*This is a guest post
Having a baby changes the lives of everyone involved. It also changes almost all of our habits, including how we wash our clothes and clean our homes. When we are young and careless, we don’t pay a lot of attention to the products we use around the house or the way we clean, but when we have a baby, everything shifts towards keeping the new family member healthy and safe. So, we start paying more attention to the ingredients of our food and detergents, we aim towards hypoallergenic fabrics and products, and we thoroughly check everything that goes into the house. Here are a few baby safe house cleaning tips and solutions, which will help:
Avoid harsh chemicals
One of the first things we learn once we have a baby, is that everything is potentially dangerous, especially the cleaning products. Various non-profit organisations like the Environmental Working Group research common detergents we use all the time (all-purpose sprays, window cleaning products, oven cleaners, toilet cleaners, and more), and the results are disturbing. Elements like ammonia, chlorine bleach, caustic soda and 1,4-dioxane are commonly present in almost all these products. They are well-known skin and respiratory tract irritants that can cause asthma and allergies during longer exposure.
When you choose cleaning detergents for your home, avoid products containing these chemicals. Instead, search for something healthier for your baby and the environment. Look for labels like “green”, “non-toxic” and “organic”. Other labels, which guarantee that a product is baby-safe, are “petroleum-free”, “phosphate-free”, “biodegradable”, “solvent-free” or “VOC-free”. Also, avoid spray cleaners on carpets or upholstered furniture, because the dangerous ingredients can get trapped in the fabric. Also, products labelled “antibacterial” are not always a good idea, because they are too harsh and in the long term you risk creating tougher and more resistant bacteria, which is not good for your baby’s developing immune system.
Keep the dirt away
Most of the dust and dirt that gathers around the house comes from outdoors, we bring it with us on our shoes when we walk through the door, or it flies through the windows if the weather is windy. You need to find a way to limit the outside dirt that comes indoors. When you do it, you will notice that the cleaning process happens faster, you sneeze and cough a lot less, and your overall housekeeping routine gets easier. There are a few things you can try – wipe your feet and take your shoes off near the door, implement a “no shoes indoors” rule for everyone. You can also pave and regularly sweep the area around your house. This will significantly limit the amount of dirt around your front door. You can also invest in one of those new dust absorbent doormats – they cost a little more than regular doormats, but they trap the dirt at the door and keep it there.
If you like this post then check out: Are the Chemicals In Our Carpets Poisoning Our Kids?
Supply your kit with natural cleaners
We usually keep many natural products around the house, which are perfect for preparing your own cleaning detergents. They are chemical-free substitutes to the commercial cleaning products, and they are safe to use around babies, pets and allergic people. Some of the most popular ones are:
Baking soda for stains.
One of the fastest ways to get rid of food stains on baby clothing, is to use baking soda. Sprinkle the stain and let it stay for a few minutes. The baking soda will absorb the moisture and will eliminate any smells. After that you can wash the clothing the regular way, the stain should easily disappear.
White vinegar for general surfaces.
White distilled vinegar is the most common ingredient present in almost every homemade cleaning detergent. It’s a hypoallergenic disinfectant, if you mix it with some water in a spray bottle, you can use it on almost every surface around the kitchen and living room – countertops, range hoods and ovens, inside fridges, the sink, tiled surfaces, and a lot more.
Lemon juice for disinfecting and whitening.
It may sound strange, but lemon juice also has strong disinfecting qualities, and it’s commonly used in natural cleaning detergents. Thanks to its antibacterial and whitening properties, it can be used to effectively remove stains and dirt from all kinds of sources, including stubborn dirt on tile grout.
A few basic baby-friendly safe house cleaning recipes
Mix 2 cups of water, half a cup of white vinegar, a few drops of liquid castile soap, 15 drops of tea tree oil and 15 drops of organic lavender essential oil. Mix all these ingredients in a spray bottle and shake. You can use this on all kinds of home surfaces – sinks, cutting boards, toilets, changing tables, walls, and more. It’s not suitable for glass surfaces, as it will form streaks. This basic cleaner is so gentle and safe, that you can even spray your kids with it and they will be fine.
You can make a simple paste of baking soda and water, it’s the perfect abrasive to scrub off soap scum and grime from the sink and under the shower, as well as tiled floors and walls. You will need a soft-bristled brush or a sponge to apply the paste. You can easily clean the toilet bowl by spreading baking soda all around it, then spray with some vinegar on top, wait for a while for it to foam and fizz, and then scrub a little with a brush and flush.
Grate 4 bars of castile soap and mix them with 2 cups of washing soda. Add a few drops of essential oil of your choice, it will make the baby clothes smell better and will keep the fabrics gentle. Use 1-2 tablespoons per load and store the laundry detergent in an airtight container in a dark and dry place.
To safely clean all kinds of baby accessories, like toys, bottles, trays, rattles, pacifiers and other items, all you need is equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Just spray the item you want to disinfect, let the detergent stay for around 10-15 minutes and wipe with a damp sponge. Don’t worry about the smell, it will disappear in an hour or so.
Do you have any baby safe, house cleaning tips? Share below!
Jane is a young mum, a blogger and the marketing manager of the cleaning department of Fantastic Services Group, a company that provides all kinds of home improvement and cleaning services. She also manages the company blog, where she writes about all kinds of topics involving home mending, gardening, DIY fixes, and a lot more.