Seeking Ideas for Non-Toxic Cleaning Supplies

Updated on February 11, 2009
R.M. asks from Denton, TX
41 answers

I have recently become aware of the toxic nature of most household cleaning products and their particular negative effect on the developing systems of infants and children. I have noticed that many stores are beginning to offer non-toxic cleaning supplies, but they are so expensive. Any advice on how to make cheaper non-toxic cleaning agents from common household materials (baking soda, etc.) and how to use them? Thanks!

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J.M.

answers from Dallas on

We switched to using homemade cleaning products almost exclusively about a year ago. You can run an internet search and get lots of hits back. This was one that I have bookmarked. http://ladpw.org/epd/hhw/alternative_recipes.pdf
Happy Cleaning!

3 moms found this helpful
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B.M.

answers from Dallas on

I've used vinegar and baking soda to clean for years. They work great. Here is a website with tons of tips and recipes for mixing up your own cleaners.

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/healthy-home/nontoxic-cl...

2 moms found this helpful
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M.B.

answers from Dallas on

You don't need any of these lines of products - you can manage extremely well (and VERY economically) with vinegar, baking soda and tea tree oil (which is an antifungal/antibacterial). Vinegar also has antibacterial properties. I keep a spray bottle of 50/50 vinegar/water in my kitchen and bathrooms. You can clean mirrors, glass and sinks easily. In cases where you need some scrubbing, just sprinkle on baking soda after you spray the vinegar. I keep a shaker container of that along with the vinegar/water. I even use this for the toilet.

For dusting, you can add a touch of olive oil to a container of unscented wipes or just use plain wipes depending upon the finish of the item.

2 moms found this helpful
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L.C.

answers from Dallas on

Hi R.!

That is great that you want to be sensitive to the toxic chemicals to which your family is exposed! I was introduced to this same concept a few years ago, and I've totally changed the way I clean! The cool thing is that it's cheaper too!

I see you've gotten tons of recommendations from women representing different health and wellness companies. I do know these can be great, but in my personal situation I have to keep to a tight budget so purchasing those products is not an option for me.

You can buy a lot of non-toxic cleaning stuff for cheap without ordering from particular companies. One thing I use a ton of is vinegar. I buy a two pack box from Sam's of distilled white vinegar and use that for the majority of my cleaning. I go to the dollar store and buy spray bottles for $1 for anything I need. One bottle I mix 50% water and 50% vinegar. I use this to wipe down for kitchen and bathroom counters. I use it for all mirrors and windows. I also use it to mop my tile floors! :) I did just splurge and purchase a steam mop to try though. It cleans the floor using only water heated to steam to pick up dirt and grime as well as disinfect.

I use Borax to clean my toilet bowl. You can find 20 Mule Team Borax in the grocery store on the laundry aisle. Borax has tons of uses too! When I need something with grit for the tub or the sinks, I use Bon Ami cleanser. You can also find this at the grocery store, and it's not toxic. Both Borax and Bon Ami are very reasonably priced.

Hydrogen Peroxide is an excellent disinfectant. I buy a huge bottle for very cheap and use it whenever we are sick. I wipe down light switches, handles etc. with it to disinfect. You can put it in a dollar store spray bottle too.

I don't want to go on too long, but an excellent book you can read that gives tons of ideas like this is: Healthy Living in a Toxic World by Cynthia Fincher, PhD. I really appreciate this book because it presents facts without scaring you, and it's not endorsing specific products for profit. Also, the author is a friend of a good friend of mine. She wrote this when she was getting her PhD in neurotoxicology from the University of North Texas. You can find it online for literally a couple of bucks. She details much better than me alot of the stuff that I've said above!

Also, I don't want to knock any of the health and wellness companies, I just know that I can't afford with a tight budget to purchase their products. Even though I know a couple of them are quite reputable and have great products!

Happy, healthy cleaning to you and your family!

