Cleaning the Green Way With Norwex
Over the past couple of years when this blog transitioned from "food blog" to "Army wife and crunchy Catholic mom moving every two years please Lord help me" blog, I've mentioned several times that I'm kind of fanatical about housework. I do not like a dirty house. Period. When my house is cluttered, my mind is cluttered. Dust, dirty floors, mold rings in the toilet...it sends me right over the edge. Not to mention, I'm fortunate-I suppose-to possess the gene that allows me to actually enjoy housework. All that being said, my idea of a grand old time generally doesn't involve scrubbing the hard-to-reach area around the toilet on my hands and knees. I'm always on the lookout for products that not only make my life easier, but are safe to use around small children.
I've become uneasy about the lingering effects some of the cleaning products I've used in the past may have on my family's health. For instance, none of our bathrooms are well ventilated. When I scrub with bleach and heavy duty cleaners, the strong sanitizing odors linger for far too long in the bathrooms, hallways, and bedrooms. I tried using "green" products (I won't specify which ones, as I don't really want a brand war appearing on my blog), but the issue I have with the non-toxic, environmentally safe products that are available in the grocery store is that they just don't work. My dishes still had food stuck to them after a heavy duty hot wash in the dishwasher. My bathtub still had a ring around it, which stubbornly refused to vanish despite me scrubbing away at it. What good are "green" products to me if they won't clean my house to my standards?
About two months ago, I was introduced to Norwex by a friend. I had heard about their products, but I decided to use the knock off brands (again, not naming any names) first. They were cheaper, and I figured that the off-brand products would work just as well. Right?
I still had streaks on my mirrors and windows, I still had a ring around the bathtub, and I had the uneasy feeling that while yes, I was able to sweep the crumbs off my kitchen counter, I wasn't sure how much bacteria was actually being picked up. After a week of valiant attempts, I admitted defeat and ordered a few Norwex items from my friend.
I'm sure I don't need to tell you that I was almost giddy at the results. Not only were the products effective, non-toxic, and easy to clean, but you need SO FEW things to get the results you're looking for. Norwex cloths have silver micro fibers, which clean the surface and eliminate bacteria at the same time. Cleaning the cloths is a breeze; just run the cloth under warm water for a few seconds, squeeze out the remaining water, and hang it on the line to dry. For cloths with extra dirt on them (or cloths I use to clean the bathroom, because bathrooms are gross), I just throw in the washer with a tiny bit of detergent and run them through a hot water cycle. I can honestly say that my cleaning time has been cut in half. Another bonus is that these cloths-the Enviro cloth in particular, which is a Norwex best seller-is so effective that I don't have to throw my back out from bending over the bathtub for twenty minutes.
One thing I did initially balk at was the price. I won't lie, the initial investment was more than I had hoped to spend. However, unlike commercial cleaning products, Norwex cleaning products will last forever if you care for them properly. Not to mention, when I actually sat down and took inventory of the cleaning products I used to use everyday vs. the Norwex products I use now...well, there's really no comparison. Observe, if you will, my crate of bathroom cleaning products from "the old days."
Most of these products are relatively cheap, but I would go through them quickly. Even with the occasional coupon, I still spent a ridiculous amount of money on bathroom cleaners.
What I use now:
Pictured from left to right: Enviro cloth, window cloth, bathroom scrubber, and Blue Diamond All-In-One Bathroom Cleaner, which I use for particularly tough scrubbing jobs. Think tile grout, stains on the linoleum, and stubborn traces of toothpaste in the sink. Hey, speaking of which...
I don't know what it is with my children. They seem to be on a mission to squirt as much toothpaste as possible into the sink, and then they summon some kind of bathroom demon to make sure it hardens as quickly as can be, making it impossible for mom to scrub off with a sponge and bathroom cleaner. Enter Norwex bathroom scrub cloth and Blue DIamond cleaner.
Voila. And as the old timey commercial goes, "A little dab will do ya!" You seriously don't need more than a dime-sized drop of the cleaning liquid. It took me all of ten seconds to scrub away a week's worth of stubborn toothpaste from my children's bathroom sink.
Now, on to the Enviro cloth. As I mentioned, this is the most popular Norwex item, and with good reason. You can seriously clean your entire house with this amazing piece of fabric. I've cleaned my stovetop (normally a three step process with multiple cleaners), baseboards, kitchen counters, dresser tops, you name it. You can use it as a dry dust cloth, or run it under warm water to scrub out the more stubborn stains. For example:
This is the wall above Gianna's changing table. I don't know what those stains are. Frankly, I don't WANT to know. All I can say is they're there on the wall because small children. Here's what the wall looks like after a quick wipe down with the Enviro cloth:
Not perfect, but much improved. (I have since discovered the lingering stains are essential oils; specifically, after I put a tiny drop of diluted Gentle Baby on Gianna's feet and she promptly pressed her toes up against the wall). Since oil stains can be a bit tricky, I'm going to add a little bit of the Norwex Cleaning Paste to the Enviro cloth and report back with the results. But still, at least it no longer looks like someone smeared a horrifying substance across my bedroom wall.
I can tell you with the utmost certainty that using these products has:
A. Made my daily cleaning routine a thousand times easier.
B. Given me peace of mind; every single product that Norwex puts out is non-toxic, and 100% safe to use around small children, animals, what have you.
C. Made my inner hippie rejoice. Norwex products are environmentally friendly, and by using them, you're reducing your carbon footprint. I no longer use paper towels. I'm no longer throwing away aerosol cans every week. I feel better knowing that cleaning my home does not have a negative impact on the environment.D. It saves me a LOT of money in the long run. I'm no longer spending hundreds of dollars a year (seriously) on cleaning products at the grocery store or Target. Plus, as a consultant, I get a super sweet discount.
Interested in ordering Norwex for your home? Visit www.MarisaTenney.norwex.biz to learn more about the company, the products, Norwex history, etc. Want to earn free products? Contact me about hosting a party (either online or in your home, if you live in Colorado Springs). Want to become a consultant? Great news for you; during the month of February, Norwex is running a special promotion. You can sign up as a consultant and receive a FREE starter kit (which includes 1 Enviro cloth, 1 window cleaner, 1 dusting mitt, and 1 SpiriSponge). All you have to pay is shipping and handling. As a consultant, you also receive a discount on any Norwex products you choose to purchase in the future.
If you have any questions, please leave a comment for me on this blog post, or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would also encourage you to check out my Pinterest board for all the ways you can use Norwex products. I hope I've given you enough information that will encourage you to "green clean" your home!
*Full disclosure: I am a Norwex representative and I earn money through sales on my website. I was not compensated in any way for this blog post. All opinions are my own.