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Cleaning products that are gentle on kids?

Here's a thought: we install safety locks on the cabinet under the sink because the toxic cleaners like Clorox, Softscrub and 409 live there. We don't want our children messing with them, but when we clean with them (guilty as charged) our kids still come into contact with them. Brooke has some concerns about this, too:

What about environmental cleaning products that are safer for children? My son is biting/chewing on everything.

Metro has a great booklet called Green Cleaners: Simple Cleaning Recipes for a Safer Home, which I picked up at the Southwest Watershed Resource Center, but can also be found online here. It's full of safe, non-toxic homemade recipes for any cleaning project you'd want to tackle. (Homemade cleaners generally require a little more elbow grease on tough stains.) For an all-purpose cleaner, Metro suggests dissolving 4 tablespoons of baking soda in one quart of warm water and keeping it in a spray bottle.

If you don't want to mix them yourself, brands like Bi-O-Kleen, SimpleGreen, Planet, Bon Ami and Seventh Generation are less toxic than traditional cleaners. I use Bi-O-Kleen spray cleanser in our kitchen and it works great (found in the Fred Meyer nutrition center). You could also go to Wild Oats, New Seasons or Whole Foods and find a cornucopia of earth-friendly products.

What gentle cleaners can you suggest to Brooke?


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