Burt’s Bees Renewal Line Review

When I was younger I had no clue what to do with my skin and how important it was to take care of it. My best friend’s mom had her following a routine probably well before I knew her. From that experience I had a clue that I should be doing more than I was, which was nothing, but I had no clue where to start. I just left my skin be and only cleansed it in the shower with whatever we had. That did not really change much, other than I did make the effort to remove makeup.

In graduate school, however, I met a friend’s wife who was a resident dermatologist at the time. It did not take long before someone asked her a skin related question and her only response was, “I’m off duty ladies, but the advice I give everyone wanting to have beautiful skin for life… wear sunscreen everyday all over, at the very least SPF 30 on your face, neck and chest, and develop a skincare routine.” She then changed the subject and no one asked her about her work ever again.

It was only then, that I finally started trying. I went to Target the next day to look at skincare. It was an overwhelming and horrifying experience with all the moisturizers, toners, cleansers, serums, etc. to choose from. I found a sunscreen and a daily facial cleanser that I felt suited my needs and called it a day after nearly 2 hours of reading product labels and listening in to what folks were saying in the aisle.

It took 3 more years before I got into a routine of cleansing, protecting and moisturizing both in the morning and at night. At first I focused a lot on the face, neck and chest region when it came to protecting from the Sun. Of course after having skin removed that my doctor was concerned over, that changed to all of my skin.

Since moving to New York state a year ago, I have been using most of the Burt’s Bees Renewal line and I really like what I am seeing and feeling.

  • I have a lot less acne. Mostly just hormonal acne is what I am seeing now.
  • My under eye skin is brighter.
  • I see my skin getting plumper and smoother.
  • My skin stopped getting dried out over the night.

I have the face wash, daily lotion with SPF, eye cream and night cream. I use them according to the instructions and I do not have any negative feedback about the products. The only things I use in addition to these is castor oil on my brows in hopes they will grow and the Trader Joe’s face mask maybe once a month.

Overall, I do not spend much time on my face thanks to these products, therefore in my opinion they are quality products and so affordable compared to what many ladies are spending at the makeup counter in Macy’s or Dillards. I prefer to just have the morning and evening routine which are between 5-10 min.

Have you tried them? Any products you recommend?

Curly Girl Method

The past 5 years I have been trying to be more natural with my hair. It is wavy, sometimes almost curvy. I did not realize, or accept, until graduate school that I have textured hair. I just thought I have incredibly frizzy hair, especially in humid weather. My memories are of it being a total nightmare. However, most of my friends would compliment my hair. So it was more just in my head, as it is for everyone.

Truth, my hair was so frizzy because I was brushing, blow drying and straightening my textured hair. I did not know how to care for my hair. Although, I am learning how to care for it, slowly. I figured out that heat and brushing is terrible for it while I lived in Chicago and I started using more natural hair products too. I just do not know what techniques to use…

Thus comes in the Curly Girl Method Handbook which is so far teaching me that I had a lot of the right ideas in mind, but yes my technique was off. My hair is healthier because of the efforts I made in using natural products and cutting off the damaging heat and brushing rituals. I have not been scrunching enough, cupping my hair in my hand and squishing it up toward my scalp. I also need a hair cut, at least twice a year instead of my once a year habit.

I also may be thinking about a trip to a salon rather than where ever is cheapest. I have never been much for going to the salon, it always just seemed like an over priced experience. Friends in Chicago who go regularly to the salon told me of prices $75+ and they paid that every couple months… that is just too much. I feel like if I have healthy hair, I should not need to get my hair cut or treated that often. Also, natural stuff should never be that expensive.

Now that I am on the right track to healthier waves, I just have to figure out the cut that is best for my hair.

 

First Period With Only A Menstrual Cup

Warning (if the title was not enough of a warning): I will be talking about my cycle. This post will even include talk about period fluid, blood. You have been warned.

