Method Eco-Friendly Cleaners Review

I’m a huge fan of making my own cleaning materials, and using natural products. Especially with children either on the floor, or having a fetish for spray bottles, using water and essential oils for cleaning has become the norm for me.

Unfortunately, it’s all too simple for my husband. It seems he can’t get his head around water + essential oil = powerful cleaner, and he prefers to use commercial cleaning products when he cleans anything. (Which he does, and for that I’m grateful enough to not kick up too much of a fuss.) Unfortunately he’ll pretty much always go for the cheapest thing he can find, which I’m pretty sure correlates directly with exactly how bad it is for the environment, and for the children and us, breathing it in or absorbing it through our skins.

Whenever he’s been cleaning, I have to open windows to let the toxic fumes out.

So when I was offered a variety of Method cleaning products to review, I thought that sounded like an ideal place to look for a good compromise.

Method use plant based solvents and surfactants that are non-toxic and biodegradable to pack a cleaning punch.

Today I decided was a good day for some serious housework, and embarked on a seven hour deep cleaning – late spring, actually summer – clean. I started with the Method Multi-surface cleaner and decided to really put it to the test, using it on mirrors, laminate flooring and even the walls and I can tell you straight up, I’m impressed. It cut through all the marks and sticky stains and everything with no added effort on my part. Ameli cleaned her art table herself – it definitely does what it says on the tin, as it took all the crayon marks off with a 3 year old’s strength behind it. Not bad at all.

Also, my mirrors were amazingly clean. Seriously, I still look at them every now and then just to remark on how clear they are.

Next up was the bathroom.

Normally, I leave the bathroom to my husband and his industrial cleaners, because, well… because.

Tonight, however, I put the girls in the bath, and took to the sink and toilet to see how Method would handle it. A couple of sprays from the Eucalyptus Mint Method Bathroom Cleaner actually brought the sink to a gleam I haven’t seen in a while. There’s no residual chemical lines or soapiness or anything. I’m quite impressed. The taps actually sparkle. With that I’m equally impressed, especially because normally getting them to shine involves a dry cloth and some shining.

One thing it doesn’t do is remove lime scale, but then it’s not a lime scale remover, so fair dues.

The toilet cleaner is really nice too, although not a miracle worker. Let’s just say a friend’s little boy left traces of his visit a few days ago, and it still needed a toilet brush. The bowl does pretty much sparkle though, so I’m not complaining.

The best bit though, is that it took me a couple of minutes while the girls were bathing to clean everything, and it looked like I had put loads of time and effort into scrubbing, which I really didn’t.

My husband is the regular kitchen cleaner in the house, and he gave the Kitchen Cleaner a good rating. He thinks it had a nicer fragrance than his regular product, which was very strong and chemically, but worked as effectively. He also mentioned that it seemed to make everything shine more than he was used to, which I thought was great! He also used the all-purpose cleaner to clean one of the metal trays that had been used to roast potatoes, and he was quite happy with how easily it cut through the grease.

The fact of the matter remains that while these products are made from plant derived ingredients, they still undergo more chemical treatments than my water and essential oil, so I think for the normal mopping up after the children things, I’ll probably carry on using my own products, but for deeper cleaning, and for whatever my husband cleans – and for windows and mirrors – we’ll actually be sticking to Method now. At around £3 a bottle, they’re also quite affordable.

I’m really pleased, because it means we can bin the toxins he has hidden on a high shelf in the study, and we can instead come to a compromise of home made and Method, which sees us both happy.

*We were sent these products to try. Opinions are my own.

Five Recipes For A Naturally Clean House – Chemical-Free Cleaning Made Easy

Following on from Tuesday’s post, Chemical-Free Cleaning Made Easy, Delena from The Modern Aboriginal Mama shares five recipes for a naturally clean house. Please ask her any questions in the comment section below!

***

Cleaning house can be such a chore, but it doesn’t have to be! Ever since I made the switch to natural cleaning products, I have discovered the rewards and joy of keeping a clean house.

