In response to my blog post on eco cleaning I received an email from my very wise sister in-law, which she has agreed to let me share. Here goes:
‘I saw your post on FB about eco-cleaning. This (and natural skincare) are one of my pet subjects/ranting fodder. I've stopped using the normal cleaning products about 4 or 5 years ago, and been on natural skincare for about 2 years.
‘My general rule is - if I wouldn’t ingest it, I don’t use it on the house or on my skin. Haven't found a replacement for nail polish or nail polish remover yet, or oven cleaner (though this was a one time thing when we moved into the house).
‘I did use some of the commercial eco-friendly stuff. But to be honest, once I investigated more thoroughly, I'm very sceptical. The labelling can be quite dodgy - for instance listing out ingredients which the product does not contain, but which are banned anyway (Think 'new! orange juice without arsenic', bit obvious), and also writing up their ingredients with common names rather than chemical formulae. Or my personal favourite: 'derived from natural ingredients' (well, so is Botox, and nuclear waste). Also a lot of them contain palm oil.
‘I think my main concern (which I have with a lot of eco-friendly companies) is that these types of products continue to propagate the idea that we need products for everything. So eco-friendly floor cleaners, cream cleaners, wash up liquid, dishwasher liquid and so on (look people, how ever you sell a dishwasher product, its NEVER going to be eco-friendly to use gallons of hot water to wash your dishes). It’s a validation thing (which I admit to succumbing to all the time). And I think the real progress will be achieved when we realise that we don’t need products for everything, and that we can almost always work with things that we already have. Much like your no more stuff approach.
'So where does that leave me? It sounds trite, but I've actually come to the realisation that almost any cleaning problem (including doggy issues) can be approached with very hot water and maybe a little (phosphate free) washing up liquid and some scrubbing. I clean the bathroom with a scourer and hot water, same with kitchen. Hot water (and salt) is as good a germicide as any other.’
You can see why I wanted to post it.