A Guide to Non-toxic Home Cleaners

June 14, 2018

When it comes to cleaning your home, you don’t have to look much further than a few well-known ingredients that you probably have in your kitchen. It’s true! Ingredients such as white vinegar, lemons, and baking soda can pack a punch if you know how to use them correctly.

That’s why we put together a non-toxic home cleaning guide so that you can keep your kitchen clean while making sure your children, pets, and mother earth are safe.

Have you noticed that all conventional cleaners are covered with health warnings? This can be especially problematic if you have sensitive skin or if you’re trying to green-up your cleaning products. The worst part? Federal law doesn’t require cleaning products to share their ingredient list – making it extremely difficult when trying to keep harmful chemicals from our homes. Also, the term ‘fragrance’ has become the catch-all word that means that the company doesn’t need to disclose what it includes. Which means it can hide chemicals like phthalates, parabens, and other chemicals associated with hormone disruption and allergic reactions. But with the power of natural home and DIY cleaners – you can stop using harsh chemicals today.

We recently chatted with Stacey – the owner of LOVEFRESH  (an all-natural cleaning product business based in Toronto) – and asked her, “what are some of the chemicals we should be on the lookout for?” She said:

“There’s a tremendous amount of chemicals in your average grocery store products that should not be in the air we breathe… especially in our homes. The top 3 I would look out for are ammonia, chloride and sodium lauryl sulfate.

Making your own cleaning products, or buying non-toxic cleaners, is an easy way to remove unnecessary chemicals from your home.

Our Favorite Ingredients:

Baking Soda

This is one of the most versatile and easy-to-use ingredients and if you’ve done any baking lately, you will definitely have it in your cabinets.

  • Open a container of baking soda and keep it in the fridge, freezer, closet or laundry room to keep the air smelling fresh.
  • Mix baking soda with a 1-2 tbsp of water to make a paste for tough grease or as a VIM replacement in the bathroom
  • Add baking soda to your laundry detergent (especially for towels) to get them smelling clean

Stacey’s favorite way to use baking soda is as a carpet or furniture deodorizer:

“Instead of using a carpet deodorizer, freshen your carpet with baking soda mixed with a few drops of lemon essential oils. Vacuum it up after it sits overnight.”

Lemons

We always have fresh lemons in our fridge for our daily water and lemon in the morning, but did you know that you can clean with lemons too? They are naturally antibacterial and antiseptic; AKA they can kill germs and bacteria from any surface. The perfect addition to your cleaning arsenal.

  • Give your cutting board a clean by wiping a halved lemon across
  • Get rid of smells from your plastic containers by rubbing a lemon inside of the containers and rinse clean. 

White Vinegar

Keeping a large container of white vinegar is one way to make sure you can always clean naturally. This is the all-purpose workhorse to many of the DIY recipes. From cleaning dirt, mold, and mildew – white vinegar can get the job done.

  • Clear your clogged or smelly drain by sprinkling a ½ cup of baking soda + 1 ½ cups vinegar down your drain
  • Clean stained plastic (or your blender container) by coating in vinegar, let sit for a few minutes and rinse clean.
  • Clean your toilet bowl by sprinkling ½ cup of baking soda + 1 ½ cups of vinegar. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes and scrub clean.

If you want to make your own cleaners, we’ve put together a list of some favorite cleaners you can make at home. You can make these once and always have natural cleaners ready to go at any time.

All-purpose cleaner: Mix ½ cup white vinegar and ¼ cup baking soda into a ½ gallon (about 2 liters) of water. *for cleaning tile or linoleum floors

Floor cleaner: Mix ½ cup white vinegar to a bucket of hot water and use for mopping.

Glass cleaner: Put a half-and-half mix of water and white vinegar, or lemon juice, in a spray bottle.

Dish Soap: Mix 2 tbsp Castile Liquid soap into 2 cups of water. Pour into a bottle.

Air Freshener: Mix 15-20 drops of essential oils with 1 tbsp of baking soda, add 2 cups of water and stir until dissolved. Pour into a spray bottle.

If you aren’t up for the DIY approach,  you can check out LOVEFRESH, a Toronto-based company, which produces a line of fun and natural beauty and cleaning products. All of their products are all-natural and non-toxic. They have 3 different types of cleaners: All-Purpose Cleaner, Glass, Mirror and Stainless Steel Cleaner, and Marble & Granite Cleaner. These are all scented with essential oils and have 3 scents to choose from: eucalyptus mint, lavender tea tree, or grapefruit lime.

Hopefully, we inspired you to start to take the non-toxic approach to your cleaning routine. Did we miss something? Do you have your favorite DIY cleaner recipe or non-toxic brand? Let us know in the comments.

3 Comments

  • Dorothy Caldwell
    4 months ago

    Thanks for all the creative ideas for cleaning, Amanda. I was wondering how to get cutting boards clean, and now I know!

    I have a flat top stove, and use baking soda to clean it, using a damp stove cleaning pad. To keep mold from the growing in the shower, I spray vinegar regularly on the bottom seams.

    • Amanda
      4 months ago

      Hi Dorothy!

      Those are all wonderful ideas! I’ll have to try spraying vinegar in my shower next!

  • 2 months ago

    I also use baking soda for cleaning my microwave oven and toaster. It helps me to easily remove the grease in it. Vinegar and baking soda are really fantastic for cleaning.

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