In the last post about chemical-free cleaners, I wrote about your fundamental cleaning agents: baking soda, apple cider vinegar, and lemon juice. You can use bottled lemon juice, or fresh-squeezed; it makes little difference as long as the bottled juice is as close to natural as you can find.

With apple cider vinegar, you want to encourage something called “mothering.” Let the vinegar sit in a dark, dry, cool place until it develops that cloudy sediment at the bottom. You want this to happen because you’ll add it to your new bottle of vinegar. This helps the apple cider vinegar mature, which increases its effectiveness. If you give it a good sniff, you’ll notice that the sharpness of the scent is curbed a little, becoming stronger but also richer. This is a sign of good mothering!

The ingredient of natural cleaners that makes all the difference is completely customizable to accomplish different objectives: essential oils, or E.O. Essential oils are the volatile oils distilled from leaves, flowers, bark, roots, stems, and other elements of herbs. What makes it so potent is that it is not diluted into a neutral carrier oil like you find at the store. Be careful because they can be harmful if it comes into contact with skin, the mucous membranes, or if swallowed.

Some are safe for ingestion in small quantities, but just to be on the safe side, stick with using it in your cleaning agents. For parents with little ones, make sure to keep the E.O.’s in a cupboard out of reach!

The basic Essential Oils I use are lavender, tea tree, rosemary, eucalyptus, and lemongrass.

Tea Tree is my favorite: it is anti-microbial, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial, as well as effective against mites and head lice. It’s effective even diluted as much as down to a 5% solution. I use it in every single one of my cleaning mixtures.

Lavender is a gentler anti-bacterial E.O. It’s not as powerful as Tea Tree, but it has other soothing benefits and more people like the scent of lavender, finding Tea Tree a little harsh.

Rosemary is another anti-septic, as well as Eucalyptus. Used in tandem, they’re my next best thing if I run out of Tea Tree Oil.

Lemongrass is great for an insect repellant. Ants absolutely hate the smell of lemongrass and won’t come near it.

Recipes

Chemical-Free Carpet De-Odorizer

  • 2 cups baking soda per room
  • 5-7 drops Lemongrass E.O. Per 2 cups baking soda

Stir E.O. into the baking soda, spreading it evenly. It should form the consistency of wet sand. Let dry. Sprinkle over carpet and let sit a minimum of 20 minutes. Vacuum.

Chemical-Free All-Purpose Surface Cleaner

  • 1 part apple cider vinegar to 4 parts water (can be diluted to 5 parts water if the vinegar smell really isn’t your thing)
  • Optional: 3-5 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil OR 2 drops Rosemary & 3 drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Mix into a spray bottle and use as you would any all-purpose cleaner. The vinegar smell will disappear as the solution dries.

Chemical-Free Cleaner

  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1-2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 7-8 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil
  • water

Mix ingredients into a paste. (It will not stay mixed, so you’ll need to mix it back up occasionally.) Spoon a dollop onto the surface you wish to clean. It’s non-scratch, so it’s safe to use on porcelain and sink fixtures. Also safe to use a little extra and allow to sit on stained surfaces. Use a rag or a soft scrubber to scrub and disinfect the surface. Wipe clean with a damp cloth, or with the All-Purpose Surface Cleaner or All-Purpose Rinse Solution.

Natural Fabric Softener

  • ½ cup to 1 cup apple cider vinegar

Add to rinse cycle of your wash instead of fabric softener. Fortify the softening process with 6-8 dryer balls inside the dryer for soft clothes without the chemicals!

Natural All-Purpose Rinse Solution

For all you gardeners out there, here’s a recipe using fresh herbs:

  • 1 lg handful fresh rosemary
  • 1 lg handful fresh sage
  • 1 gal hot water

Steep herbs in sink (or other container) like you would any regular tea. When the water is as dark as it’s going to get (it won’t get really dark), dip in a rag and wipe down any surfaces like counter tops, stove tops, surface of the fridge, walls, and can even be used as a mopping solution for the floor. It’s a gentle disinfectant and wonderful deodorizer!

