08 May 2014

The Best Natural Cleaning You've Never Heard Of


For awhile now I have been super passionate about getting the toxic chemicals out of my home. I probably drove Danny a bit crazy when I took the plunge and threw out our ENTIRE stock of cleaners. :) He actually got a little disappointed over loosing his favorite glass cleaner. haha. But all is well now. And Danny is completely on board with the changes. It has saved us a ton of money, too.


My Routine:

Here's my new routine that offers the MOST EFFECTIVE, CHEAPEST, EASIEST, FASTEST, MOST STREAK-FREE cleaning I have EVER used!!! It's one of the very best things I've ever done for my health and for my home. And it might just shock you:

KITCHEN:

1. Greasy Stove Top:  ONLY WATER.

2. Kitchen Sink:  ONLY WATER.

3. Glass Fronts of Appliances:  ONLY WATER.

4. Stainless Steel Appliances: ONLY WATER.

5. Cupboard Fronts: ONLY WATER.

6. Inside Microwave, Refrigerator & Oven: ONLY WATER.

Are you ready for more??

BATHROOM:

1. Sink: ONLY WATER.

2. Toilet: ONLY WATER.

3. Mirrors: ONLY WATER.

4. Chrome Fixtures: ONLY WATER.

5. Bathtub & Shower, including moldy discolored areas:  ONLY WATER.

6. Bathroom Granite Tile:  ONLY WATER.

DUSTING / FLOORS / WALLS:

1. Furniture Dusting: ONLY WATER.

2. Wood Floors: ONLY WATER.

3. Windows: ONLY WATER.

4. Walls: ONLY WATER

So how on earth is this possible?!?

One of my friends in Brooklyn introduced me to this whole idea. She told me of a product that lets her clean 95% of her home with only water. I thought it sounded gross or like it probably was a hoax. HOW WRONG I WAS.

The product is (2) uniquely designed micro fiber towels.

-One is for washing. 

-One is for polishing.

The fibers are EXTREMELY absorbent - more so than any other microfiber cloth I have ever tried. Other micro fiber cloths do not even compare at all to the absorbency of these cloths. They are seriously so much better it's stupid.

How It Works:

You spray a little water on any surface - and then because of the super absorbent fibers of the cloth - the cloth will pick up and retain every germ, piece of dirt, residue, oil, etc. Also, the cloths are woven with silver fibers, which are naturally anti-bacterial. So any germs and bacteria within the cloth will be disinfected. This leads to another major plus: The cloths don't get sour and don't stink - EVEN IN SUMMER.

I can tell you I have NEVER gotten my house to look cleaner - yet I'm using no chemicals and almost no effort. You can literally smear a cube of butter on a mirror and within seconds wipe that stuff off with these two cloths!! NO STREAKS. NO RESIDUE. NOTHING. That's how absorbent these cloths are.


The real hoax is that we've been brainwashed to think we have to disinfect every last thing and buy a zillion cleaning products to make our home "smell clean" - no matter the toxins, no matter the cost to our health and our wallets. These cloths are all about removing germs and dirt in a physical manner- by absorbing them. They truly do make something clean as they leave nothing behind (sponges and other cloths can't even come close to that.) Also, using these allows you to free up loads of space normally occupied by 10 different cleaners!

Why I Was Sold:

For years I slaved over keeping the front of my Bosch stainless steel dishwasher spot-free. I also slaved over keeping my greasy/olive oil covered stove-top clean and my Liebherr stainless steel fridge free of streaks. Also, in the bathrooms I have large black granite tiles (with a sheen) that show every streak. I had special cleaners for each job. But even then, it was nearly impossible to really get everything looking perfect. But by using these cloths with 100% water, I am telling you these items are absolutely SPOTLESS in literally seconds - grease and everything. They really, really are the best things I've used.

All of my Brooklyn friends now use these cloths, too. We are all OBSESSED. One of my best friends was so impressed with the product that she even started to sell the cloths as a company rep. I am telling you, they are THAT good.

So how do you buy them?

Order from my friend, Natalie Clay, by going to her website. The cloth company is called Norwex (a company from Norway) and they don't sell in stores, but through reps. Natalie is located in Brooklyn but can send the cloths to you anywhere. Here is the CLEANING CLOTH I use and here is the POLISHING CLOTH (or window cloth). You can buy them both at a discount here and I highly, highly recommend getting them both. And depending on the size of your house, you will want to have several. For my 2 bedroom, 1 1/2 bath apartment in Brooklyn, one polishing cloth was sufficient and about 4 cleaning cloths. But if you have a house, you may want to consider at least 2 polishing cloths and 6 cleaning cloths. You can also email Natalie directly for any questions or training and tips on how to use your new cloths (trust me, the training from her is worth it as it's a completely new way of doing things). She also hosts green cleaning events in Brooklyn where you can learn about other products and techniques for "greening" your home. You can contact her here to be put on the list for the next event.
What do you think of this? Intrigued or shocked? Grossed out?! Would you even consider cleaning with JUST WATER?!? I will admit, it's completely a mental adjustment. It took me awhile to get used to it. But now I'll never turn back. I even brought these cloths with me abroad. 