Love in Christ,

Lisa :)

2 moms found this helpful
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C.A.

answers from Dallas on

I too am concerned about the chemicals of household cleaners and I prefer to use non toxic methods to clean with. I like to use white vinegar and water on my ceramic tile floors and also my wood laminate floors. I also use the vinegar in a spray bottle to clean windows. The vinegar is very economical and I purchase it in 1 gallon containers from the local grocery stores. Also, baking soda is good for a scour to clean sinks, stovetops, pots and pans, and bathtubs.

Recently, I have been a home made laundry detergent and it is very economical.

Best wishes on finding other safe cleaning tips for your home. Your family will be much healthier thanks to you! :)

C.

1 mom found this helpful
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H.S.

answers from Dallas on

I use vinegar. I have 2 spray bottles I picked up at the dollar store. I fill one with just vinegar. It is good for the hard to clean, sticky, stuck on stuff. The other I filled with half vinegar & half water. This is what I use for everything. Glass cleaner, cabinets, counters, bathroom. I still have some more powerful cleaners for the shower and tub with the soap scum and hard water stains build up. But for every day overall cleaning. I love the vinegar.

Also, try googling vinegar uses. It is endless!

1 mom found this helpful
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E.K.

answers from Dallas on

Watch How Clean is Your House on BBC America-those ladies are well versed in how to make "cheap and cheerful" cleaners that are non-toxic. Vinegar, lemon juice, toothpaste, saddle soap, face moisturizer, mayo (yup! it's great for taking stickers off surfaces!)....you name any type of mess and they have a great idea for cleaning it up! Besides, just turning on the show motivates me to get cleaning!

1 mom found this helpful
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J.G.

answers from Dallas on

Our hardwood and marble floor installer cautioned us to use ONLY water with a slight bit of vinegar for cleaning. His description was to use just enough vinegar so that you get a "whiff" of it in the water. After discovering what a wonderful job the vinegar water did on the floors, I tried it on other surfaces and found it does a great job and deoderizes, too. Mirrors gleam, woodwork sparkles, and its inexpensive. You may want to give it a try.

1 mom found this helpful
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T.H.

answers from Dallas on

we use simple green for everything! you can buy a bottle for about $6 at walmart and then you mix it with water in another bottle, like 10:1 and it lasts for a very long time. i use it on our hardwoods to clean up spills and it won't harm the daughter or dog :) , it's awesome on laundry stains and in the tub.

1 mom found this helpful

V.C.

answers from Dallas on

Hi R.,
Most of the store brands that now claim to be "green" really aren't. Household cleaners are the only household products where manufacturers are not required to list all ingredients under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act. Go to http://www.greencleancertified.com/green-cleaning-facts/G... for more info.
Shaklee has a line called Get Clean. They are wonderful. Oprah featured them on her show four times in 2007. They are concentrated and save lots of $$$ compared to store brands. Check them out at http://www.shaklee.net/healthforlife
I will also send you a free DVD "The Real Dirt on Clean" if you like.
Victoria

1 mom found this helpful
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S.T.

answers from Dallas on

I have a book called Clean House, Clean Planet that has all sorts of homemade cleaning solution recipes. It's great. I never knew you could use club soda to clean glass, but it really works. You can order the book from Barnes & Noble or amazon.com.

1 mom found this helpful
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J.H.

answers from Dallas on

I discovered natural cleaning porducts from a company that you can shop from online like a catalog company. But they also have organic foods, makeup, bath and body products that are all natural. I converted my whole house and have loved the health benefits. I am saving money too unlike other natural products that are sold, these are at wholesale prices. I am actually working from home for the company part time now. If you want to me to tell you more about it, you can email me back at [email protected]____.com a great weekend!
J.

1 mom found this helpful
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J.W.

answers from Dallas on

Look at www.housewifeshelpline.com under the cleaning section. There are "recipes" for making "green" cleaning products -- just what you are looking for!

1 mom found this helpful
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E.L.

answers from Dallas on

web-site: www.thecleanteam.com

They have always had non-toxic cleaners.

1 mom found this helpful
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S.V.

answers from Dallas on

I read in this months Womens Day magazine things to do with Alka-Seltzer. Now I haven't tried these yet but I am going to.

