How to Ditch and Switch to Non-Toxic Cleaning Products

How to Ditch and Switch to Non-Toxic Cleaning Products

Ken Arnswald |

How to Ditch and Switch to Non-Toxic Cleaning Products

Non-Toxic Bathroom Cleaning Supplies

When dealing with stubborn stains in the bathroom, it can be tempting to opt for stronger chemicals to help you. While this can seem like the only option for cleaning a difficult bathroom, these aren’t the best option for the bathroom or your home. There are some simple ways to substitute out traditional bathroom cleaners for non-toxic alternatives. Let’s go through a few different areas of the bathroom. We will share a few store-bought and DIY alternatives available to you.

Common Toxic Bathroom Chemicals and Their Alternatives

  • Phthalates - These ingredients might smell good, but stay away. They are found in many items that have scents to them such as scented cleaners and air fresheners and are not safe for human inhalation, especially in enclosed areas like your bathroom. Replace them with essential oils for a fresh smell without the chemicals.
  • Ammonia - Ammonia is found in many cleaners and although it might seem to make sense that it would kill dirt and bacteria, think again as it might do more damage to you than the dirt and grime on the floor. Ammonia can cause a host of respiratory problems and can also contribute to kidney and liver damage. Replace ammonia with vinegar for a safer cleaning option with minimal health risks, although vinegar is smelly, it has little to no effect on your lungs, kidneys or liver.
  • MEA (monoethanolamine), DEA (diethanolamine), TEA (triethanolamine) - This unhealthy trio is typically found in many of the most common all-purpose cleaners you can buy at the grocery store. They are well known to be hormone disrupters and no one wants to throw off that balance in your body. Replace these with an all-purpose cleaner that uses words like free and clear on the front label. Then make sure to analyze the ingredients.
  • Sodium dichloroisocyanurate dihydrate - If you think it’s natural for you to cough after you clean your toilet, think again. This main ingredient, found in many toilet cleaners, is the culprit behind coughing and permanent respiratory damage. Replace this with natural toilet bowl cleaners with less invasive ingredients. In fact, a good all-purpose cleaner can get the job done in your toilet bowl too!

Non-Toxic DIY All-Purpose Cleaner

If you are looking for a replacement for your all-purpose cleaners, you can create your own from scratch. With just five ingredients, you can make your own bottle of DIY all-purpose cleaner to keep your home safer and cleaner for longer. To make your own all-purpose cleaner, try combining these ingredients to your favorite spray bottle:

  • 2 cups of warm water
  • 1 tbsp of baking soda
  • 2 tbsp castile soap
  • 30 drops of tea tree oil
  • 20 drops of orange oil

Not interested in mixing your own cleaning solution? Healthier Home Products is committed to a safer, healthier future for you and your family. Our concentrated version of the 5-in-1 All Purpose Cleaner is an excellent way to reduce the number of cleaning bottles your family goes through each year. Make up to ten 32oz. bottles with just this one bottle of concentrate!

Non-Toxic DIY Toilet Bowl Cleaner

When it comes to cleaning your toilet, never shut the door without ventilation to begin cleaning. Make sure to keep harmful chemicals away from your delicate areas by cleaning your toilet with your own DIY cleaner. We have two options for you. For option 1, try combining the following eco-friendly mixture into your favorite spray bottle:

  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 7 drops of ginger essential oil
  • 7 drops of cinnamon essential oil
  • 7 drops of clove essential oil

For option two, use:

  • 1 cup distilled water
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1/2 cup castile soap
  • 15-30 drops of an essential oil of your choice (we love lemon, grapefruit, and orange)

If you aren’t looking to create your own solution, we’ve got you covered. For hard water stains, you can use our Bathroom Magic 6-In-1 Hardwater Stain Cleaner or for more routine weekly cleaning, our all-purpose cleaner will work perfectly in any toilet area.

Non-Toxic DIY Tub and Shower Cleaner

Another area that typically gives some cleaning trouble and has some strong chemicals is in the tub and shower area. With so many potential messes in this area (dirt, mold, mildew, soap scum), it can be tempting to opt for chemical options. However, there are some non-toxic options out there as well.