A couple weeks ago I had my cycle (YAY!) and I was finally out of all the disposable feminine products I purchased from before I lost my cycle for 2 years. During those 2 years, I learned a lot about the waste problems we have here in the states and how the feminine products I had been using can effect my health. As much as I want to rant about how companies and corrupt people want to make money regardless of what is best for the environment and people, I will not because this post is not about that. My point is that I decided to change up my period game.

I quickly learned about menstrual cups and knew I wanted to give them a try. There are SO many options for menstrual cups. From researching Amazon reviews, YouTube videos and the product websites, I had a good idea that I wanted to try LENA Sensitive Cup:

  • Reusable for up to 10 years. Considering I used 20 tampons, 7 overnight pads and also 30 panty liners (thanks to lousy Playtex tampons) on average during my last few cycles, that is a lot less waste. Oh and do not forget these products come with wrappers and/or applicators.
  • Affordable, only $24.90 for a product that could last up to 10 years if I care for it properly. I have spent thousands of dollars on disposable feminine products since I got my first period around 12 years old.
  • Made in the USA. Supporting my economy and jobs for my fellow citizens.
  • Designed for sensitive anatomies. TMI ALERT! My vagina is VERY sensitive. I could feel my IUD strings moving in my vagina for over a year after getting it. Tampon removal when not complete soaked felt like I was ripping out my insides. There are few laundry detergents I can use on my panties without my vagina becoming irritated. Seeing reviews where women described similar issues with sensitivity and that they loved this product had me sold.

I used it from day one without panty liners, pads or period panties. I had mixed feelings the first day, but then day 2 changed it things to a very positive experience. Let me break down the experience by day:

  • Day 1.
    • I noticed my Basil Body Temperature decreased that morning and when I went to the bathroom, sure enough I had some spotting on the toilet paper I wiped with. So I inserted the cup for the first time and it was easier than I thought.
    • Peeing was interesting, it was like my urinary tract was pinched. I could still pee, but it was slow. There was a similar issue with pooping. Sounded like some, but not all experienced this according to menstrual cup reviews.
    • I had to do a lot of testing. Since I have an IUD, I want to make sure I am properly breaking the suction. In order for me to break the suction I have slide my finger up farther than the directions state. I read a lot of comments from women who dislodge their IUDs because of not releasing the suction. When I told my doctor I wanted to use a menstrual cup, they said, “GREAT! But a word of caution, make sure to have released the suction. It is not proven, but there appears to be a link to IUD issues and menstrual cup suction. For instance, the FemmyCycle cup should not be used while you have an IUD since it uses suction to draw in your blood.”
    • I irritated my vagina because I emptied the cup too often. So I gave myself a short break before wearing it to bed.
  • Day 2.
    • I could not believe how comfortable it was to sleep with. It did not leak and I did not feel it at all. I inserted it right before bed and then emptied it as soon as I woke up.
    • There was no smell. I always had some sort of abandoned meat market smell with my feminine products since I first got my period. It was part of what make me feel gross. When YouTube videos mentioned the lack of smell since the blood is not able to oxidize without the exposure to air. I was like, “REALLY?! Well scientifically, that makes sense.” Really, no smell.
    • No nasty, brown, clotty blood either, without exposure to air the blood will not oxidize and turn brown.
    • It was the heaviest day of my flow and I had to work standing for 5.5 hours straight. I did not leak, though my menstrual cup was more than half way full. You just need to empty it more often when you have a heavier day of your cycle. Thankfully, I made it through the full work day because this part time job has a disgusting bathroom.
    • I had some minor cramping just before bed and I am not sure if the cup contributed to me.
  • Day 3.
    • Slept with it in again. No leaking and comfortable.
    • As I stated on Day 1, I seem to have the issue of the cup straining/pinching my going to the bathroom. I was able to poop with it in, but it was slow and a bit uncomfortable. I experienced the same issues when I used tampons.
    • Made it through another work day without any leaking. At least it was a medium flow day.
    • Showered with it in, no issues there. It is not like it absorbs liquid so I just washed as usual.
    • I just really love that I do not stink. Usually, I feel like I need to bath my privates a lot or wet wipe every trip to the bathroom. It in like I am not on my period in this sense.
  • Day 4.
    • Another comfortable night sleeping without leaks.
    • 3rd work day standing for 5.5 hours without leaks or issues.
    • This was a light day so it was easier to take breaks from wearing the cup. When I took breaks I just used toilet paper in my panties, FYI or in case you were wondering.
    • This seemed to be the last day of my cycle. I only had a little spotting the following day.

