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The Green Life: Book Review Wednesday: Home Cleaning

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August 11, 2010

Book Review Wednesday: Home Cleaning

Books about environmentalism Every Wednesday, we review a selection of new and upcoming books addressing a specific aspect of environmentalism. This week, we're recommending books about cleaning your home naturally and organically.

Radical Homemakers (by Shannon Hayes, $24, Left to Write Press, Mar. 2010): A self-proclaimed “radical homemaker,” Hayes offers advice, instructions, and anecdotes in this informative book about “reclaiming domesticity from a consumer culture.” This book focuses on the people around the country who make their homes and families their top priorities. Hayes explores domesticity as a creative, political, and environmental movement by way of research, interviews, and motivating personal stories.

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Green Cleaning (by Mary Findley and Linda Formichelli, $15, Alpha, March 2009): This ideal green-cleaning handbook impressively details how to naturally care for every room and appliance. The authors include instructions for how to read product labels, list the types of ingredients and tools needed for effective cleaning, provide tips about sanitizing and sprucing up household spaces (including the garage, car, attic, and patio), and a complete stain-removal guide.

Clean Home Green Home (by Kimberly Delaney, $20, Globe Pequot Press, Sept. 2008): This illustrated guide features recipes for homemade cleaning solutions, advice about how to clean every room in your house, tips to help you decipher the ingredients on store-bought products, and more than 450 color photos. Handy lists such as the “Natural Stain Removal Kit” and “Essential Oil Benefits” offer information in an easy-to-grasp format.

Nontoxic Housecleaning (by Amy Kolb Noyes, $8, Chelsea Green Publishing, Sept. 2009): For anyone watching their cleaning budget, this pocket-sized book is an ideal companion. The author includes information about common cleaning ingredients as well as no-nonsense recipes for cleansers made with kitchen items such as baking soda and vinegar. Recipes include “Fabulous No-Rinse Floor Cleaner,” “Essential Antibacterial Spray,” and “Minty Tub Scrub.”

Naturally Clean (by Jeffrey Hollender, $18, New Society Publishers, Feb. 2006): Hollender, the president of Seventh Generation, compiled this book to help families stay away from toxic chemicals found in common cleaners and make the switch to natural or organic products. Although this book is full of helpful charts and valuable information, it's not set up as a quick reference guide; rather, it's meant to be read through and almost has a textbook feel.

--Kristin Baldwin

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