Greenwashing in the newest term around the green shopping aisle and it refers to the marketing practice by companies who are creating products and hoping that you think they are eco-friendly and healthier for you simply because they look “green”. This can include the simple addition of the word “natural,” which is currently not defined or regulated by the FDA. This sneaky marketing practice is certainly not in the best interest of the consumer, but it’s not illegal. It’s just dirty and not very ethical or honest. The best way to learn about a product is to look past the wildflowers and butterflies fluttering on the box and to actually read the label of everything you purchase. This will help you avoid common dangerous ingredients and learn more about what you are bringing into your home.
Now, if you’re looking looking for ideas to be green while washing around the kitchen, here are some ideas you consider:
Dish-washing Liquid Gone Green
Choose vegetable-based detergents whenever possible. When reading the label on dish-washing liquid, even the so-called natural bottles, avoid for undesirable ingredients such as:
- color added
Add A Little Borax
A great trick to getting the natural dish-washing liquid to be more effective without the nasty chemicals is to add a little borax to the water before washing the dishes. Borax , or sodium borate, is a naturally occurring alkaline mineral first discovered over 4000 years ago. Here are some other little known benefits of borax:
- softens water
- repels bugs
If you are still using some of the mainstream dish-washing when cleaning the dishes, don’t despair, you can wear gloves. This will help prevent any skin irritation and prevent absorption of harmful ingredients in the such as dioxanes, dyes and perfumes. Then you can move on to the more natural products as soon as possible.
Dilute, Dilute, Dilute
Most brands of cleaning products on the market today, including the natural choices, are very concentrated. Most of us tend to use too much product when we clean. As a way to make your products last longer, dilute your vegetable based dish-washing liquid with water. This will not lessen the effectiveness by very much. You can add a bit of salt and pour the mixture into a spray bottle to make it last longer and use less with each spray.
Another great option is to choose the multi-talented and uber-concentrated castille soap by Dr. Bronner’s , which comes in a scent free option.
Stinky But It Works – Vinegar
In my last post, 5 Green Ideas For A Naturally Clean Home , I sang the praises of using vinegar as an effective alternative to conventional cleaning products. The response was clear, it works but boy is it stinky. While that is true, the fact remains that vinegar is quite the amazing little cleaning tool.
A great addition to your dish cleaning arsenal is a dash of vinegar to the cleaning liquid. It will cut through the grease like a pro. And, you can always add a bit of your favorite essential oil if the smell is a huge issue for you.
Do you have great green kitchen tips? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.
Signing off… EcoDiva
(Photo: Editor B )