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baby safe cleaning products

Baby Safe and Eco Friendly Cleaning Products | Keeping your child safe at home

Many expecting mothers and fathers are concerned about the baby safety of household cleaning products. Even if your parents used bleach, ammonia and other similar products, and you’ve used them all your adult life, using them in your newborn’s home can be frightening.

They’re frightening because many commonly used, American cleaning product ingredients contain toxins. We explored specific chemicals you should avoid when pregnant, and the same holds true after your bundle of joy is born. Phthalates and formaldehyde releasing chemicals, as well as bleach, are of greatest concern.

Your child’s exposure to these chemicals can have varying degrees of consequences, but to reduce unnecessary concern we’re choosing to omit these details. But rest assured, it’s best to avoid them as much as possible.

While natural cleaning products have been growing in popularity, the term “natural” is overused and misused frequently. To assist in your search for products that are much safer to use, in addition to being truly natural, here are several tips:

How to choose baby safe cleaning products

 

Read all the labels. Some ingredients require a warning label when they’re included in products. That doesn’t mean they’re necessarily harmful, but it’s a good first step.

Be aware of, and take into consideration, your family’s specific needs. Does your child have an allergy to parabens? Are you immunocompromised and need stronger than normal disinfectants?

Even if you buy only nontoxic cleaning products, make sure they have child-proof packaging and aren’t accessible to your baby when they begin to crawl and walk.

When in doubt, check the Environmental Working Group website. Most likely, they have a breakdown of the exact product you’re considering buying, including a scale that shows how relatively baby safe the cleaning product is.

Our favorite baby (and pet) safe cleaning products

 

Not all baby safe cleaning products were made specifically with babies in mind. Some are food-safe for your kitchen and restaurants, and some are designed to prevent allergic reactions. No matter the circumstance, you can trust the list of cleaning products below to be tough on grime and soft on you and the tiny ones in your home.

Laundry detergent from Package Free

Package free laundry detergent
This detergent was made to cut down on waste, and harmful ingredients. The list of what’s in the jar is delightfully short, and there’s an unscented option.

Baby wipes from Eco Pea Co 

eco and pea baby safe wipes
These biodegradable wipes are made from fast-growing bamboo, and contain aloe to keep rashes at bay. They’re unscented, which may help babies with allergies. Also, Eco Pea Co is a 1% for the planet member.

Hand sanitizer and all-purpose cleaning from Black and Berry

sanitizer-b&b-onedey
Black and Berry was launched as the result of a rare, childhood autoimmune disease from which the co-founder suffered. But their apple cider vinegar based products are safe for all members of your family. We love their hand sanitizer and multi-purpose cleaner, but all of their products are made with a handful of quality, organic ingredients. Their products also feature essential oil-based citrus or eucalyptus scents.

One additional bundle of joy note…The OneDey team’s friends and family group seems to be growing by leaps and bounds. If yours are too, we also recommend:

Baby wash and shampoo from pipette

 

This delightful body and hair cleansing combination product is available in unscented or Rose + Geranium or Vanilla + Ylang Ylang scents. All have EWG’s stamp of approval; and are gentle, sudsy products that leave no residue on even the most delicate skin.

There are so many things to think about when you welcome a baby into the world. Concern about the safety of  your household cleaning products shouldn’t be one of them. By using these products and/or the previous tips  when searching for your next bathroom or counter cleaner, you can rest assured your little bundle of joy is safe at home.

eco friendly dry cleaning is possible

How green is your dry cleaner?

Last updated June 7, 2021

A couple of years ago, I made the switch to a “green” dry cleaners, but never questioned the name.  Yes, I was paying a premium, but for eco friendly dry cleaning it was worth it. As it turns out, some green dry cleaners aren’t all that green.

Dry cleaning, or some form of it, has been around for many centuries, beginning with the Romans who used ammonia distilled from urine to clean wool togas. The process of dry cleaning evolved through the centuries until the 1930s when a chlorinated solvent, perchloroethylene, became the leading method for cleaning fabrics without using water.

