Ever since I can remember, I've had allergic reactions to nasty chemicals in perfumes & detergents. As a child, I would break out in rashes from washing powder & anything perfumed, as did my siblings - in fact my Brother was even allergic to freshly cut grass! Little did my folks know about the body & health. My Dad was a heavy smoker & us kids had constant throat & chest infections, we lived on penicillin. Our bodies were continually stripped of antibodies & we all had an inability to cope with any toxins, so my Mum accepted that she had to buy particular brands of various soaps, cleaning & laundry products.
Today, I still have a problem with strong smelling perfumes, air freshners & detergents, so have just avoided them as far as possible... Even tampons & sanitary towels irritate me, so I've used a Mooncup & reusable cloth pads for a few years now.
Since becoming veggie over 20 years ago, I discovered that there were alternatives & we began using Ecover washing up liquid & found ACDO was fine for laundry. As time went by, we switched to using mainly Bio D & still use their products now, as they are completely vegan & probably the most ethical manufacturer of cleaning & household products in the UK. We also like the fact that they are not interested in selling out & refuse to be stocked in any supermarket!
In our business, we also mainly use Bio D products, but as much as I loathe to say it - we've been buying Ecover's professional window & glass cleaning spray, as it does the job much quicker than anything else. I'm feeling more & more uncomfortable with supporting such a big company, who's ethics have become questionable over the years, so although at home we use soapy water & newspaper - at work we need to be quicker, so we may try making a spray with vinegar again, which we have used before.
The other problem we have is that we sell products too & everyone wants Ecover... But perhaps we can persuade our customers to try an alternative.
One problem with buying ready made products is the packaging, we have bought washing up liquid & multi-purpose cleaner in 25 litre tubs & decant as we go along, but we are still left with a huge plastic container in the end... So things will have to change, we need to find an alternative to washing up liquid & have used soap nuts before for laundry & know they could be boiled up to make washing up liquid, but I think it takes ages to do. We have some borax in, so perhaps we'll give that a try... We do make our own cleaning sprays for home use with bicarbonate of soda & lemon juice, so perhaps we'll eventually do this for work too. Bicarb is pretty amazing stuff & is great for many things, so it really is worth always having in & we've even had great results with mildew from a paste of bicarb & lemon juice.
Going back to soap nuts, they've gone up in price & we didn't find them good enough for work bed linen, so we actually use Co-op value laundry powder at the moment, it smells fresh, cleans well, is vegan, cheap & comes in a cardboard box, which is easily recycled. We don't use fabric conditioner, but use a few drops of white vinegar for softening work towels.
As time goes on, I expect we'll give up selling the products & just stick to bicarb, lemon juice, white vinegar & maybe tea tree oil for work use when the Bio D runs out... I love the idea of not buying anything in plastic, so it's definitely the way forward for us.
Does anyone else make their own cleaning stuff?
Anyway, enough about work now - here's how we're feeling today...
Hope you're all having a chilled weekend too!