The best way to have a clean non-toxic home is to go back to basics. Instead of using standard cleaning products, start with vinegar, baking soda, lemon, castile soap, and coconut oil. Most commercial sprays, wipes, scrubs and polishes put toxins into your home. Same with laundry detergents, dryer sheets, and air fresheners. Those pine and lemon scents that we think are the sign of a clean home, are created by toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs). A study done by Anne Steinemann, currently a professor of civil engineering at the University of Melbourne, Australia, involved testing 25 household products, including air fresheners and all-purpose cleaners, many of them “top sellers” in their category. The team found the average number of VOCs emitted was 17. You can always check ewg.org to see the ratings for most commercial products and what types of risks are associated with them. Meanwhile, here are some great alternatives to using commercially prepared products so that you can have a safe non-toxic home for you family, guests, and/or pets.
Clean Your Oven, Deodorize Your Carpet, and Unclog Your Drain
Rather than use a commercial oven cleaner, sprinkle a cup or more of baking soda over the bottom of the oven. Add enough water to make a paste and let sit overnight. Wipe out the loosened grease the next morning. Once you have wiped out all of the baking soda, you can do a final cleanse with a bit of vinegar on your sponge to leave your oven clean and spot free. Baking soda can also used as a paste/scrub on metals and porcelain. Most people have used an open box of baking soda to deodorize a refrigerator, you can also use it to deodorize fabrics and carpet. If used routinely, you can keep your drains clog free by pouring 1/2 cup to a cup of baking soda in the drain followed by an equal amount of vinegar. Once the fizzing has stopped, flush with boiling water.
Window Cleaner, Tub Scrub, and Grout Cleaner
Vinegar and water is an excellent non-toxic window cleaner. It can also be used to clean non-porous countertops. For stone countertops, use vodka and water instead so that there isn’t any damage caused by the acidity of the vinegar. Pour a dusting of baking soda on your tub and spray with vinegar for a powerful earth friendly scrub. If you need to clean mildew off of grout, trying spraying with vinegar and let it soak for 30 minutes. Then scrub with a sponge and warm water. Store bought vinegar contains 5 percent acetic acid, which does have antimicrobial properties. It’s also an effective mold killer.
Freshen Garbage Disposal, Polish Furniture, Clean Your Cutting Board
A clever way to both clean and freshen the garbage disposal is to grind up frozen lemon and vinegar ice cubes. If you didn’t plan ahead with the ice cubes, you can try the combination unfrozen. Make a non-toxic furniture polish by mixing lemon oil with olive oil or jojoba oil. This makes the furniture safe and non-toxic for children and animals. A great way to clean a cutting board is by sprinkling course salt on it and then rubbing with a lemon. This will freshen the cutting board and remove grease. It also works well on wooden rolling pins and salad bowls.
Dishwasher Soap, Laundry Detergent and Household Cleaner
Castile soap is natural, bio-degradable, and chemical free. It is plant based and doesn’t loose potency with time. By itself, castile soap can be used for so many things! Washing your face, body, hair, rinsing fruit, doing laundry and cleaning windows are just a few of the uses. There are a ton of recipes on the internet so have fun and explore. Adding your favorite pure essential oil to a mixture of 2 cups of water and 3 tblsp of castile soap makes a household cleaner and soap that my discourage the presence of bacteria. Mix equal parts of castile soap and water and you’ve got a safe non-toxic dishwasher soap. I usually add a few drops of a pure citrus essential oil to the mix to create a fragrant and healthy room freshener.
Non-Toxic Leather Conditioner, Anti-Rust Compound, and Lubricant
Coconut oil is thought to contain antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal compounds that may inhibit microorganisms such as bacteria, yeast and fungi. It can be used on metals to prevent rust and as a non-toxic lubricant substitute for WD-40. It also works well for moisturizing and softening leather goods in lieu of leather conditioners and for removing chewing gum from virtually any area, including carpets and hair. If you have little ones around you, you may need to try it for removing crayon marks from walls or ink from plastic and vinyl. It works well to prevent any kind of sticking, so try it the next time you can’t remove dead bugs or sap from your car.
I hope this helped you create a safe non-toxic home. If so, I’d greatly appreciate it if you commented and/or share it on social media.