Baking soda and white vinegar. That’s about all you usually need to need for many household cleaning jobs. I just managed to rub ink stains off my teak dining table with a paste of baking soda and water. However, it's too harsh for some things -- but rest assured, the number of alternative eco products now available is overwhelming.self-cleaning clothes or a floating washing machine, among the ton of cleaning products at Natural Products Expo West 2012, a few stand-outs follow:
1. Eco-NutsThere's no plastic just a little cloth bag with wild-harvested organic berries grown in the Himalayas that produce a natural fragrance-free soap called saponin. Use several times over, make a tea with them for heavily-soiled clothes or use the concentrated liquid form, if you must.Also, Eco-Nuts makes items for house and body in stainless containers and pouch packages. Plus co-founder Mona discovered a species of micro-spiders in the Costa Rican rain forest -- now there’s a woman with a keen eye for the planet.
2. Better Life
With names like: Even the Kitchen Sink, Dish It Out, Take It For Granite, Simply Floored, cleaning up while chuckling go hand-in-hand. The all-purpose cleaner is called What-EVER and the 2am Miracle (for when you’re pooped and your baby has, too).
To sum it up, Better Life offers a whole array of cleaners but the packaging is clever and you won't mix up the ingredients. As they say, "clean happens."
3. Common Good
Speaking of a bunch of bottles, Common Good eliminates tossing out cleaning bottles by refilling them from bulk dispensers. The packaging is clean and stylish with just a simple sweet drawing.
They keep the number of products to a minimum and the cleaners are “hardworking” concentrates which mean you use less. They offer glass bottles, too.
What do use with the above products? Bambooee offers 20 organic bamboo sheets on a handy roll for your paper roll dispenser. They're machine washable so one Bambooee roll can replace 60 rolls of paper towels.
Also available individually, they're more absorbent and durable and can clean, not just wipe down and sop up messes.
5. Method Plastic PelletsThe wave of the future? Method, which is also big on concentrates, is working on developing an ocean plastic supply chain by recovering marine debris. At Expo West they displayed pellets made from ground-up ocean plastic washed up on the beach in Hawaii.
6. Eco-Me JackThe editors at NewHope360 from the Expo suggested a few new unique items like Eco-Me Jack for stainless steel, and products with probiotics for toilets and bioflavanoids for floors, noting the added benefits of going green: “essential oil ingredients such as eucalyptus, peppermint and geranium offer antibacterial and anti-fungal properties” and the scents are therapeutic, too. Eucalyptus heals the sinuses.
So skip the ammonia and 2-butoxyethanol (yeah, the stuff in BP's oil dispersants) found in conventional cleaners -- that's no laughing matter.