56 comments:

  1. I love norwex and have been using it for years! I love there dish clothes!

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    1. oh and there facecloths :)

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    2. Tanya - yes, the facecloths are awesome. i want to write about those, too...it's coming up soon. I'm so glad you like them. xo

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  2. Even Brian, who wouldn't notice if I dyed my hair green, is obsessed with these cloths—he won't use a regular one now and comments about them all the time. It amuses me greatly but also, I 100% agree.

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    1. I think it's about time Brian starts a new career selling all natural products. :)

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  3. I am so excited to read about this. I would like to order some cloths. How many cleaning cloths do you recommend having? Can they be washed in the washing machine, and how often do they need to be washed? Thanks!

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    1. I'm so glad you asked this question as I forgot to add that info. to the post (though I just added it above.) In my small 2 bedroom, 1 1/2 bath apartment in Brooklyn, 1 polishing cloth and 4 cleaning cloths were sufficient - and yes, they can be washed in the washing machine (though they recommend not using a chemical laced detergent). If you have a house with more bathrooms, you might want to consider at least 2 polishing cloths and about 6 cleaning cloths so you can rotate in and out of the laundry. Though know that they don't need to be washed daily or anything as the anti bacterial silver allows you to wash less frequently.

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  4. Mara, I loved this post and plan to try these cloths. I love your "natural" posts. I have been curious if you are still using only coconut oil to clean and moisturize your face and how that's been going. I am out of facial cleanser so have started using coconut oil. Do you wash it off with water, or wipe it off with a cloth? Seems like you said you also apply it to your face before you get in the shower. Another post on your natural beauty routine would be great! : )

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    1. Yes! I absolutely still use my coconut oil routine to clean and moisturize my face. I absolutely love it and still feel it's one of the best things I've done for my face. I read on Garance Doré's blog that her dermatologist told her that she shouldn't use ANY water on her face as it strips it and causes it to create more sebum. This made complete sense to me and made me realize that perhaps that is why the coconut oil routine works so well. It basically protects your face from any water or soap stripping your face. In the shower, the oil coats your face. I guess I have normally splashed a little water on it after massaging it around (which still doesn't remove the all the oil) but now, I'm going to be less active about using any water at all. And no - I don't wipe the oil off or anything. I just let it soak in to my skin. As for mascara - - you can either use the oil and then wipe the mascara off. But that is actually a little messy. SOOOO.....guess what? Norwex actually makes a face cloth that can be used to remove mascara! My friend says it's one of the best sellers. You do use a little water and yes, I've used it for mascara and it works GREAT!! I'm reminding myself now that I should use it again.

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    2. Thank you so much for your reply! I appreciate it.

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    3. Do you use an exfoliator on your face?

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    4. Yes - usually once a week I put some Acure exfoliator on my Clarisonic. You could also do the same thing with some baking soda. If I was a little more on top of things I'd probably do exfoliation twice a week. It does make my skin feel great. I follow that with some apple cider vinegar and then put coconut oil on my face again. Sometimes I'll use Badger antioxidant oil as well, just to mix things up. Though know that NONE of this would have done a thing for my skin if I had not gone off of dairy. That changed my skin completely. Pores became smaller. Acne COMPLETELY disappeared. Skin tone became more consistent. My skin just became smoother. I can practically go without wearing any make up and don't feel gross. I swear, deep wrinkles across my forehead and an overall sense of just looking aged seemed to disappear. I still have some of those lines, but they just don't seem to be as apparent. I'm usually shocked when I look in the mirror, and it's because my skin looks better to me, not worse. This is coming from someone who absolutely HATED my skin most of my life.

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    5. Mara, I'm not the brightness. I still have a hard time understanding your coconut oil/vinegar/etc face routine and would LOVE it if you could write an updated step by step with how often you wash with each product. Face washing for dummies :) thank you for the info!

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    6. I agree! I would to read more about your face routine. Thanks!

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    7. I'm curious too! I've been using the coconut oil for awhile now, but have been rinsing it off with a warm wash cloth so I'm going to try leaving it on to soak in. Do you use ACV after the coconut oil? any other moisturizer?

      I've also been curious to know if you have or still are, washing your hair wih baking soda and rinsing with ACV. If so, how?! Do you make the soda into a paste first? Do you leave the ACV in or rinse with water? I really want to try this but it still feels so foreign to me.

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    8. Agree, would love to read another post on this topic too!