Overall, I love it. I recommend it if you too are tired of spending so much money on feminine products or worrying if you have enough or generating so much waste. Though, I plan to get period panties or reusable pads as well because I think my vagina is just sensitive and needs to be able to take a break. Otherwise, that was the best period I have had in my life!

Natural Product Review: Burt’s Bees lotion

Around the age of 23, I was told by a dermatologist to wear sunscreen everyday for maintaining healthy skin as I age. Ever since then I have made it a priority to wear sunscreen. I started off using regular sunscreen and then moved to sunscreen labelled that it is for your face. All of which was Neutrogena because I bought into their clean, healthy marketing.

When I turned 30, I knew I needed something meant for older skin, but still wanted something that would not break the bank. A lot of stuff out there is $20+ or even $90+ and one container lasts maybe a month. Luckily I found this Burt’s Bees Renewal Firming Day Lotion and so far so good!

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Pros

  • No sunburns. Essential for a day time lotion that should protect your skin.
  • The formula. The previous sunscreens I used made my face quite greasy looking on warmer days in the summer and this leaves my skin with a more natural sheen to it.
  • It has a nice scent.
  • Affordability. $15 for 2 oz that has lasted 6 months. This price use to make me cringe, but now I know it is great for a daily moisturizer for aging skin. I have found Olay products were a lot more pricier than this.
  • Accessibility. Available at Walgreens, Target, Meijer and Amazon, but I have seen it in some local natural stores as well.
  • Cruelty free. No animals were harmed in the making of this product.

Cons

  • Needs time to absorb. Apply your makeup too soon and it will look cakey. Usually fine if I doing one task in between, like brush my teeth or put in my contacts.
  • Unsure about every claim it makes. I am not sure it makes my skin look firmer or more youthful because I do not think my skin had shown those signs of aging yet.

Natural Product Review – Oil Cleansers

In my efforts to switch up my products for more natural ones, I tried a oil cleanser for my face wash. I have been using an oil cleanser since January or February.  I started with the Shea Moisture Peace Rose Complex Sensitive Skin Facial Cleansing Oil. Then in May I decided to try Burt’s Bees Cleansing Oil. I really did not know what to expect initially.

The skin on my face is the opposite of the skin of the rest of my body, in that it has always been oily. At times, VERY oily. I have always had to deal with acne, especially when I eat poorly (indulging too often in things that cause me digestive issues). I had been using a cream cleanser from Neutrogena and initially it was the greatest thing I even used and kept my acne pretty calm… until I lost weight.

I am not sure why, but when I lost weight in 2015, my face was cleaner when I used nothing. However, my face would be extremely greasy and feel kind of rough. While researching natural products, I saw a lot of positive and surprising things about oil cleaning. So I looked at my new favorite brand Shea Moisture to see if they had one, and they did.

Pros Shea Moisture Peace Rose Complex Sensitive Skin Facial Cleansing Oil

  • My skin was clear.
  • My skin was soft.
  • It has a nice scent. It smells like roses, but that does not continue after rinsing.

Cons Shea Moisture Peace Rose Complex Sensitive Skin Facial Cleansing Oil

  • For the first time ever my face was dry. I actually felt like my face needed lotion after I washed it. I have an exfoliating brush for my face, which I had been using nightly until starting to use this cleanser. That brush with this cleanser made my skin peel.
  • Get it in your eyes and it will burn for a while. Within the first month of using it I accidentally got it too close to my eye. OUCH! My eye was burning and blood shot until the next day.
  • It does not help remove makeup. Some folks boasted about how great a makeup remover it is and it just did not do that for me. I even wear washable makeup. This made me question how much it really does for my skin.

