Clean and Green Home Without Toxic Household Cleaners

Oct, 03, 2016

When you clean with regular household cleaners, have you ever noticed the strong smell? Once Icleaning_greener became a mom, I began thinking about what was really in all those cleaners I used all over the house where my kids would be moving around and be in contact with things I had cleaned. When I then read the warning labels on my household cleaners, I really became determined to replace them all with something much more natural and much safer for my babies and the environment. These days, my house smells nice from natural lemon and lavender, and I know my home is safe from chemicals.
When we use chemicals to clean our home, they linger in the air that we breathe. Household cleaners with chemicals are not safe for children, pets or us because they enter our bodies by absorption through the skin or through ingestion of household dust and chemical residues left on dishes and cutlery. After we’ve finished cleaning and these chemicals are flushed down the drain, they cause great damage to the environment, our oceans and wildlife.
The hazardous chemicals found is household cleaners are

The good news is that there are many nontoxic cleaning products available on the market, including but not limited to Seventh Generation, Mrs. Meyers, Naturally It’s Clean, Ecover, Green Works, Shaklee, Simple Green, Dr. Bronner’s, Nellie’s All Natural, and All-Green Janitorial Products.
There’s even better news: you can make your own cleaning products using combination of a few simple ingredients. You probably already have most of them in your home.20111007_jlsfoto_0032-1
Here are some very common household items that can be used for cleaning instead of toxic cleaning supplies:

  • Baking soda—cleans, deodorizes, scours
  • Table salt
  • Lemon—great for antibacterial use and make home smell great
  • Borax—Cleans, deodorizes, disinfects, softens water, cleans wallpaper and floors
  • Soap—unscented liquid soap without petroleum distillates works for cleans almost everything
  • Cornstarch—Shampoo carpets and rugs
  • Vinegar—Cuts grease, cleans mildew
  • Natural soap without petroleum distilled
  • Essential oils of tea tree and lavender—Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic, antifungal and disinfectant. Lavender is a gentle antiseptic and antibacterial.

Here are some recipes I use for making my own household cleaners. These formulas are effective and are guaranteed to save you money:
Baking soda + lemon juice = a perfect scrub for tubs, showers, and kitchen and bathroom sinks.
Vinegar + newspaper = great cleaner for mirrors and windows.
4 cups white vinegar + 2 Tbsp. baking soda + ¼ gallon hot water + a few drops essential oil (optional) = all-purpose cleaner.
1 Tbsp. baking soda and 1 Tbsp. distilled white vinegar make a great toilette cleaner; two parts Borax to one part lemon juice will also work.
Oven Cleaner:
Baking Soda and Vinegar Method: 

  1. Take out the racks, pizza stone, thermometer and anything else you may have hiding in your oven.
  2. Make a paste with a ½ cup of baking soda and a few tablespoons of water.
  3. Using your gloved hand, coat the inside of the oven with the baking soda paste.
  4. Let it sit overnight.
  5. With a damp sponge, using the scrubby side as needed, wipe out the oven.
  6. Do a final rinse and wipe down.

Dish Soap, Baking Soda & Vinegar Method: 

  1. ¼ cup of dish soap, ½ cup baking soda, ½ cup coarse sea salt, and warm water.
  2. Make a past with the soap, baking soda and salt.
  3. Using your gloved hand, cover the oven with the paste.
  4. Let sit overnight.
  5. With a damp sponge, using the scrubby side as needed, wipe out the oven.
  6. Give it a final rinse with warm water.

To read more and to learn some other good formulas to help you clean your home, go to;

Non-Toxic Home Cleaning

Fredrika Syren

Fredrika Syren is an environmental activist and writer. In 2016, she founded the website Green-Mom.com where she shared her family’s journey of living zero waste. She lives in San Diego, California with her husband James and their children Bella, Noah, and Liam. Fredrika and her family were recently featured in the documentary Zero Time to Waste. Fredrika is also the author of Zero Waste for Families - A Practical Guidebook (which you can buy on this site)

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