      Does coconut oil do a good job removing makeup and dirt from your face?

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  5. I love Norwex and I agree with Tanya, the dish cloths are amazing! I have never been disappointed with any Norwex product and would totally recommend this brand.

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  6. Silver is incredible.. For the same reason, food bowls for babies and plates for children and grownups in India are traditionally made of silver. Not dishwasher safe though ;-)

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  7. LOVE these too…it has changed how I clean forever. I can clean EVERYTHING, and this is also how I dust. I do love the face cleaning rag they make too…and I swear it has helped with breaking out. I use that and then the coconut oil still. The only thing is don't dry the rags with like Bounce sheets or anything…I just air dry. It leaves a residue on them and I notice it especially with the purple polishing rag, it leaves streaks. If you accidentally do it, just rewash it.

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    1. Yes - thanks for mentioning that you shouldn't use dryer sheets with these. I forgot to write that. The dryer sheets coat everything with a film which will cause the cloths to not absorb as well. Dryer sheets are SO toxic and a fire hazard - they also ruin your dryer over time - so I am now only using wool dryer balls.

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  8. Couldn't do it. Need some sort of cleaning agent to actually sanitize toilets, bathroom, kitchen. Water doesn't cut it.

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    1. I"m with you...

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    2. Well let's hope that in public restrooms they are not only using water. I use microfiber clothes but use it with a cleaning agent and they work fantastic.

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    3. I use my cloth WITH water + dishwashing detergent + vinegar. It works for me - a 'smell' signal to my brain it's clean as well as visually (oh and I use a toliet brush too of course0.

      The second replier, I bet the public restrooms are no where near up to household standards... just saying! Who'd care that much?

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    4. Well that makes sense since you use it with other cleaning agents. Cleaning with water only will not disinfect or sanitize. Something might appear clean to the naked eye, but it actually will not be. For example, you can wipe poop off of surface with water and a cloth, and get it to "look" clean, but the bacteria will still be there festering. Cleaning shouldn't be about just getting things to "appear" clean, in certain places of your home, it should actually be about sanitizing them.

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  9. Very interested in this! What about on bathroom grout? And also how do you clean the toilet?

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    1. Yeah, even if you can wipe the outsides with cloth and just water how about inside the bowl..

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    2. For grout, you could use a tooth brush or baking soda and then still wipe it from there with the cloth. Natalie would also have some ideas.

      For the toilet, you really are supposed to be able to just use the cloth. You can put on rubber gloves. I only use the cloth and water for the outside of the toilet. For the inside, you could add some white vinegar to the water if you'd like. Or a tiny bit of Dr. Bronner's Castille Soap. It's a great, concentrated all purpose soap that you can have on hand for when you feel you might need a little soap.

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  10. http://m.theweek.com/article/index/99512/he-said-he-was-leaving-she-ignored-him. I know this isn't about cleaning, but I wondered if you'd read this. You'll love it.

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    1. Yes! We read it a year or two ago when it appeared in the NY Times. And we loved it of course. Very powerful, and I think Mara and I both identify a lot with the words she wrote and the experience that she had. I think we've even linked to it once or twice too....but thanks for sharing it here as well...it always deserves another pass around.

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  11. I love the idea of this! My dad is a pharmacist and when he qualified in the 70's he worked in a hospital for a few years. He always used to tell us how the whole place was cleaned with only water everyday and then if there were specific mess to clean (blood, vomit etc) the pharmacy would create a special sterile kit that would get thrown away after the area had been cleaned. Apparently hospitals were a lot cleaner!

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  12. What happen to the butter that was on the rag?

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    1. The grease/oil does get absorbed into the rag. If I was cleaning up a mess, what I do is rinse it with very hot water after and wring it out really well. It seems fine to go back for more cleaning. Though if it's really full of grease/oil, then it is just due for a washing.

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  13. no way....Ive looked under microscopes... a lot...give me bleach.....

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    1. It would be fascinating to look at a surface with a microscope before and after using one of the cloths.

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    2. http://www.wmcactionnews5.com/story/23517214/andy-will-it-work-norwex-antibac-microfiber-cloth?autostart=true

      Here is a link to someone who did just that!

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  14. I would love love love to use these cleaning cloths but would like to know for sure that they clean germs. Is there info that would let me know this? I don't need my house to be ultra crazy sanitized though. Thanks!

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    1. So the idea is the cloths actually absorb the germs, instead of leaving them on your counter or sink. It's a different way of thinking about it - instead of killing the germs on the surface, you actually soak up and remove the germs. When I went to a training about the cloths, they used a piece of raw chicken on a plate and then used the cloth to soak up all the juices. They then swabbed the plate and tested for any remains of protein or germs and there wasn't anything remaining.