I had decided to repurchase when I ran out. Unfortunately, Target was out of stock when I needed more cleanser. I saw in the recommended section though that Burt’s Bees has one. I love the Burt’s Bees daytime facial lotion I use so I gave it a try.

Pros Burt’s Bees Cleansing Oil

  • Little to no scent. Better no scent than a bad scent.
  • My skin remained soft.
  • My skin did not feel dry.

Cons Burt’s Bees Cleansing Oil

  • Still not helpful with removing makeup.
  • My acne returned with a vengeance when I used it with the Shea Moisture oil cleanser. When Target restocked, I ordered the Shea Moisture again and thought to use the Shea Moisture in the morning since I need to apply my daytime lotion afterwards and this one at night. Ha. That has stopped. Oh man is my skin not happy.

What to do now?

I am not sure. I have mixed feelings. Do I go back to using the Shea Moisture? Do I give my skin a break? I just hate having half used products, so I am probably going to try to use it all up, but one product at a time. Also, I miss that tingly feeling my old cleanser gave me. Though I know it may have been a lie to make me feel like it was doing something for me.

Natural product review – Everyone Lotion

To remind readers, I have been looking for more natural products to use on my body and home. Meaning I do not want there to be toxins like aluminum, formaldehyde, parabens, phthalates, paraffin, sulfates, synthetic fragrances, petroleum, triclosan, polyethylene glycol, ammonia, chlorine, sodium hydroxide, etc.. I have chosen to do so because I have always been sensitive to the use of many household products and have recently experienced a lot of hormonal issues. My doctor recommended I change up the products I use on myself and around my home to help with the imbalance we were seeing in my blood tests. I also feel an environmental responsibility to make better choices in product formula and packaging.

Whole Foods recently had an amazing sale on the lotion I have been using (40% off of $9.99 for 32 oz., which is the same price you can find it for at Target). I thought since I am loving it enough to buy 2 bulk bottles like I am stocking up then I should share it in this month’s natural product review.

I have been using Everyone 3-in-1 Lotion in the scent Coconut + Lemon for 8 months now and I really like it. I selected this brand particularly because I wanted to find something that could replace not just my body lotion, but my facial moisturizer to minimize the number of products around and my partner’s lotion. We both have extremely dry skin, but I am better about applying lotion regularly and therefore not letting my lotion go bad. I choose a scented lotion at first since I knew I would be testing out the first bottle solo.

Cons

  • Needs extra absorption time in the Summer. I apply lotion right after I shower and when I change out of my pajamas in the morning. In the Summer, there is actually some humidity in the air here. So it takes a bit more time and/or rubbing in for the lotion to fully absorb.
  • Sometimes you need to reapply in one day. Though the winter was mild this year, I still found myself needing to reapply before bed around my elbows and knees.
  • The Lavender + Aloe scent is bad. I did try each scent that was available at Whole Foods before repurchasing during the sale earlier this month. While I knew I loved the Coconut + Lemon and I found the Mint + Coconut and Unscented to be lovely, the Lavender + Aloe was strong like Axe body spray on a pubescent boy. I washed my hands multiple times, but my partner could still smell it on my hands when I returned home hours later. He did not like it either.