Today approximately 80% of dry cleaners still use the solvent perchloroethylene or “perc”. However, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers perc both a health and environmental hazard.

In the 1990s the United States Environmental Protection Agency began to regulate dry cleaning chemicals and encourage commercial cleaners to use safer, more eco friendly solvents. The use of these solvents became known as “Green Dry Cleaning”.

eco friendly dry cleaning is possible

What Is Green Dry Cleaning?

 

As with other industries, many dry cleaners are guilty of greenwashing.  In fact, “green dry cleaning” is used to describe any dry cleaning method that doesn’t involve using perc.

One of these alternative methods is wet cleaning, which is a gentler version of home laundering. Three other green cleaning methods utilize the traditional solvent model substituting carbon dioxide, hydrocarbon or silicon-based cleaners for perc.

However, of the four types of alternative cleaning offered in the United States, only two are considered truly safe for the environment and consumers. They are wet cleaning and liquid carbon dioxide cleaning. If you’re looking for the most environmentally sound type of cleaning, ask your dry cleaner which of the processes or solvents they utilize.

Methods of Green Dry Cleaning

 

Wet Cleaning

Wet cleaning uses water and specialized detergents that are milder than home laundry products to clean clothes. These cleaners have computerized washers and dryers and professional pressing, steaming, and finishing equipment to help your clothes look their best. The EPA considers it one of the safest professional cleaning methods because there is “no hazardous chemical use, no hazardous waste generation, no air pollution, and reduced potential for water and soil contamination”. Extra care is taken before and after cleaning to treat stains since no chemical solvent is used.

DF-2000 Hydrocarbon Solvent

Some cleaners consider themselves green because they use a solvent they claim is organic) called DF-2000. This solvent is a hydrocarbon made from petroleum. Production of these chemicals raises environmental concerns, in particular as it relates to greenhouse gases.

Silicon-Based Solvent

Some cleaners use the GreenEarth cleaning method to replace perc. GreenEarth is basically liquified sand (SiO2). It functions as a silicone-based solvent called siloxane or D-5. Siloxane is similar to some of the base ingredients used in shaving creams and conventional deodorant. When GreenEarth is discarded, it breaks down into sand, water, and carbon dioxide.

Another positive aspect of GreenEarth is that during this patented cleaning process no chemicals touch your clothes. However, the manufacturing of siloxane uses chlorine, which  releases dioxin, a known carcinogen, into the atmosphere.

Liquid Carbon Dioxide Cleaning

Carbon dioxide (CO2) cleaning uses liquid CO2 as the cleaning solvent along with detergent. You form CO2 by placing the non-flammable and nontoxic gas under high pressure. Liquid CO2 is non-toxic and used to provide carbonation to soft drinks.

Clothes are placed what looks like a traditional dry cleaning machine where the ambient air is sucked out. The cleaning drum is then injected with carbon dioxide in both gas and liquid form. After the clothes are cleaned, the liquid CO2 is pumped back into a holding tank for reuse.

This process is perhaps the most environmentally-friendly, because nearly 98% of the CO2 is captured. As less than three percent of the CO2 used from each load is lost into the air, impact on climate change is minimal. Additionally, because there is no solvent to heat, the process uses less energy than traditional dry cleaning.

While CO2 is naturally occurring and inexpensive, these dry cleaning machines cost approximately $40,000 each. For many small businesses, that is prohibitively expensive.

The Future of Eco-Friendly Dry Cleaning

The state of California is leading the way toward green dry cleaning by committing to phase out the use of perc by 2023. The state offers grant money to cleaners that switch from perc to CO2 or wet cleaning. Other states are considering similar legislation.

How to Get the Best Results From Green Dry Cleaning

 

While many dry cleaners now use “green” or “eco” in their name, few have transitioned to the most environmentally friendly methods.

The best thing for the earth is to swap out some of your more delicate clothing for pieces made from Tencel or hemp. They need washing less often, so you’ll make fewer trips to the dry cleaners.

