Over at Crunchy Domestic Goddess there's a challenge a-foot; "choosing disposable product(s) to leave behind for two months in favor of an environmentally-friendly reusable product." My ultimate goal is to make my husbands paycheck stretch as far as it can, and help provide a healthy, happy home for my family, so this idea fits right in.
One of the first changes I made was to mopping the floors. I had been using a popular brand of pre-packaged wet cloths to scrub the floors, and they worked well. There was a scrubby strip for hard to remove "things" and the sheets were pre-soaked; no need for a bucket of yucky water. However, to get the floor as clean as I like I had to put in some serious elbow grease, and it would take 2 sheets to thoroughly clean my downstairs. That works out to be 112 sheets, per year, full of chemicals I'd rather not use around my kids and will ultimately end up in the landfill.
This is where the H2O Steam Mop comes in. This mop converts plain water to steam to clean without the use of chemicals and comes with with a washable mopping pad. I have seen a few negative reviews of this product for things like its cord being too short and leaving the floors too wet afterwards. They are minor annoyances but to me the pros far outweigh the cons. (It's easy enough to replug for each room and after mopping I do some cleaning or other work upstairs for a few minutes while it's drying.) I do love that I don't have to do any more scrubbing or scratching, just hold the mop over a stain for a few seconds and it comes right up. It comes with accessories too, one of them a attachment to steam your carpets and another smaller hand held steamer. Best of all there are no chemicals, a big plus for me with two babies running, rolling, and playing on the floors all day.
Part 2 coming soon... the paper towel challenge.