Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Non-Toxic Goodness: Mrs. Meyer's All-Purpose Cleaner

Many years ago I started on the path to health. And by that I mean: I wanted my ass to be smaller and I figured learning about food was the fastest way to do it (but that’s another post). Gradually, I’ve become remarkably healthy in my eating habits. I don’t eat dairy, eat little processed sugar, and am almost entirely vegetarian all because I feel so much better eating this way.

Amazingly, it never occurred to me to be careful about what was going into my body from external forces. Twice this year I’ve gotten horribly sick from chemical inhalation. Once I was staining bookcases (yes, I’m that person…) in my small NY apartment without a mask on, the other time I was cleaning with furniture polish and an inordinate amount of dust. Both times I’ve had intense flu-like symptoms (fever, nausea, aches, raging sore throat) rapidly followed by sinus and bronchial infections.

I suppose I should have been tipped off to this sensitivity when I stopped being able to wear most perfumes. After not wearing scent for 6 months in massage school (it wasn’t allowed) I discovered that all my perfumes seemed way too strong and would turn skunky on me quickly. Now I can wear aromatherapy oils or Jo Malone (which I adore, btw).

On Friday I put all my traditional cleaners in a box in the stairwell (they were gone in 20 minutes) and went to Bed, Bath and Beyond to stock up on some natural alternatives. I went there instead of a local or chain health food store because I knew they carried a particular brand that had been recommended to me by a friend.

After reading every label and smelling everything I was interested in at least four times, I purchased 4 items which seemed to cover all my needs. Here’s the first one:

Mrs. Meyer’s All Purpose Cleaner, Geranium Scent

I was a little concerned that the scent might be too strong but finally bit the bullet based on my friend’s recc and the fact the geranium is a therapeutic scent. In terms of aromatherapy, geranium oil can help with depression, nervous tension, and menstrual problems, to list a few.

Per the directions I diluted ½ cup in 2 gallons of warm water. My lungs didn’t hurt when I breathed it in, my eyes didn’t run at all when I filled the bucket with water. Hmmm.

Then I went to work on my kitchen floor. I was blown away. First of all, the smell is lovely. It has an undertone of rose for sweetness (geranium can be really sharp) and clove to add some depth. It’s not so floral that it smells like perfume, however, it smells invigorating and clean. Not at all girly.

Second, it cut through grime and grease faster than any floor cleaner I’ve ever used including straight ammonia. What?! There was no streaking or smearing, no rinsing required, it dried quickly (although I did put a fan on it), and there was no sticky residue.

It was $7.99 plus tax for a 32 ounce bottle. It can be used on laminate countertops, granite countertops, appliances, finished wood floors, linoleum, tile, bathrooms, etc. Dilute and put it in a spray bottle and you’ve got counter spray.

Love in my heart for this product. It’s bio-degradable, cruelty-free, and as natural as possible.

Common sense caution: Although I absolutely will not recommend anything I haven’t used myself and loved, I am not a scientist or doctor and can’t be held accountable if you hate the product, are allergic to something in it, or use it differently than it’s intended. Namaste!


D said...

There's something paradoxical about an exclamation point after "Namaste"...it reminds me of Frank Costanza shouting "Serenity now!"

Anna said...

Ha! You're absolutely right...nothing like Power Zen.

Running Girl said...

I use all Mrs. Meyer's products because I, too, feel horrible after inhaling cleaning products. I use the lemon scent, which is incredibly refreshing, and I saw there is now basil scent which I'm going to try next.

ah said...

I used to clean houses for fun. The horrible cleaners people used began to take their toll. I found a WONDERFUL resource I would love to suggest: Ellen Sandbeck's book _Organic Housekeeping:
In Which the Non-Toxic Avenger Shows You How to Improve Your Health and That of Your Family, While You Save Time, Money, and, Perhaps, Your Sanity_

It's a fun read and super-informative. She's an organic gardner and she will help you care for your home much the way nature cares for your garden! I've NEVER BEEN SO HEALTHY since i made this switch!