Ask which method your dry cleaner uses and search for dry cleaners in your area that use the wet cleaning or carbon dioxide cleaning process. If you’re able to find one that employs these and other eco friendly business practices, dry cleaning your clothes may be more eco friendly than washing them at home!

black and berry organic cleaning products hand sanitizer- onedey

Safe, organic cleaners from sister duo Black and Berry Living

Last updated: June 6, 2021

Cindee Black and Jordan Berry started Black and Berry Living because of Cindee’s rare, childhood auto-immune disease. The disease caused her to have reactions to household products severe enough to result in numerous hospital stays.

Determined to overcome this challenge, Jordan and Cindee began creating safe, organic cleaners which they shared with friends and family members. In 2018, they used these recipes to build an eco friendly, simple, yet simply great, cleaning and bug spray brand.

black & berry organic cleaning products OneDey

Organic ingredients and recyclable packaging

Two hallmark components of Black and Berry Living make their products safe, effective, and getting to green – organic apple cider vinegar and aluminum containers.

The USDA organic apple cider vinegar they use is as gentle on the earth as it is tough on viruses, bacteria, and grime.  Apple cider vinegar is food safe but bacteria combatant. It’s filled with probiotics and its own natural microbiome, so spilling the multi-purpose cleaner on your skin or your house plant is no cause for concern.

All Black and Berry Living products arrive at your doorstep in aluminum spray or refill bottles.

Consider the following:

  • 18% of waste in landfills is plastic
  • Only 20% of plastic can be recycled
  • Each day, approximately eight million pieces of plastic trash end up in our oceans
  • Each year, 100,000 marine mammals and turtles, and one million seabirds, are killed by plastic pollution

 

On the other hand:

  • Only 1% of United States waste is aluminum
  • More than 75% of aluminum that has ever been used is still in circulation today, and it can be reused an infinite number of times
  • Aluminum is more durable and lighter than glass, reducing shipping costs and emissions

In short, aluminum containers rock!

Of course, there are some ways the sister team could improve their environmental efforts (as we all could), but this small business is making the conscious efforts where they can, and will expand from here! Check out our chat with the founding sisters below to hear their next steps.

black and berry organic cleaning products hand sanitizer- onedey

Organic cleaners… that work

Who doesn’t love a clean cleaner?  Half of what I hate about deep cleaning the house is the headache I get from all the chemicals.  Not anymore.

Concerned about the apple cider vinegar aroma from the multi-purpose cleaner? No worries, it dissipates after a few seconds, leaving a soft scent of either citrus or eucalyptus. I use it on granite and stainless steel in the kitchen, to clean my yoga mat, on bathroom surfaces and for post-entertaining clean-up.

While on an enviable getaway to Hawaii, an OneDey team member was the first to try the Black and Berry Living bug juice (i.e bug spray). It was a hit – not greasy in the slightest; and has a light, citrus scent and a pleasant little tingle to let you know it’s working.

While I enjoy a clean house and not being nibbled by mosquitos and no-see-ums, my friends would say hand cleanliness has bordered on being a decades long obsession for me. Then came 2020, and we all began collecting hand sanitizers. Our hunt for clean ranged from grabbing travel-sized bottles at check-out counters to buying jugs made by local distilleries. Smelling like vodka and enduring odd consistencies and unpleasant feelings on our skin seemed unavoidable.

Then, I discovered Black and Berry Living. They truly have achieved the hand sanitizer greatness that none of us knew we needed in 2019. How? It begins with a 4 oz. aluminum spray bottle. All other hand sanitizers I’ve found are sold in plastic containers. But of course, one can’t simply judge hand sanitizer by the bottle.

The hand sanitizer inside excels in every category:

  • The texture is feather light, leaving zero residue
  • It absorbs quickly
  • The very delicate, and soon imperceptible, scent is essence of organic rose water and orange blossom

Oh yeah, I almost forgot – the effective ingredient is USDA certified organic, ethyl alcohol derived from sugarcane. So…if our paths ever cross, you can be sure I’ll have some Black and Berry Living hand sanitizer at the ready for you to try. All ya’ gotta do is ask. Chances are you’ll become the very next Black and Berry Living hand sanitizer evangelist.