Pros

  • The formula. We both like the smooth feel and lack of residue it leaves. We used Vaseline brand lotions prior, while they kept us feeling well moisturized all day long and sometimes until the next shower we felt sticky at time and noticed residue would rub off us onto our keyboards, desks, chairs, etc. The Everyone 3-in-1 lotion leaves us feeling soft and comfortable once it absorbs.
  • I really can use it on my face. Though I use an SPF lotion in the morning to protect my skin from sunlight, this has been the best night time lotion I have ever used. I have pretty oily skin on my face (the exact opposite of the skin around the rest of my body) and this lotion seems to have helped with my overnight greasy face problem. My skin looks some what matte in the morning. O_O Never did I think that could be possible. I feel this proves their claim that it is for any skin type.
  • Simplicity. It replaces 3 items that cost us twice the price of this one item. Thankfully it works for both of us too!
  • Affordability. $9.99 for 32 oz that has lasted for 8+ months (I am still working on that first bottle) is pretty fantastic! I am curious how often Whole Foods might have this product on sale, but I figured buy two 32 oz bottles at such a low price while I can. Now that I am sharing it with my partner we will have not trouble using them before they go bad.
  • Accessibility. Available at Target, Bed Bath & Beyond and Whole Foods, but I have seen it in a some local natural stores as well.
  • Cruelty free. No animals were harmed in the making of this product.

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Natural Product Review – Shea Moisture Mascara

Sorry if you do not use makeup, but this is a product I really have fallen for and want to review it. I have to say, this is the most difficult beauty item to change for me. Mascara is something I have struggled with the idea of living without (I mean… I know I could, but I just do not want to). I use mascara 5-6 days a week and am strict about replacing mine every 3 months, especially after seeing friends get sties and pink eye from using questionably old eye makeup. Three months for using one tube of mascara is what my eye doctor recommends and seems to be the general consensus in the beauty community.

However, finding a natural mascara without all the junk for less than $10 is difficult. Most are over $10 and for how often I buy mascara, that is just not budget friendly. After narrowing down the natural mascara options due to price (which left less than 10 to chose from), I thought about what I really loved most about the Maybelline mascara I had been using for the past 8+ years.

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Top: with makeup, Bottom: no makeup

My natural lashes are ok, but I really like how my eyes look with more voluminous lashes. Since my hair is dark brown, I use black shades to help them stand out even more. I also appreciate a formula that never flakes because having your cheeks dusted with black specks is not cute.

After reading a lot of reviews and hemming and hawing over the 2-3 options I had to choose from, I purchased the Shea Moisture Absolute Volumizing Mascara in black. I figured Shea Moisture got it so right with my shampoo, how could they go horribly wrong with makeup. So far, no regrets! Here are my pros and cons:

Cons

  • Silicone brush/wand. I know some ladies love them, but I do not. I have sort of become use to it, but honestly I still prefer a bristle brush.
  • Ball tip. The ball tipped wands seem to hold a lot more product than you need so they really just make you a gloopy mess.
  • Not as much volume as my old mascara. I realize it is better for me and it does improve the volume of my lashes, but I do not get ladies asking me where I get such natural looking fake lashes from anymore. Sad.
  • The brush of the Ultra Curl and Define mascara from Shea Moisture is the WORST. One time, my subscription of the volumizing mascara could not fulfilled since they were out of stock. So I opted to try the other mascara from Shea Moisture and that brush… messy is the best way to put it. I had to clean up so many smudges and my lashes clumped together a lot. I looked like Raggedy Ann. So much lash coaming needed. I used it for 2 weeks and pulled the wand from my old tube out, washed and disinfected it throughly and switched the wands. I feel like the formula must be the same and it is just the brushes that are different.

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Pros

  • The formula/look it provides. I like how smooth and thick the formula is, so I can get the added volume I like. It also does not flake, or at least it has not done that to me. There was one comment I read where they stated it flaked.
  • Affordability. With the subscription online at Target (so that I have it automatically delivered to me every 3 months) it costs $8.62, which is the cheapest natural mascara I have found.
  • Accessibility. Always available at Target and Ulta, but I have seen it in a few other stores as well.
  • Cruelty free. No animals were harmed in the making of this product.

Natural Product Review – Keeping Your Home Smelling Fresh

I like many folks like to keep my home smelling fresh, ESPECIALLY because I workout at home and do not want it to smell like a gym. Also, with the long, intense winters around the Great Lakes region you do not get a lot of chances to air out your place for months. I have been trying to do this more naturally a few different ways using candles and essential oils. Although, keeping your home smelling fresh naturally could be as easy as picking up a pre-made room spray from a natural store like Whole Foods.

