A friend and I were recently engaged in a riveting email exchange about the merits of various natural cleaners and detergents when I realized our conversation was a blog post looking for a place to happen.

Just so you know I DO totally feel like the happy homemaker right now. Does your soap give you dishpan hands? But I’m going to carry on because this is useful information.

Please add to the conversation by sharing your favorite, or least favorite, products in the comments section.

Here we go.

We like Seventh Generation for the bathroom. I can’t say that I have done any research as to its claims of naturalness but I can say that they sell it at PCC, my local co-op, and they are usually pretty good about vetting products.

We like CitraSolv for the rest of the house. I love orang-ey smells!

I know there are a lot of you out there who use water and vinegar mixtures. How does that work? Do you use them exclusively for every application or do you occasionally slip a product in here and there? What ratio of water to vinegar works best?

For dishwasher soap, we use CitraDish. I used to have this terrible dishwasher that couldn’t clean a thing. I tried several brands until I finally found this one. It made my terrible dishwasher look good.

Now, for laundry… I was reading a post on one of my favorite blogs recently where she asked her readers what they used for laundry detergent. A ton of people recommended Charlie’s Soap. I’d never heard of it. I ordered some and it is awesome, non-toxic, and it makes my clothes and towels really soft. I cannot believe I just said that. Do you have dishpan hands?

Please, don’t make me suffer up here alone. Tell me what you like and don’t like. xoxo

PS – dispan hands?

10 thoughts on “Soap

  1. Tami

    Love Charlie’s Soap. I do use a vinegar water solution for most everything else. A big splash of vinegar to a few cups of of water. Sometimes I add some washing soda. I use washing soda for toilets and tubs, too.

  2. Mary Beth Hawkins Petersen

    I use Bon Ami for scrubbing (sinks and tubs) I love this stuff!!!! Never scratches and less scrubbing required than baking soda, but still good for environment. (co-op as well as Fred Meyer carries it). For disinfecting I use spray bottle with 50/50% water vinegar solution. It stinks at first but smell dissipates quickly. Lastly, I get bulk laundry detergent, dish soap and dishwashing powder from co-op.
    I have been so tempted by that new Meyers stuff. It smells soooo good.

  3. Mom

    You go girls! (women). I need this information. I’m struggling along with unknown products. I gave up my Tide, Joy etc. a while ago. But I think I am being hoodwinked by all of the “environmentally friendly” products that the local big chain grocery store sells. And Costco? Anything eco in there? Keep the brands coming. I appreciate it. Mom Malmo

  4. Josh

    I’m a Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap guy through and through. Good for you and the environment, and you can read the crazy bottles while you shower.

  5. Alyssa

    We use Country Save because it works well with our diapers. We also use a lot of vinegar and water. The floors are Meyers stuff, but let me be honest: when the floors DO get mopped it is with spilled preschooler water and a rag. We use baking soda in the basins (tub, sinks, toilet) but I do keep bleach around because of diaper maintenance, nasty stomach bugs and (shudder) a run in with pinworms a long time ago. I don’t use it often, but I won’t throw it out, either. We use the enzyme stuff for drain maintenance, and it seems to work well.

  6. Dakota Keene

    I like Dr Bronners too-especially in hand soap dispensers. My problem is laundry- I’ve got the front loaded washer stink… I use vinegar instead of fabric softener but can’t find a good HE detergent! I’ve been using an unscented dryer sheet and putting a few drops of narcissus oil on it and it’s helping, but not enough. I’ve always used natural unscented detergents but I swear I’m about to resort to friggin Snuggle.

  7. Katherine Post author

    Dakota, I’ve never head of the front-loader stink. Try Charlie’s Soap and tell me/us if that fixes the problem.

  8. Amy

    Forgive me if y’all already know this but in my experience the front loader stink is not because of product but rather lack of air/ventilation. If you leave the door open (even just cracked) when the washer is not in use it will allow any left-over water to dry out. Since front loaders have to be water tight by nature shutting the door when not in use causes any dampness to funkify.

    Depends on your washer but sometimes a baking soda/vinegar combo will help flush out any goo then a ‘hot’ wash cycle to flush it all thru will work (May have to do it a few times). The tried and true altho less natural is bleach with hot wash and extra rinse cycle–and if it uber funky may even have to do that a few times. Some front loading washers have a trap as well so you may want to check that there isn’t some hairball, sock or lego trapped there first.

    Sorry for the PSA- I am on my own crusade to rid the world of nasty smelling washing machines–they give me the shivers!

    (PS-Love Charlie’s and seems to do pretty well in my front loader as well just need to use a ton less so I don’t get excessive foaming which = more rinsing)

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