Fall Cleaning is the New Spring Cleaning

October 9, 2013

Scrubber. By The Honest Co.

This post brought to you by The Honest Company. Receive a Free Trial Kit so you can try the products yourself!

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By Gabrielle. 

You can totally ignore the title of this post. I don’t actually think it’s true. But it happens to be true in my life this year! Remember how when we moved into The Treehouse it was fully furnished? Well, we ended up combining our clearing-things-out-for-Goodwill with a thorough deep cleaning — emptying the kitchen shelves and wiping them out, washing the exterior windows, vacuuming out the closets, scrubbing the baseboards, stuff like that. I think even if the house had been empty when we moved in, I would have wanted to dive in with a deep clean anyway. There’s something about thoroughly cleaning a space that makes it feel like your own!

When my friends at The Honest Company heard we’d bought a house, they sent a welcome home package stocked with their eco-friendly cleaning supplies. And I was so grateful! I had tried some of their samples (like their healing balm) during Alt Summit in January (remember when I met Jessica Alba?!), but this was a chance to really try out their products in a deep cleaning scenario.

I especially liked the idea of using the move as a clean slate and starting from scratch with only non-toxic products in the house. I know it can be hard to throw out half-used products — even if they’re harmful. It feels like waste! So this was the perfect chance to start fresh.

Honest actually carries a pretty wide line of products — far bigger than I had originally guessed, and growing every day. At first I thought they focused on diapers and baby shampoos, but they also offer bath & body products, cleaning supplies, even vitamins. For those of you who are in the midst of your own seasonal scrub downs, here are some of my favorites among their cleaning supplies:

Design Mom's Favorite Cleaning Products from The Honest Co.

1) Laundry Pods. I love these pods. No drips or powdery mess.
2) Dish Brush. Happy pop of color!
3) Dish Soap. Lots of suds. White grapefruit is my favorite scent.
4) Multi-Surface Cleaner. We use it on counters, cupboards, dining chairs, and on and on.
5) Scrubber Sponges. Made from walnut shells and recycled plastic.
6) Floor Cleaner. No bucket of water required because it’s rinse-free. So easy — and good on the wood floors we uncovered!
7) Rinse Aid. Add it to your dishwasher for sparkly clean (chemical free!) glasses.

If you’re wanting to start fresh with your own cleaning supplies, the Honest Collections are a really smart way to go — you can get all the essentials bundled at a discount!

I’d love to hear: how do you handle a half used bottle of a product you don’t love? Are you one of those people that feels compelled to use every last drop of shampoo, every spritz of window cleaner, before you can open a new bottle or tube? Or can you dispose of, recycle and move on without a second thought? Ben Blair is great at cutting his losses and moving on when a product isn’t working for him. But I often feel compelled to use it up, even if I don’t like it much — that fear of waste is so strong! I swear my ability to squeeze one more use of toothpaste out of a empty-looking tube is practically legendary among my kids. : )

P.S. — If you’re ready to jump in and detox your house, Design Mom readers can get $10 off a minimum purchase of $40 using the code DM10off40.* Or, if you’re feeling wary about trying something new, why not order one of their Free Trial Kits? All you pay is shipping.

* Applies to U.S. and Canadian residents only (one per customer).Valid for first-time orders only. Expires October 18, 2013.

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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Amy3 October 9, 2013 at 10:49 am

I’m totally a use-it-up sort of person – leftovers, cleaning products, beauty products, everything. I know this comes from my dad who takes thriftiness to new heights. I’m nowhere near his level, but I do abhor waste.

That said, I also detest using products I know are harmful so I like the idea that you can get a household’s worth from Honest. I’ll have to check it out.

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2 Connie October 9, 2013 at 11:14 am

I am in the use-it-up camp. If it’s something like a household cleaner, I will probably clean the house more than normal just to get through it faster! :) And if it’s a shampoo/bodywash/face soap I don’t care for, I will put it in the guest bathroom in case we either a.) run out of our favorite stuff to tide us over or b.) appear extremely thoughtful to a guest who might not have remembered to bring all those things.

I live close to my parents and sister, so I will also call them up and ask if it’s a brand they use, because then they can have it! (that has worked out in both of our favors on more than one occasion!)

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3 Design Mom October 9, 2013 at 11:54 am

Your Guest Bath comment made me laugh. : )

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4 Jen H October 9, 2013 at 11:22 am

I have the dish brush with the ceramic dish and love it! I use it to scrub dishes and the sink and it works awesome to clean sippy cup lids. I may have to buy more for gifts. Bonus: its cute!