I chose to creating my own thing since a lot of the pre-made, natural room sprays I found were too similar to my perfume choices. I prefer to not blend in with the scent of my home.

Essential oils

I use essential oils in several ways:

  • If I need an invigorating shower I apply a few drops of eucalyptus oil to the floor before I start my shower. This is fantastic if you are sick, since eucalyptus is the scent of Vicks.
  • In the winter, I add it to the water in the humidifier. By morning, our bed room smells like rosemary. You could also get a diffuser.
  • I create my own room spray using water (8 oz.), rubbing alcohol (1.5 oz.) and essential oil of choice (15 drops). I really like the more herbal scents around the house, though I throw lemon or cedar in there to help with keeping bugs away.

I have found all of these options to be great! Yes, it takes more work to assemble the spray, but small bottles of essential oils take up much less space AND both Target and Meijer started having them on their shelves for very reasonable prices! The ones I have been buying are Natures Truth and they seem to run about $6.99 per bottle which lasts me quite a while since one drop goes a long way. Often find them on sale too. The same essential oils in other brands can run you anywhere from $8.99 to $24.99… ouch.

Scented candles

This are quite simple, select a scent, place it the middle of the room and light the candle. However, I have found some brands to be better than others.

  • My absolute favorite ones come from this woman at the farmer’s market who has a lavender farm. She makes her own essential oil, teas, beauty products, candles and more with the lavender she grows. She uses soy to make her candles because its plentiful in this region of the country.
  • We recently picked up a Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day lavender candle to go with our multi-purpose cleaner I mentioned in a previous home product post. They are also made with soy. It goes quite well with the cleaner and so far does not seem to burn too quickly.
  • Lastly, I love the Aromatherapy brand candles at Target! We have bought most of the scents, but Love and Peaceful are the ones we enjoy the most have have bought more than once. The candles last forever and are a mix of soy and paraffin waxes. I know getting paraffin wax treatments is considered questionably healthy, but I am not sure about burning it. These candles though have scents I have been trying to replicate in my room spray with essential oils.

How do you naturally improve the scent of your home?

Natural Product Review – Pest Repellants

Happy Mother’s Day!

I am in between my work trips and want to share with you a way I use all natural items around the house. As I have said before, my partner and I live in two different cities with household issues not everyone loves to talk about. Our place in the city I work in is a “garden level” room, i.e. basement. Spiders are an issue and man are they big! Then in the city he works in we have a 2nd story apartment across from a river. We have assumed our neighbors must poorly store their food, so not only have we seen a lot of spiders due to bugs around the place, but mice have been an issue.

Honestly, putting out to the world that we have had mice made me nervous because I had been taught it was something that made you dirty/messy, but we do not seem to have control over the presence of mice. We keep things clean and store our food in airtight containers. However! We were able to find brilliant natural solutions that does not involve traps or killing of any critters. 🙂

Pantry Bugs and Roaches

These are really all about proper food storage and cleaning up after yourself. First, you NEED air tight containers or at least bag clips like the ones from IKEA. Second, after you cook and eat, wipe down your counters and table, then sweep up at least the areas where food was prepared and eaten. Pantry bugs especially love to hang out in your flour or sugar, so air tight containers are a must! Though, I also store them in the fridge at one of our apartments which keeps them safe as well.

Mosquitos

It is not as big of an issue in the Great Lakes region as it was for us growing up in Missouri and Louisiana along the Mississippi River, but you can still run into them in July and August. This year we are investing in a citronella plant for our balcony. I was talking with one of our neighbors who I noticed NEVER has cob webs hanging around, like the rest of us and she said it was all thanks to that little bush they bought. It keeps the bugs away and therefore keeps the outdoor spiders away. I am looking forward to finally enjoying that balcony.

