Recently I was invited to do a book review of The Toxin-Free Home: A Guide to Maintaining a Clean, Eco-Friendly, and Healthy Home by author Alison Haynes. In accepting this, I had high hopes that it would fill a niche in my life. You see, out of fear of using toxic products, I clean less than I would like to. When I really should be taking the more practical approach of greening up my cleaning routines.
The results of avoidance are never pretty.
So I was excited when my copy of the Toxin-Free Home arrived–and I found everything I had hoped for. Tips for greening my laundry along with recipes for homemade stain remover. A bathroom cleaning guide plus advice like “a paste of borax and lemon juice left for half an hour removes stubborn stains.” (That is so happening soon.) The recommendations continued throughout the house, from living room to bedroom and out into the garden!
Yes, the Toxin-Free Home fulfilled all of my initial expectations. Then it took clean and green up a notch with ideas like using door mats to reduce tracking in dirt. And energy-saving tips like using smaller appliances such as an electric tea kettle. It even has a variety of helpful charts including washing instructions by fabric type, household uses for essential oils, and a carpet stain removal guide.
There are also some “architectural” level suggestions including ideas for gray water usage, how to look out for formaldehyde and a guide to sustainable wood. And I can personally vouch for to the value of switching to low flow, aerating showerheads which save water, reduce reduce power usage (for water heating) and can turn low pressure water into a nice jet.
The only caution I would give is to look for corroboration on some of the advice. One of the author’s recommendations is to use stain proof carpet. While this may reduce the need for future cleaning some of the stain proofing chemicals have a level of toxicity that you may not want to introduce.
I have personally used a number of suggestions in this book (see my beer as slug bait picture above) and look forward to trying out more. Whether you are looking for comprehensive list of ideas to take you into the future or simply a green cleaning guide, this book is worth checking out.
Is this something you’d like to try? If so, consider this giveaway for a copy of The Toxin-Free Home, open to mailing addresses in the U.S. It closes at midnight CDT on Oct 11, 2015. To enter, leave a comment telling me what your biggest cleaning challenge is. For a second entry, follow Art of Natural Living on Facebook and leave a second comment mentioning this (or a second comment telling me you are already a Facebook follower). The winner will be picked randomly, contacted by email and have 24 hours to get back to me with an address and any other needed information or a new winner will be chosen.