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5 Design Mom October 9, 2013 at 11:54 am

Isn’t it great? And good-looking too.

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6 Megan flowers October 9, 2013 at 11:48 am

Just got my first shipment from Honest! I am loving the products. I got bubble bath, dish soap, laundry detergent and body lotion. So far everything is great! I can’t wait for my next months bundle! I think I’ll add the dish brush. I was curious about that!

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7 Tara October 9, 2013 at 12:12 pm

This actually reminds me…
I was in our Goodwill thrift store a couple weeks ago, and I noticed they had an entire section of this sort of thing.

3/4 bottle of Windex, Bath and Body Works lotion that was mostly full, and all other sorts of cleaning and personal care type bottles at a discount. I’ll admit, I thought it was a bit strange, but I suppose this might be a great compromise for someone not wanting to throw these items out, you might be able to donate it.

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8 Design Mom October 9, 2013 at 1:35 pm

I don’t think I’ve ever seen that at a Goodwill before. I’m so glad to know!

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9 Brimful October 9, 2013 at 12:30 pm

I recently finished using all our half-filled bottles of shampoo and lotion…felt so good!! For the ones I’ve grown bored of, I too, let guests use them :P. I also wash out the sample containers I get from Sephora and fill those with lotions I’m not loving anymore. Then on weekend trips, they come in really handy!

I signed up with the Honest Company since the first week they opened in January 2012 and have been nothing but over-the-top pleased with their products and customer service! The diapers are fabulous and the wipes continue to improve (they were not so great at first). My favorite product right is the lip balm…it’s seriously fantastic! Anyone undecided on Honest Co. should just try it…you will not be disappointed.

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10 Ellen October 9, 2013 at 12:59 pm

Oh my gosh, I thought I was the only one! I am borderline neurotic about using every last drop of something: flattening toothpaste tubes down to nothing and contorting the top of the top so every last particle comes out, cutting open containers of lotion, conditioner, shampoo and scraping the sides with a silicone spatula, etc. so I can use it all. I get a weird sense of satisfaction from it all. I don’t have too many unused cleaning products and it’s hard for anything cleaning related not to eventually get used. Luckily, most cleaning products have a very long shelf life so they can wait to be useful….

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11 Nicole L October 9, 2013 at 1:27 pm

I’m absolutely a use-it-up’er, but if I *really* dislike something I have been known to freecycle – someone somewhere will use it to clean something! Waste sucks, especially when it’s something you’ve only recently paid for.

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12 Design Mom October 9, 2013 at 1:37 pm

Sometimes I forget about Freecycle. In New York, I used it a ton. I loved it! Here, we tend to use Craig’s List instead. Smart way to put things in the hands of those who can use them.

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13 Jenny Bailey October 9, 2013 at 1:32 pm

I am totally a use-it-up type for cleaning products, as long as it does the job. But I draw the line when it comes to food. My mom used to make me mix cereal so none went stale or got thrown out. I ate many bowls of things like half-frosted flakes and half-fruit loops in my childhood (it was the 80′s and we weren’t exactly shopping at a farmer’s market). It was disgusting so I tend to let things like that slide.

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14 Design Mom October 9, 2013 at 1:39 pm

Hah! The cereal story made me chuckle. Made me wonder what stories my kids will tell about my quirks. Lots to choose from. : )

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15 julie October 9, 2013 at 2:20 pm

I’m enjoying a good Fall Cleaning, and it goes along with reorganizing my “stuff”- 25 years of living in the same house brings lots of accumulation. I sometimes envy people who move alot and don’t have to dredge and purge like this, but it feels good to be getting it done. http://mikedumascopperdesigns.com/blog/

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16 Elaine October 9, 2013 at 3:59 pm

Our county waste management service in Southern California has several hazardous waste centers where you can drop off half-used hazardous waste products like paint, cleaners, fertilizer, etc (obviously because chemicals like cleaning products are not supposed to be dumped down the drain!!) as well as other items like broken appliances and electronics. County residents can then come and pick up these half-used cleaning products for free! It’s a win-win because you get to drop off stuff you aren’t using/don’t like and pick up another product you will use/want to try, and someone else can use that half bottle. I imagine there are similar services in other counties, especially in the Bay Area – look it up on your local waste management website under “household hazardous waste” or something similar. For some reason, some counties advertise hazardous waste drop-off but don’t mention that you can pick up items as well, so if that’s the case, just ask!

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17 Design Mom October 9, 2013 at 6:51 pm

I love that kind of information, Elaine! I had no idea. Thank you so much for sharing.

