mop in the same place for something like 15 seconds to sanitize an area, which no one has time to do! One of our friends stepped on our Shark Steamer and broke it in half (on accident) and then we welcomed our Norwex system into our family and fell in love with microfiber. Not only can it be used and washed over and over (unlike Swiffer pads), it's also extremely effective for scrubbing and holding onto debris and can be used without harsh cleaners. Long story short, it's made up of synthetic fibers about 1/100 the size of a human hair and when made into cleaning cloths, it had the ability to scrub, grab, and hold lots of "stuff." For a more in-depth post, visit this site. Below are just a few reasons to consider microfiber:
- It's reusable
- It fulfills many purposes
- It requires less scrubbing
- It clings to debris
- It's cheap
The Importance of a Non-Toxic Floor Cleaner
A microfiber floor care system is perfect for us, but I was using a vinegar and water solution in combination with the Norwex mop and it just wasn't keeping up with our tile floors, which show every little spot of grease, dirt, and drool. You're technically only supposed to have to use water with the Norwex mops but I personally think my floors need a little something extra from time to time! I've been on the hunt for a better but equally as non-toxic alternative, so I was thrilled when I fell in love with The Honest Co. floor cleaner! Not only does it smell fantastic, but the sprayer on the bottle doesn't leak fluid all over as I use it (which in itself deserves a personal playing of Handel's Hallelujah Chorus). It also WORKS, as in gets the footprints/drool trail/crusty food off the floor with very little scrubbing involved. But most importantly, the ingredients don't scare me, and yes, I can read them all because they're actually displayed in full on the bottle! You see, there is no law that requires full disclosure of ingredients in cleaning products in the USA. I can no longer simply assume that a given product I'm using is safe and then proceed to not only inhale harmful fumes as I clean, but then let my baby crawl around on a floor that's probably covered in a toxic residue that is bound to somehow end up in his mouth. I'm not trying to be Mrs. Doom and Gloom; the reality is that the companies selling cleaning products aren't necessarily looking out for consumers, and the government isn't necessarily picking up the slack. Be your own advocate! Purchase cleaners from companies that disclose ALL of their ingredients, make sure you're okay with the risks the ingredients pose, or better yet, DIY using simple household ingredients like vinegar, water, castile soap, and baking soda.
Is Antibacterial Necessary?
Nope! I'm not saying we should abandon all attempts at sanitation but the common trend is to go overboard. Advertisements try to use scare tactics to convince the everyday person to buy their products (I'm talking to you, Lysol) and antibacterial seems to be the norm. The FDA recently announced that it would be doing further research on the safety of triclosan, the active ingredient in many antibacterial products (even things like toothpaste, which aren't usually thought of as antibacterial). At this time the FDA isn't advising consumers to stop using products with triclosan, but I'm advising you to do just that. There is plenty of evidence to support that antibacterial products are generally dangerous to humans and detrimental the environment. This article from WebMD is a great read if you're interested in learning more. (It also contains some great DIY cleaners!) We personally don't use any antibacterial products in our home. We use warm water and regular soap to wash our hands, I microwave our dish sponge to kill germs, and I put anything touched by raw meat into the dishwasher. I do keep a bottle of bleach on hand to sanitize Finley's cloth diapers occasionally, but I try not to make a habit of it!
Where To Start
- If you already have a Swiffer system, attach a microfiber hand towel instead of the usual Swiffer pad. It works!
- Experiment with different DIY recipes for floor cleaners until you find something that works for you. A simple search on Google or Pinterest will bring up hundreds of options!
- If you don't want to DIY, purchase a non-toxic cleaner from a reputable company. I've personally only tried The Honest Company and select products from Seventh Generation. I always check the ingredients or do a little research online before using a new product.
- Start small. As you run out of cleaning products, replace them with better options. Refuse the perpetuate the cycle of bringing unnecessarily harsh cleaners into your home!
- Avoid using antibacterial products in the home. Try more natural methods of sanitation and consider whether antibacterial is really necessary!
And that's it, folks! This is the way we clean our (tile) floors :) Check back soon for what to look for in a vacuum and how we deep-clean clean our carpets!