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  15. Mara, would you use your cloth and only water to clean a gas station bathroom floor and then proceed to eat off of it? Would you use that same cloth to clean your kitchen counter? Do the germs really just stay inside the fiber?

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    1. Well, i prefer to not go near gas station bathrooms and I am sure if I was in charge of cleaning one of those I'd prefer to just gut the thing to the beams and put in everything brand new. But yes, I am told the germs and liquids do stay inside the fiber. The cloths are so absorbent they will soak up an entire bowl of water and leave it completely dry, so I am convinced they do hold onto what they soak up. Also, they say you can, indeed, use the cloth on a mess and then use it to then wipe your counter or whatever. They say to just rinse with hot water and wring well in between messes.

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  16. I am so intrigued by these cloths and this cleaning method! Also I'm smiling inside that your answers are always gracious and to the point.

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  17. This is actually pretty dangerous. Cleaning products are formulated to kill *deadly* bacteria and disease. My dad is a biologist who has been studying chemicals and so-called "organic" products since the 1970's - it's crucial that you don't live your life in an environment that not only invites germs, but creates a hospitable home for them. I once had a staph infection on my face (it was so embarrassing and disgusting for me, I hardly left the house for two months until the correct antibiotics worked), and also a wound on my leg from a dirt bike accident got infected to where the doctor told me if I had waited any longer to see him I would have developed gangrene... Again, only a tetanus shot and antibiotics cleared it up. Pretty serious stuff, bacteria... Remember the Black Plague? Just something to think about. Love your blog though!

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    1. Your opening point is really good. Cleaning products serve a really good purpose, other than the effectiveness of removing grease. Most contain anti bacterial properties that kill bacteria and other nasty things. Really useful when it comes to oven cleaning especially!

      Some of your tips on this blog are great but, keep Christina's comment in mind regarding the bacteria.

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    2. Thanks to both for the comments. I'm delighted you used modern medicine to keep yourself healthy and to avoid gangrenous amputation. :)

      Seriously, the things you suggest are wonderful! It's possible you misunderstood the nature of the post. I'm pretty sure we never suggested an individual not clean a wound after a dirt bike accident or use antibiotics when their health is threatened. Yes, bacteria is dangerous. Which is exactly why people have been using these heavy chemical cleaners for so long in their home (which have their own toxic impact on your health....it just takes longer than a bacteria to do it's job).

      The reason I would recommend you would use these clothes is specifically to prevent bacteria. How often does that sponge you use actually contain a cesspool of bacteria that we just end up spreading around on the counter? What is the absorbing capacity of the sponge or rag, so that when there is bacteria that needs to be cleaned up, it is actually removed with the quick pass of your hand?

      The whole point of these rags is to 1) provide super absorbency to make it more likely that you actually pick up the bacteria all around your kitchen and bathroom, and 2) actually kill the bacteria that gets super-absorbed into the rags so that you don't keep spreading it around as you clean.

      You were right to include ways in which we protect ourselves against infection, disease, and yes, even the black plague. Did you know that one of those ways is the use of silver? Did you know that pioneers who crossed the plains put silver in their water barrels to make sure the water kept fresh in all the traveling?

      Silver is one of nature's bacteria fighters.

      Those rags are woven with silver to do the same thing to your rag. Pretty cool huh?

      If someone doesn't feel comfortable eliminating the use of cleaners in the kitchen or bathroom, then find something to supplement to raise your comfort level. But it would probably be pretty great if you were at least able to reduce the use of those things by using the rags and water.

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    Microfiber Rags

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  19. This is so interesting to me. Coincidentally, a girl in my ward is having a Norwex party on Thursday. I'm excited to learn more. It would be so great if it actually works. I made some green cleaning supplies (mostly vinegar and essential oils) but if I didn't have to mix those up, it would be great!

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  20. I've never heard of such best natural cleaning ways so far. Very pleased to learn such awesome cleaning ways through reading this informative blog post!! Thanks for nice contribution.

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  21. Thanks for discuss.... Your publish is really very helpful

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  22. Great post! I am definitely going to try this out. Keep up the good work here!

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  23. Really cool! I love the tips! I am such a fan of natural cleaning! With this post you give me great ideas! Thanks!

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  24. I love your blog. Full stop. And my mum loves that I love it cause it’s got me cleaning!

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  25. Cleaning with a microfiber clothes and water.. That's impressive! I'll try it! Thank you for sharing!

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  26. It totally love cleaning with microfiber and I was just going to buy some microfiber cloths to replace the wash cloths I use to help me wash my face with oil.I will say that you should NOT wash your microfiber with your regular clothes. It will end up ruining them (and so will fabric softener)! I keep a bucket in my laundry room for my microfiber cloths and do a separate load every week or so. Thanks!

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  27. Are you sure that's enough? I'm a fan of microfiber cloths, but I doubt that cleaning only using them and water will disinfect.

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