Bleach or Vinegar to Kill Germs?

I just read this excellent write up on  I don’t agree with all of rodale’s positions in general, but this whole article I love.

Over the course of the last two years, I’ve been in the process of weeding out all of the bad cleaners from our home (including bleach) and transitioning solely to non-toxic methods.

Vinegar is my power-playing cleaning component.  I have it in a spray bottle in the kitchen.  I use it to clean my countertops, table, chairs, and windows.  For produce I use the one-two punch described in the rodale article: a spray of vinegar followed by a spray of hydrogen peroxide. I also have a jar of vinegar in the laundry room to freshen and disinfect some loads.

Here are my top reasons for going “green” with my cleaners:

  • Things still get clean.
  • The healthy cleaners leave no sneaky residue behind.  The residue of regular cleaners could do more damage than the germs/bacteria they helped kill in the first place.
  • My kids can help in the clean up process, and if they accidently spray themselves or a dog or a sibling (you get the picture), no harm is done.
  • The healthy cleaners are CHEAP!  I’m pretty convinced that $15 would cover all of the cleaning materials I would need for a year.  I plan to put my theory to the test in 2010.  So, stay tuned!

I also follow the recommendations of the article and use wood cutting boards instead of plastic.  We also use rags instead of paper towels or sponges to clean.  AND the kids and I use slightly dampened washcloths as napkins at mealtimes.  We just throw them in the wash when we’re done.  (Erich still prefers regular paper towels.)

Anyway, I hope this gives you a few new ideas for stewarding your health and the environment well.  🙂


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