Spiders and Mice

This really is our most common “pest” in both our homes. I personally do not have an issue with some spiders around, but I am concerned with possible infestation of and poison-ness spiders. Spider bites can be scary. Now, taking care of the other bugs do help with spiders, so that is why I started off with those. For this, I keep two things around:

When the hedge apples start popping up in the farmer’s market or I find a osage orange plant, I get about half a dozen of them to place in different corners of the apartment. In the 2nd story apartment they dry out and we keep them around all year. In addition, we use lemon and peppermint essential oils, drops of them, in the corners of the apartment and behind or under furniture. We have noticed a significant difference in the amount of spiders since starting to use these around our apartments.

Mice

Story time, about a year after moving into our apartment, my partner saw his first mouse. He had never experienced mice before and immediately felt panicked and stressed. Naturally, with that state of mind he just did what ever he could to get them out. After some research though, we found some more humane options.

  1. We tried traps to catch them un harmed, HA! Those clever mice escaped in no time.
  2. We tried to block where they were coming in and they just squeezed through our or CHEWED through.
  3. I tried sweeping and mopping daily to make it seem like an unappealing place. They would just come in to have a little walk around the apartment!
  4. Lastly, I saw hedge apples at the farmer’s market and a sign that said, “Naturally keep mice away!” I thought, if this works, we do not have to move. THEY WORKED! Ever since we bought some and left them one in each room, we have not seen or heard a single mouse! THANK GOODNESS!

Please share any natural pest control methods you use! Also, if you are a fan of Bob’s Burgers like we are… Hugs Not Bugs!

 

 

Natural Product Review – Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Multi-Surface Concentrate

We are about a month into Spring and I have another natural product review for you! This month’s product serves multiple cleaning purposes for us around our homes, Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Multi-Surface Concentrate. We have purchased the Lavender and Red Clover scents. We use it to clean the toilet, counters and floors. We pour 1 Tbs amount into the toilet before scrubbing with a toilet brush, add 2-4 Tbs into a spray bottle and fill the rest of the way with water to use on all surfaces (including that once a month shower wipe down) and add ~ 2 Tbs to the bucket of water we use to mop our kitchen and bathroom floors.

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Cons

  • If not balanced well with water it can leave your surfaces sticky. This can be especially annoying with floors, so we do a test after it dries to know if we should run a water only soaked mop over the floor to remove the stickiness.
  • Not all scents from the brand are great… They thankfully offer a lot of options and we STRONGLY suggest you smell it prior to purchase. My partner was the first to pick up this brand of cleaner and I remember I had to return the first bottle because the name of the scent sounded great, but when I opened the bottle we both gagged. No I can not remember which scent that was, sorry, it has been several years. We were both quite surprised by the Red Clover 🙂 though.
  • I wish it worked on windows. I tried and got streaks, even with the help from a microfiber cloth. I am still looking for that natural product to do it ALL and window-like surfaces are the last thing I really need something multi-purpose to be able to tackle. Please let me know if you have recommendations in the comments below!

Pros

  • Simplicity of only needing to purchase one item to clean the entire apt. We use to have separate solutions for shower, toilet, bathroom counter, kitchen counter, hard floors, etc.. That not only was expensive, but over crowding our cabinets and created a lot of waste… :/
  • It cleans quite well. I do not find myself scrubbing my life away to remove things from surfaces. I spray and let it sit for a moment or scrub with a brush and TA DA the surface is clean!
  • Leaves behind a lovely scent. It typically lasts until I either cook something with a strong scent, in the case of the kitchen, or my partner takes a shower, in the case of the bathroom, because his manly scented products conquer all others. The other areas of the apartments it will linger for a few days, especially with the lavender scent.
  • Affordability. We spent around $7.99 for the Lavender scent 2 years ago and still have it. The Red Clover scent is only a year old, we got it 40% off with a Cartwheel offer exclusively for that scent from Target and we have barely made a dent.
  • Accessibility. Always available at Target and I have seen it in many other stores as well.
  • Cruelty free. No animals were harmed in the making of this product.

Overall, I have recommended it to folks, but I would say it is ok for me. It cleans very well and leaves a refreshing scent, but I really wish it could take care of those glossy surfaces too.