For an at-home DIY option to clean your shower, you can try:

  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup all-natural dishwashing detergent

The all-natural dishwashing detergent definitely gives some soap suds, but it’s way better than getting into a steamy shower with toxic chemicals going up your nose. If it were up to us, we would opt for the easy route that has a light grapefruit scent with our Bathroom Magic Smart Gel 6-in-1 Mold/Mildew Stain Remover and Protector or our Bathroom Magic Hard Water Stain Cleaner.

Non-Toxic Kitchen Cleaning Supplies

If you wash your vegetables because you don’t want to eat dirt, then why would you want to consume harmful chemicals? Having an eco-friendly cleaning solution around the places that you eat will not only keep your countertops and food prep areas safe, but it will prevent you from literally ingesting harmful chemicals in most household kitchen cleaners. There are some simple ways to switch out your kitchen cleaning supplies. Here are some options for non-toxic kitchen cleaning supplies.

Common Toxic Kitchen Chemicals and Their Alternatives:

Phosphates - Found in many automatic dishwashing cleaners and hand soaps. An alternative to phosphate-based cleaners would be vinegar. Replace this with vinegar for a natural safe alternative.

Lye - Found in many oven cleaners, lye is extremely corrosive and can cause skin damage if not used safely. Replace this with a combination of vinegar and baking soda to clean safely.

Ammonia - Ammonia is found in many cleaners and is said to contribute to kidney and liver damage. Replace ammonia with vinegar for a safer cleaning option with minimal health risks.

Non-Toxic DIY All-Purpose Kitchen Cleaners

If you are looking to swap out chemicals for healthier options, start in the kitchen. There are some easy DIY options out there that can help you get the clean you need in a safer way. You will want to try to find the best option for your home.

Get Green Be Well recommends a combination of, “13 oz hot water (NOT boiling), 1/2 cup vinegar, 10 drops lavender essential oil, 15 drops pink grapefruit essential oil, and 7 drops lemon essential oil” as a great smelling alternative to traditional kitchen cleaners.

You can also clean your healthier home kitchen with the safest, most versatile all-purpose cleaner on the planet. Our naturally-scented citrus aroma is derived from real orange peels and is safe to use on any washable surface. This powerful cleaner is safe to use around your kids and pets.

Non-Toxic DIY Oven Cleaners

One of the most stubborn areas to clean in any kitchen is the oven. Many oven cleaners are packed with harmful chemicals. Instead of opting for chemical-laden options, you can go from more of a non-toxic approach. We’ve found a few non-toxic DIY oven cleaners you should try out. Try the different options and find the one that works best for your oven.

Hello Nest suggests that you, “Make a paste out of soap, baking soda, and salt, adding a little water, if needed,” and using it to clean the oven. They say it is a low-stress option to help get an oven clean to any mom’s standard.

Yum Universe recommends a paste made from, "1/2 cup homemade liquid soap, 1 1/2 cup baking soda, 2-4 drops lavender essential oil (you can use any scent you like), 1/4 cup organic white vinegar or apple cider vinegar, and water as needed to make a “paintable” but thick paste.” The original post shares more about using this paste to clean an oven naturally.

Non-Toxic Laundry Cleaning Supplies

One of the areas many people forget to switch products out is in the laundry room. Laundry products can be filled with many toxins that might irritate your skin or cause that itchy feeling your kids might have from time to time. If you have children, you know their skin is sensitive, so it definitely makes sense to pay attention to the laundry room when incorporating cleaning supplies. Here are a few non-toxic laundry cleaning supplies that will help you make the switch.

Common Toxic Laundry Chemicals and Their Alternatives:

Formaldehyde - Believe it or not, you can actually find formaldehyde in many laundry detergent products. This can be toxic to you or your family with exposure over time. Replace formaldehyde-based cleaners with non-toxic cleaners you can purchase or make yourself from many of the recipes above.

Bleach - Bleach is a skin and respiratory irritant that can be difficult for many people to handle whether they have sensitive skin or not. Many families will mindlessly add bleach to every load of whites they run. Our hope is that after you read this post, you will consider ditching the bleach. Replace bleach with either baking soda or peroxide to whiten laundry more safely.

