31 July 2012

A Post About Cleaning

Since I've been weirdly excited about darting around my home like a madwoman scrubbing every surface in sight and attempting to rid my surroundings of any excess clutter and unnecessary 'stuff,' I thought it apropos to take a minute to discuss cleaning products.

As I've gotten older, I've begun to pay closer attention to labels, especially relative to chemicals and toxicity. There's so much crap in most products, and, quite frankly, it freaks me out. This is slightly problematic for me, because I'm a little bit of a germ-a-phobe. For example, after riding any sort of public transportation, I always change my clothing before sitting on my bed or couch. People tell me this is weird. I don't care. Subways are gross.

In our house, we like counters/tables/surfaces to be clear and clean whenever possible. Which brings me back to the discussion of products. I don't want to knowingly dump unnecessary chemicals into our living space. But, I also want to rest assured that it is sufficiently sanitary. Tiho has a very odd aversion to vinegar, or else that's probably what we'd use as a natural cleaner. Since that's not an option for us, I've made it my mission to scout for alternatives to the Lysol/Clorax crowd.

Enter J.R. Watkins. Initially, I was drawn in by the pretty packaging and then sold by the low price point ($4 for the pump soap on the left). I bought the orange citrus scent without any real expectation and proceeded to go through 3/4 of the bottle in less than two weeks. Cut to me running back to the store to hoard their stock. Over the weekend, I bought the all-purpose cleaner in the same scent for just $5 and have tested it on nearly every surface in my house. Verdict? Amazing.

It's natural, non-toxic, biodegradable, ammonia-free, animal testing-free, paraben-free, bleach-free, dye-free, phosphate-free and sodium lauryl sulfate-free. Hell, I don't even know what that last one means, but I'm just glad it's not all over my house. It's not perfect, but it fits my bill. Did I mention it smells delicious? And cleans like yo' momma cleans?

Because it does.

P.S. I found the line in my local RiteAid. Not sure what other retailers carry it, but you can order online right here. (By the way, this isn't a sponsored post, even though I'm sure it reads that way. I get overly enthusiastic when I find something I like).

And because I'm in a feisty mood right now, here's a picture of me snapped by T in the middle of my cleaning rampage last weekend. Sweaty hair, dish towel over my shoulder, and hot pink lips. That's how I roll.


  1. This post is so helpful, Kayla! Ever since we got a cat, I've been trying to use less of the chemical stuff, since the lil guy goes on everything and then licks his paws. I've been using half-vinegar, half water solution but (I know this is only in my head) I somehow have a hard time believing something so cheap and everyday can really get rid of all germs. Does it really work? My boyfriend also hate the vinegar smell, it must be a guy thing, although we, Bulgarians, always use vinegar for our salads. My bf actually bought me a jug of lemon juice and told me to use that.

    What do you use for bathroom/tub? Same line?

    Your "no commute clothes on home surfaces" is perfectly logical. My pet peeve is when I see my bf dump the suitcase/backpack on the top of the bed. I literary start to scream.

    1. Hey Maya! For the bathroom, we're still using a heavier cleaner (Lysol All-Purpose I believe), only because our tub gets soap scum buildup really easily. However, I am planning to switch over to another product in this line as soon as I order it, and then hopefully just use it more often to eliminate the chance for build up to occur. The bathroom/kitchen are tricky areas--so much traffic and "grease." The floors in both rooms still get treated with the mop & pledge floor soap once every couple of weeks.

      P.S. Tiho's vinegar aversion stems from a bad experience with it in childhood--the smell (and taste) is enough to make him leave the room!).

  2. A very cooll post, Kayla. Even though we do not have these products here in Europe, I can relate to your mission. I too tend to switch to alternative cleaning products that are less toxic and biodegradable. Is it a sign that we are getting old? Or just conscious consumers? Anyway, I like it that way!

  3. It cannot be true. We cannot both love the same scent of the same brand of cleaning product. Just too good.

  4. I have the same interest (obsession?) with keeping things generally neat and using as few nasty chemicals as possible. Watkins is so good! I buy the lemony dish soap and it doubles as our hand soap - for everything else it's vinegar/water and Dr. Bronner's.

  5. Ahaha I love the picture of you getting aggressively clean surroundings! This post is so timely because the other day I cleaned my floors with some kind of floor chemical that was on sale (uni student) and my feet and arms became swollen and itchy! Eventually I put it down to those cleaning product, well okay, someone older and wiser than me told me it would have been the cleaning products. Thanks for the recommendation!

    1. Hi Hope! I have very sensitive skin, so I'm certainly no stranger to what you experienced. Chemicals, yuck.


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