Friday, August 16, 2013

Some Favorite Household Items

This isn't exactly the most exciting post. Useful, yes. Exciting, probably not. (Unless, like me, maybe you get excited over household chores?).

Anyway, when we moved earlier this summer I was on a mission to keep purchases as green and non-toxic as possible, and I've been super impressed with a few finds:

The method daily shower spray is outstanding, even though the smell confuses you into thinking that just maybe the spray is actually toxic? But be assured, the spray is not toxic - they just formulated an unfortunate scent. Smell aside, this stuff works great. 

We've struggled in the past with shower caddies. Some have been too little, so all our stuff ends up lining the bathtub anyway. Then there was that time we tried out the stand-up caddy for the corner of the shower - the caddy shelves fell down every other day and it was impossible to keep the thing from rusting. But I think we've finally found our shower caddy match. This one from Target is large and stores everything we need, with no overflow of products ending up in the shower corners. (Psst: we actually got the bronze one).

In the past, we always had plastic shower liners and curtains. You know that smell when you open up a package of plastic shower curtain liners? How could something that smells so badly be good for you? So we decided to go with a fabric liner and curtain and my life is forever changed. I was thrilled that the fabric liner does well with keeping water off the main curtain and bathroom floor. And I can just throw the liner and the curtain into the wash when they need cleaned. So easy! And now I won't have to scrub the shower mildew off a plastic liner ever again! 

Reusable dryer sheets. Hallelujah! As soon as we got our new washer and dryer, I ordered these off Amazon - there are a few different brands, but I researched around and these seemed to be the favorite. The big deal about these is that they eliminate static, soften fabric, and reduce lint, all without the use of chemicals and without building up layers of film residue in your dryer. And the best part? These guys can be used for about 500 loads! Every few months you throw them in the washer, but otherwise, they just sit in your dryer. From our personal experience, these have worked wonderfully. I can't imagine I'll ever go back to traditional dryer sheets. (Tip: If you use a shared dryer in your building, these won't be very useful. The sheets are used on a few loads, then washed, as part of the process to get the already built-up gunk out of the dryer. Unless you can convince everyone in your building to use these, the sheets won't work at full potential.)

Trader Joe's Super Amazing Reusable Kitchen Cloth. The product title is accurate: these reusable cloths are amazing. We use these in the kitchen in place of paper towels for wiping up messes. These cloths are wonderfully absorbent and come in packs of two - we always have a spare when the other is in the washing machine. The cloth fabric is viscose, which is made from fibers that are grown in sustainable forests - how cool, right? These are definitely worth the $3.99 investment.

And, finally, my new favorite dish washer detergent - smarty dish from method. We have had amazing success with these non-toxic, mineral based detergent tablets. Our dishes have come out sparkling every. single. time. And, as a side note, I just love method's website and how they describe each ingredient and where it comes from. 

Tell me: what are some of your favorite household products?

10 comments:

  1. use honest company for all my cleaning! + old fashioned white vinegar for cleaning floors, windows too!

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    1. I really need to try out the honest products, I've heard such good things. I bought the Honest book she published and I loved all the accessible tips she put throughout the book, but I mostly enjoyed learning how important quality, non-toxic products are to her and it made me feel like I can *really* trust what she's developed.

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  2. I used the diapers and baby wipes from the Honest Company and loved them! Best green baby items on the market.

    I'm going to try out the Method dishwasher tablets. I absolutely hate the smell of our current detergent. It just seems to stick around on dishes even after they're dry.

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    Replies
    1. And the designs on their diapers, so good, right?! We got some for Taras's bro and our sis in law for their new baby but she hasn't grown into them yet -- I can't wait to see her rocking the little skulls!

      Let me know how the Method tablets work for you - I'm really curious if others have the same success as we have, because I know your local water can play a part in that, too.

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  3. I'm ordering some of the dryer sheets now, excited :) Great tip on the shower curtain, washing the plastic ones is such a production anyhow! I wonder if Whole Foods sells those reusable paper towels ...
    ~Kristina

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    1. I hope you like the dryer sheets! Just be sure to read the instructions for how to use them to get the built-up film out of your dryer. I would bet Whole Foods has their own version of the reusable towels (and see Natasha's suggestion below, too!).

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  4. Oh yeah, one more green thing we do! Instead of using paper towels, we bought about a dozen plain white wash cloths from Target and use those to wipe up messes. They are much more absorbent, do a better job of scrubbing surfaces, and are easily washable. We still keep paper towels around for the extra gross messes that you just want to throw out but use them way less.

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    1. I like this idea! I love the TJ's towels that we use, but having a dozen of these washcloths around probably makes it a lot easier to throw them in the wash more often!

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    2. They're way cheaper than the TJ's ones too. I think we paid $4 for a pack of 8 (so I guess we have 16 total).

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  5. You can even get them in cuter colors than white (though that makes them less leachable :)).
    http://www.target.com/p/room-essentials-8-pack-washcloth/-/A-14465083#prodSlot=medium_1_34

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