I've been working on eliminating chemical cleaning products from our household. Why? Well for a couple of reasons. All of the research I've been doing while I write for Thirsties has really helped grow my appreciation for the less-expensive, earth-friendly alternatives that I already keep on hand. Now that I've expanded my knowledge about anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-microbial products such as Tea Tree Oil, grapefruit seed extract and colloidal silver, not to mention my staples of white vinegar and baking soda, I've got just about every base covered from cleaning the kitchen, to wiping down the leather couch and getting rid of the ring around the tub. I've just given myself a challenge: not to buy a single commercial household cleaning product between now and 2013. The mad-scientist in me likes the idea of mixing my own "potions," adding a drop of this and a dab of that and experimenting with my own concoctions. I've already started buying both baking soda and vinegar in bulk. My very favorite thing about natural cleaning products is that their ingredients can be used for so many other things around the house--from cooking to cleaning and treating cuts and scrapes. As I was searching for a recipe for homemade dish-soap, one of the few things I've yet to figure out on my own, I came across a really great website called frugallysustainable.com. The frugally sustainable homeowner herself (Andrea) says "100% of her cleaning needs are met with the following products:" Borax Baking Soda Super Washing Soda White Vinegar Castille Soap **essential oils Here is Andrea's recipe for liquid dish-soap, or rather, her daughter's. One thing that I just recently realized is that I love my dishwasher. I mean, I love my dishwasher so much that I just wrote a whole blog about it. Can I possibly make my own dishwasher detergent? Because otherwise I'll be making an exception to my Green Goal and I haven't even started yet! Give me a minute. Ok, I'm back and guess what?? I found a recipe on myhealthygreenfamily.com. I have to make a big trip to the grocery store but this is going to be fun. Now I just need a some beakers and white lab coat and I'll be ready to get to work on my first batch of cleaning products and detergents. I'll let you know how it goes.