Glutaral - Glutaral is found in many fabric softeners and is known to trigger asthma and cause skin issues. Replace fabric softeners with a cup of vinegar. It will soften clothing without leaving a smell behind when added to clothes in the washer.

Non-Toxic DIY Laundry Cleaners

It’s time to get your laundry cleaners moved from toxic options to safer options. Are you hoping to make your own laundry soap? There are quite a few laundry soap options. However, we have pulled together five options you can try in your home. These non-toxic DIY laundry cleaners are a simple solution to try.

Small Footprint Family has a recipe using borax. This recipe includes:

  • 4 cups of borax
    4 cups of washing soda (aka sodium carbonate)
  • 2 cups of baking soda
  • 4 cups of castile bar soap
  • 10-20 drops of essential oil

Another option you can use would be the one that makes you say “ahh!” That’s right, our Ahh…New! 12-In-1 Laundry Detergent is a ready-made, safer alternative for your family’s laundry needs.

Non-Toxic Floor and Upholstery Cleaning Supplies

Carpets and upholstery are large parts of our lives. Between the carpets we walk on, bedding we sleep on, and couches we sit on, it can be easy to forget about the flooring and upholstery areas in your home. If you aren’t careful, the items you use to clean these areas can hold chemicals and toxins that could be harmful to you and your family. Switching out for non-toxic floor and upholstery cleaning supplies doesn’t have to be stressful. Here are a few reasons why you should make the change and some ways you can make the change.

Common Toxic Floor and Upholstery Cleaner Chemicals and Their Alternatives

VOC’s - These volatile organic compounds come from scented cleaning products such as rug cleaner as well as some upholstery cleaners. These have been said to contribute to asthma-related issues. Instead of scented cleaning products, opt for natural alternatives that use essential oils and other natural scent options.

Bleach - Bleach is a skin and respiratory irritant that can be difficult for many people to handle whether they have sensitive skin or not. Bleach has been added to many carpet and upholstery cleaners on the market today. Replace bleach with vinegar for a natural alternative.

Non-Toxic DIY Floor and Upholstery Cleaners

If you take your shoes off when you come into your house, you are reducing the welcoming of dirt and grime into your house. If you want to keep your floors clean, always look for a natural option. Many of the recipes we have below for you will use items you already have in your home or can pick up for a fraction of the cost. There are two simple DIY options we have for you. Option 1 is an upholstery cleaner that includes:

  • 1/2 cup dish soap
  • 1 cup hydrogen peroxide (3%)

Sounds simple enough. We got the idea from our friend Bren here.

For an awesome DIY floor cleaner try using:

  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup isopropyl (70%) rubbing alcohol
  • 1/8 tsp liquid dish soap
  • 5-10 drops essential oils

This idea was inspired by the Housewife How-To’s here.

If you’re looking to keep those floors clean the easy way, add our floor cleaners to your cleaning arsenal. We have several for carpet, hardwood and any other floor surface you might be looking to clean. In fact, if you have a furry friend, our 5-in-1 Pet Odor Eliminator completely and instantly removes any and all stains and odors on contact. This product is a pet and eco-friendly formula that safely cleans your carpet by leaving no chemical residue behind. Thanks to Tetraflex™, the product not only cleans but prevents future re-soiling. The formula adds stain resistance and as it dries, leaving no chemical residue behind, so your carpet stays cleaner for longer.

Safely Disposing of Toxic Cleaners

While you may want to remove these toxic cleaners from your home, you probably also want to avoid disposing of them in unsafe ways. While it may be tempting to put everything into a giant biohazardous waste bag, this isn’t always necessary. In fact, many sources will say these are simple to dispose of with minimal stress. Here are some tips for safely disposing of toxic cleaners.

Donate the product. While you may not want to use it in your home, there are many organizations who will appreciate a donation of cleaners that can help them save on their cleaning budgets.

Read the label for proper disposal rules. Many products will tell you the safest way to dispose of the products right on the label. Most products that are water-soluble can be poured down a drain. Make sure to look at the labels for the products you are disposing of to see what their specific requirements are.

Recycle when possible. While you can’t recycle the product, you can recycle the containers they come in. Make sure to put the containers into proper recycling disposal receptacles. This is a great way to give a second life to some of this plastic and waste that comes from these toxic cleaning supplies.

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