Why do you have your "cleaning products" on display? Don't they belong in a closet or under a sink? Well sure, you might keep them there, but I want to start a conversation. One about our environment, and our health. In one of my recent blogs, we talked about the complexities of chemical interactions - interactions between medications, supplements, foods, and even cleaning products. Consider each time you clean, you are exposing yourself to chemicals. Every time you shower, wash dishes, and dust. What products are you using? Well, I was totally a Lysol fan, until I learned about Norwex.
I first heard about Norwex from my mom, who lived in Goshen, Indiana, an area highly populated with Amish, Mennonite, and German Baptist. At first I thought this was an "Amish" thing. You know, they don't live or enjoy the conventional items that most of us enjoy. My mom bragged about not using soap anymore -- like on her body. I cringed at the thought of being a stinky, filthy mess without soap, but my mom didn't smell, and she didn't look dirty. We let it go at that. My mom continued to use Norwex while I went on thinking she'd lost her mind.
Then I met Lanette Gerau (Hi Lanette!!!). She was a Norwex consultant. She was telling me about Norwex and it clicked in my brain that's what my mom was using. I didn't buy anything. I called my mom and asked her about it. She used the laundry soap, the wool balls, the body cloths, the enviro clothes.............you see where I'm going with this. When my mom came down to St. Louis, she gave me my first Norwex body cloth and the experiment began.
Learning to wash without soap was odd at first. I had to remember that I didn't need it, that the cloth would collect and contain the dirt, excess oils, cells, and bacteria that my body was shedding. I became even more interested and when the world's most awesome DJ Dana, hosted a "party," well, I had to go. That's when it all became a little more obvious what Norwex was doing. Little by little, it would transform our lives.
I'm not going to write about the history of Norwex, or how it works, you can read more about Norwex on your own. This is what I love about Norwex.
1. It uncomplicates my life. It takes time to learn how to do almost anything, but learning Norwex was more about unlearning. Just water and Norwex. Rinse with hot water. Mild detergent to wash. It can be used on almost everything, with exception of a few things that they have specialized cloths for.
2. I reclaimed sink and closet space from the copious amounts of cleaners: windex, scrubbing bubbles, pine sol, tilex, CLR, windex (did I say that already) and now just have Norwex, dish soap, Nature's Miracle, white vinegar, and bleach (which are rarely used).
3. No more toxic fumes! Growing up with asthma, allergies, a smoker, and pets, we were always cleaning and inhaling something toxic, whether paint fumes from repainting yellow tinged walls, or bleach from cleaning up after dogs. I love that I don't have those smells anymore and can breath easier!
4. No more running to the store for cleaners, and no more throwing away mountains of plastic containers! You buy it, lug it home, use it and throw it away. Not anymore. I pretty much buy food only at the grocery, and enjoy NOT having to toss out tons of plastic containers from cleaning products - especially the laundry detergent! Everything is packaged to be eco-friendly and have a decreased impact on the environment. You can even return spent cloths (which I have yet to do) to be recycled!
5. The impact on the environment is monumental. I'm not buying plastic containers, I'm not throwing them away. I'm not buying toxic chemicals, I'm not putting them in our water. I'm not inhaling them or putting them on my skin.
So, what are my favorite products? I'll show you, and why.
1. The body cloths - We only wash our cloths once a week (or every two weeks), and our body towels like once a month. SO MUCH LESS LAUNDRY!! They are also super absorbent! They are also embedded with silver to prevent odors and bacterial growth. We just hang to dry after each use.
2. The entire laundry collection - It's no joke. It's not heavy, it's crystal clear, it comes in minimal packaging, it dries clothes faster, it helps with static, it helps extend the life of my washer and dryer due to less residues, it decreases wear on my clothes and keep laundry from looking dingy after being washed -- you know how clothes kind of fade after a washing. Best thing ever - I'm not lugging home those huge bottles or boxes or laundry detergent. I can carry all the bags in one trip!
3. The Enviro cloth - I use this on EVERYTHING!!!!! Seriously, I used this to wash the "back-mobile." No hose, no suds - just this cloth and water. Yes, I rinsed it a lot. But that was it. Norwex has a few different versions of this cloth - with a magnet to stick on the fridge, with a scrubby side, with a scrubby corner, in "mit" form, etc. This is thee most used cloth in our house. Combined with the window cloth for polishing windows, it leaves a streak free shine without inhaling <cough, cough> all that windex!
4. See that green long thing up there? Yeah, that thing. I used that to clean the ceiling fans. As a short gal, I HATE this task, and getting the husband to do it is well, lets just not go there. I love this because I can reach places I normally can't get to. I used it the other day to clean my Jeep, and cob webs from the awning of our house. I can use it on mini blinds, vent grills, etc.
5. The mop system - I love it. It's so easy and I can quickly mop the entire house and be done. Use the rubber brush (to the right), or hand vacuum to suck up all the debris, and then I can snap on the wet mop and mop each room. All I have to do is rinse the wet mop in hot water. I can use the mop on the walls by locking the handle, I can use it on the ceiling. I can even take the handle off, and snap the enviro-wand on the end to clean the ceiling fans! For a short person, this is such a huge help! The brush works great for getting dog hair off the sofa, the car upholstery, and dirt from the trunk of my Jeep.
7. Cleaning Paste - I'm a little OCD about cleaning my stove. I can't help it, I like it looking clean as the day I bought it. Many cleaners can cause scratches, or injure the paint, but not the cleaning paste! Using an envio-cloth, cleaning paste, and a little scrubbing, I can completely clean my stove-top to my liking! This stuff is elbow grease in a jar and can be safely used on many surfaces. I also use this on my counter top, that gets stained regularly with tea in making kombucha. A simple scrub does a great job and keeps my husband happy since the tea stains annoy him.
8. The "Pet to Dry" - If you've been in my office, you've seen these in the restroom. The "Pet to Dry" hangs in your bathroom, kitchen, mudroom, or where-ever you need to dry your hands. It's the answer to countless paper towels and dirty damp hand towels. They are ultra cute for kiddos and come in a variety of colors. What's so great about them? They contains BacLock, an antibacterial agent for self cleansing. The agent is solely designed to inhibit bacterial odor, mold and/or mildew growth within the product.
9. Blue Diamond and toilet bowl brush - conventional toilet bowl brushes fray, rust, sit in the watery muck you just cleaned, and are a breeding ground of yuck. This brush doesn't rust, is embedded with silver to prevent microbial growth, and is suspended so it can dry out! The blue diamond cleaner works great with it, is gentle, and only takes a small drop to clean! Use this in the toilet, sinks, and bathtub - it saves on products, time, and know that you aren't using products with harsh fumes.
10. Straws.....one of the worst polluters of our planet. Did you know that by not using a straw, we could save a lot in plastics being produced and discarded and save a lot of wildlife? Norwex straws are great to keep at home, in your desk at work, or in your vehicle. Never throw away a plastic straw again!
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