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I never would have expected spending so much time researching and comparing cleaning products. And, when I started this blog, I didn't expect to write anything quite so unglamorous (maybe that is an exaggeration, being that I have written about diapering essentials). A bunch of you have asked me about cleaning products, so here goes. Here is the list of what I use after lots of research and some trial and error. Hopefully, by sharing this I have allowed you to do something better with your time!
I used Tide Free and Clear for years before my son arrived. Before he was born, I bought Honest Company Laundry Detergent and used that for him for the first few months. It occurred to be that because he spent so much of his time snuggled up to me, the detergent that I used on my own clothes was as important as the one that I use for him, so I started washing all of my clothes with Honest detergent too. Once I was running low on both Tide and Honest Detergent I did a bit more research and tried Planet Laundry Detergent. It is Hypo-allergenic, unscented, uncolored, certified biodegradable, and rated A on EWG.org, plus it gets my clothes as clean as Tide and Honest did. I now use Planet Laundry Detergent on all laundry in my household.
I have been really impressed by Bio-Kleen Bac-Out Stain and Odor Eliminator Foaming Action Spray. The company claims that the live enzyme-producing cultures attack pet, food and beverage stains, organic waste, and odors until they are gone, digesting them back to nature, safely and naturally. That sounds good, but even better -- it got bright red cherry stains out of my son's white shirt.
My expectations were low, so I was happy to find that Honest's glass cleaner is as effective as Windex for my mirrors, glass table and windows. I still use Windex when cleaning the side of the windows and glass doors that is on the outside (no, I don't hang out the windows, I'm fortunate to have a terrace in NYC).
All Purpose Cleaner
Dish Soap/Dishwasher Detergent
During my son's first month, I washed all his bottles by hand using Medela soap. After a month, I started washing all his bottle and pump parts in the dishwasher. At that point, I switched to Dapple dish soap.
Similar to my experience with baby detergent, I've since realized that any effective detergent with safe ingredients can be used for the entire family. So, I've switched to Planet Ultra Dishwashing Liquid.
For more details on how to care for pump parts, click here to read my post called Liquid Gold: Tools to maximize how you pump, store and feed every drop of expressed milk.
I've had the hardest time finding natural floor cleaners that work and don't leave a buildup behind. For my hardwood floors I use Bona products. I'm not sure how natural they are but they work well. For the kitchen tile floor, lately I use Method Squirt and Mop, but I'm not totally sold on it.
My son started crawling recently and being in Manhattan, no matter how often I Swiffer, there is always dust on the floor. So, I recently invested in an iRobot Roomba. The first time that I used it was right after I had my apartment thoroughly cleaned. I was pretty shocked to find the dust bin pretty much filled with lint. I have the 880 model, which according to the company combines the "power of new AeroForce Extractors with airflow acceleration and a high efficiency vacuum." What I understand this to mean is that it blows air and has little brushes that stick out so it gets dust out of corners that you would never expect it to reach.
That is all for now. I'm almost as amazed with you for reading to the end of this post as I am with myself for writing it. Keep the ideas coming, I'm happy to write on most anything that is helpful to you.