Any questions? Ask away!

Chemical-Free Cleaning Made Easy | The 3 Basic Natural Cleaning Ingredients

Last January, one of my ‘resolutions’ for the new year was to eradicated chemical cleaners from our home. I was first going to ‘use up’ what we already had, and then make the switch. That took almost ten months and then we moved. Now that we’re returning to our own place, I’ve been revisiting that old resolution and making conscious steps to make this change in our home.  Please welcome Delena from The Modern Aboriginal Mother – she’s going to share with you (and me) why and how she made the change from chemical cleaners to natural alternatives.  Please leave any questions, thoughts or comments below!

***

Have you ever looked at your supply of house cleaners and wondered if there was an easier way? For those of you with family members who have asthma or other sensitivities, have you ever worried about how all those chemicals were affecting them?

I’m an asthmatic, too, and Cleaning Day used to trigger the most horrific asthma attacks that even my inhalers wouldn’t completely help. It got so bad that I would dread cleaning anything, and it was torture! What’ll happen when I have a baby crawling around? I thought.

The idea that my son could get into the cleaning cabinet and make himself dangerously ill is what motivated me to experiment with other cleaning alternatives. Growing up, my mother used to stick a box of baking soda in the fridge to absorb odors, and would use it on her coffee mugs to get rid of the black stains at the bottom of the cup.

One day I tried it for myself, and after that there was no stopping me! The more I discovered about natural cleaning alternatives, the more I experimented. Cleaning Day became fun for the simple fact that I no longer had to cough and wheeze and clutch my inhalor for dear life.

If you’re anything like me, sometimes a new process can seem so daunting you don’t know where to begin. Or maybe you’re wondering if these alternatives will get the job done as well as the supplies you use right now. I can understand that. All I can say is that after about ten years of natural cleaning, we are happier, healthier, and I no longer have any worries about cleaning hazards around my baby. In fact, everything I use is safe to ingest; not that it would taste very good, I imagine, but I never worry about calling Poison Control if my daughter gets into my cleaning supplies.

Making the choice to go with natural cleaning is to be applauded; what we expend in a little more time and effort is rewarded tenfold in health, safety, and peace of mind.

Getting Started

The first thing to do would be to look in your cabinets and refrigerator. Do you have baking soda? Lemon juice? How about apple cider vinegar? Old newspapers lying around?

Do you?

Congratulations! You have a great start to your new cleaning supplies!

So where to begin? What, exactly, do you need to start moving away from cleaning with harsh chemicals and using more natural cleaning supplies?

Your introduction to the foundational ingredients of chemical-free cleaning

Baking soda: This one is your staple, and the base of just about every cleaner you’ll ever use in the kitchen or bathroom. It’s a great natural scrubber without damaging surfaces. It deodorizes as well as brightens surfaces. Over time, it’ll whiten grout without bleaching the tiles beside it; it’ll give the tiles a nice shine, though.

Apple cider vinegar: This makes a fantastic all-purpose cleaner, and is great on glass. Mix equal parts vinegar and water, and you have a glass cleaner that can’t be beat. And for an environmentally-friendly alternative to paper towels, use newspaper to clean the glass: the ink won’t get on the glass (it will on your fingertips, maybe) and it’s recycleable!

Apple cider vinegar is also a gentle disinfectant and a great deodorizer. The vinegar smell disappears once it evaporates, leaving behind a fresh clean scent without the harsh chemical smell.

Lemon juice: This is another amazing brightener. It also dissolves hard soap scum and hard water deposits. A mixture of two parts water to one part cider vinegar and one part lemon juice cycled through the coffee machine will clean it really well. It shines brass fixtures and copper pots without scratching or damaging them, too.

Where natural cleaning gets really fun is when you work with essential oils to enhance the effectiveness of your basic cleaning supplies. In Part II of this post, I’ll go into the best E.O.’s for cleaning, and give a few of my favorite cleaning recipes.

Until then, have fun experimenting!