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18 Jennifer October 9, 2013 at 4:21 pm

I am totally a user upper! When we got married my husband, as a bachelor previously, had bought a million bottles of everything from Costco. So I’ve been using each one up bit by bit and then filling gaps with homemade safer options (just made another batch of the Duggar’s laundry detergent recipe (first time in eleven months) and that’s even after nine months of cloth diapering!

Wondering, did it feel great to fall clean the house finally after moving in? I know a good deep clean always helps restore part of my chaotic brain!

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19 Design Mom October 9, 2013 at 6:52 pm

Oh for sure. It felt SO good. And it was a practical way to get to know some of the quirks of our new house as well.

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20 Christine October 9, 2013 at 6:46 pm

Love the post about fall cleaning. This is SO true. As the season changes here in Texas, we find that we have to do Fall cleaning to clear out ragweed and other allergens around the house. Definitely a “twice-yearly” chore.

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21 jen October 9, 2013 at 9:31 pm

the “fear of waste” is very strong in me too :)
my husband on the other hand has no problem throwing anything out!

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22 Heidi October 9, 2013 at 10:40 pm

I definitely feel the need to use up cleaning products. I currently have 4 half-bottles of cleaner in my laundry room. I recently found a home for it. There is a family resource center in a nearby city that has facilities that need cleaning and are open to taking my cleaning-product trial-and-errors, and are happy to use them up!

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23 Kassandra October 10, 2013 at 5:59 am

I used up then replaced with homemade. It’s a very feasible option that can be done in 10 minutes on the cheap. I find that I just can’t afford all the store bought safe stuff so I save the expense put out for things I really want. (like fancy castille soap just for me) Vinegar is my best friend. Looking for a reasonably priced item that will break my addition to clorox wipes. Small children will be starting chores and there is no way I’m handing out spray bottles and rags.

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24 kathleen October 10, 2013 at 10:14 pm

I put products that don’t work for our house in our town’s Free box or take them to toxic clean up day every scoring. Ahhhhhh

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25 Design Mom October 12, 2013 at 1:07 pm

I’ve never heard of a town “Free Box” — sounds brilliant!

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26 Ann October 12, 2013 at 9:36 am

I’ve been an honest fan for a while. Has anyone tried their window cleaner? Seriously magic in a bottle. I can’t stop cleaning windows

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27 Design Mom October 12, 2013 at 1:07 pm

I still haven’t tried their window cleaner, but you have me convinced to order a bottle!

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28 Katie October 14, 2013 at 8:32 pm

Gabrielle,
Please, please don’t post any more endorsements of the Honest Co. They’re been just terribly bullying of another great Mom blogger like yourself, Honest Toddler. Many people are completely boycotting Honest Co and Jessica Alba (myself among them) and I want to keep reading your site so much, but cannot support something that supports them! I just know you wouldn’t support the kind of big-corporate legal bullying they’ve undertaken. Look into it?
Katie

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29 Design Mom October 14, 2013 at 9:45 pm

Hi Katie! I hadn’t heard about the legal action between the two until someone mentioned it on my instagram stream today. I looked it up, but the first few articles that came up for me were really one-sided, so I moved on. (If you’ve come across a balanced report, I’d definitely like to read it.)

I don’t feel like I wholly understand the situation, and I definitely don’t feel like I’ve heard both sides, so I can’t form an educated opinion yet. But I will say my experience with The Honest Co. has been nothing but professional and friendly, and the products have worked wonderfully for me. The blogger Honest Toddler is new to me, though I’m sure she’s a lovely person, and I wouldn’t wish legal trouble on anyone.

Back in the day, Kirtsy, a site I founded with two friends, was named Sk*rt. An existing publication with a similar name took legal action against us leading us to change the name. It definitely felt like bullying at the time, and dear friends and fellow bloggers wrote amazing posts in our defense. But our lawyers advised us they had a legally solid case, and from my perspective now, I can see that they did.

I have no idea if the situation is similar in the honest toddler/honest co. case, and again, I wouldn’t want to form an uneducated opinion — because as a blogger, of course I’m going to feel biased for the blogger, even if the corporation has a legally solid claim. From what I’ve read so far, I still feel comfortable telling readers about my favorite products from The Honest Co.

Thank you for voicing your very valid concerns! I’m so glad you felt comfortable doing so.

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30 CJ October 15, 2013 at 7:35 pm

I just got my second box from Honest Company and I cannot say enough how much I love their products.
http://50thingsbeforeiturn50.com/2013/10/15/october-honest-box/

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