Crunchy cleaning fail

I bought Tide today. Not only did I buy Tide, I bought Tide with Bleach. I feel more diminished by this than I should.

To properly explain, let me give a little history. When Letty was born I decided to use cloth diapers. While researching my decision I discovered washing cloth diapers was no joking matter. Most commercial detergents were a big no-no when it came to cloth diapers. See, these detergents contained very little of what they needed to clean (soap) and quite a bit of what they didn’t need to clean (fragrance and optical brighteners).

In the end, I purchased a product called Charlie’s Soap, and went on my way. For almost two years, Charlie’s was our laundry soap of choice.

One could say Charlie’s Soap was my gateway drug to natural cleaning products. Biokleen, Mrs. Meyers: these brands all made the appearance in our home over the next few years.

As I continued to research and experiment I got interested in creating my own cleaning products. Pinterest had made it much easier to share blogs and recipes for ways to clean your home without chemicals. I created my own laundry soap using Fels Naptha, washing soda, and borax. I still think it does a fine job cleaning our clothes.

I also replaced all the soap in our house with Dr Bronner’s castile soap. And for our bodies in the shower, I think it’s a good choice. For countertops and dishes, though, probably not so effective.

All those sites I was finding on pinterest recommended replacing dish soap with a mixture of castile, white vinegar, and washing soda. I also cleaned my counters and dining table with the same mixture.

While the dirt was clearly gone after such cleaning, I’m not sure the germs were.

And that is the piece missing from anything I have read about natural cleaning. Does it in fact kill germs?

Over the past eight months, two of my kids have had strep throat six times EACH. The other kid has had it three times. Two of the kids and myself have had walking pneumonia. Letty got a MRSA infection in May, and that was pretty scary. MRSA is a staph infection of the skin that is resistant to many antibiotics. Last week she was diagnosed with a second MRSA infection, and Jett has one now too. The pediatrician gave us a lovely packet of information called Living with MRSA.

We now have to shower with Hibiclens (an antibiotic soap), use bleach water to clean everything, and wash all washable fabric with hot water and bleach. I’m even washing our couch covers.

I joked to someone a few days ago that my kids are walking bio hazards – hahaha. But bless them, while that’s true, have I created a bio hazard environment in our home? By using cleansers that don’t kill germs, have I inadvertently made my kids sick?

I don’t know – but I do know my children’s health outweighs my concern for the environment. So I’m reserving the castile soap for the bath, and switching back to the big guns: Dawn dish soap, Clorox bleach, Tide laundry soap.

The hippie inside me is dying a little, but the mom inside me feels good (if a bit grim) about the decision.

Let’s hope it works.


About morelikeaveragemom

I'm a stay home mom with 3 kids. I am simply figuring it out as I go.
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2 Responses to Crunchy cleaning fail

  1. Rebecca B. says:

    Thank you for this&all your posts. I always wondered, and I guess it’s better safe than sorry. I am going to start using my Clorox wipes more often… I really hope you guys get healthy ASAP!

  2. Thank you on behalf of those of us with compromised immune systems since your beautiful bio hazards don’t exist in a vacuum. My love for the environment does not negate nearly 200 years of germ theory. I do my best at home with natural products but you know, it’s all fun and games until someone gets cholera. I’ve had cholera and I’ve had Clorox. I know which one I prefer.

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