1. Deep-clean Vases: Fill with warm water and drop in two of these baking soda-rich tablets. Let soak for an hour to remove the stains you can't reach.
2. Speed-Scrub the toilet: Twice a week drop two tablets into the bowl; 15 mins later, do a once-around with the toilet brush.
3. Make an ALL-PURPOSE cleaner: Drop three tablets into 8 oz warm water. Once the fizzing stops, wipe down counters, tiles and tubs.
4. Safely unclog a drain- drop three tablets into the drain and run hot water for a few seconds(the hotter the water, the more fizzing). Let sit for 15 minutes.
5. Build rockets (lol) Entertain little ones by heading outside with and empty film canister, filling it halfway with warm water and dropping in a half-tablet. Snap on the lid and place the canister lid down. take a step back and watch it launch into the air.

#3 looks to be the best one for your situation.

hope this helps

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L.I.

answers from Dallas on

I have been using products that are based on tea tree oil rather than harsh chem;icals for over a year now and absolutely love them! Its as easy as switching stores and all of their products are very concentrated so you save money too! You can get more info at http://www.livetotalwellness.com/getthedetails

K.M.

answers from Dallas on

R.,

I second Victoria and the Shaklee products! I use them and LOVE them. Not only does Shaklee not have a minimum order like other companies, but their products are amazing and last forever, so they are well worth the value! You should definitely check them out for yourself....by all means take her up on the free DVD!

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A.W.

answers from Amarillo on

I didn't have time to read your other responses, so this may be redundant. Diluted vinegar is an excellent disinfectant/all purpose cleaner.

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H.D.

answers from Dallas on

You can use white vinegar and water 50/50 mix for cleaning windows. FOr toilets you can put a scoop of baking soda in the bowl and then pour white vinegar until it starts to foam up and then scrub. I think Martha Stewart or Good Housekeeping has other ideas on their websites.

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C.F.

answers from Dallas on

I LOVE my steam cleaner! It only needs water and the heat/steam dissinfects everything - I mop with it, tubs/showers/toilets/counters/mirrors/windows. And the pressure blows out grime I didn't even know existed in cracks,etc!! I purchased the Little Monster from Sam's for $80 after much research and buying/returning others. I've used it for years and still love it! Good luck!

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G.A.

answers from Dallas on

There are several famous products and Amway has been around since the 60's. You can order online through Quixtra. Best products. My friend is a distributor and I can give you his id so he can get credit for the products. I was for a long time and believe this is the best business in the world. The founders have served on the Chamber of Commerce for years. The are well respected and there is a building across the street from the White House with all their many patents and awards for their business. They have had a ton of diversities in their business with distributors who were not educated saying wrong things or doing wrong as amateurs who are new at learning the business . But they also won them and moved on, their distribution is in Ada Michigan and they have 9 zip codes it is so huge. Many wealthy people from building their own businesses on this. So look it up and look at the products. I have never heard complaints about them. G. W

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T.L.

answers from Dallas on

Green Works products are wonderful and safe for all. I have a 3 1/2 year old and another on the way, and they're the only commercial products out there that I trust.

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K.H.

answers from Dallas on

i use vinegar and water for disenfectant (4:1 water to vinegar ratio) i use this in the kitchen, on toys, & doorhandles etc. i use the same mix with tea tree oil for the bathroom (tea tree oil is an antifungal) i use baking soda like comet (you can buy big boxes at wal-mart by the laundry stuff) you can use apple cider vinegar on your floors (i have just linoleum so i'm not sure about wood)

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A.C.

answers from Dallas on

I use Seventh Generation products. You can find them at Whole Foods or in the organic section of your local grocery store like Kroger. They have fragance free and dye free choices as well from laundry detergent to sprays for counter tops.

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L.H.

answers from Dallas on

I use a company called Melaleuca. All of their products are toxic free, plus they sell great vitamins and some food products. They are a lot less expensive than Shaklee and some other "green" suppliers. You can take a look at their sight or write me at [email protected]____.com and I can give you a lot more information.

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L.D.

answers from Dallas on

hi! what i do is, i recycle a regular old cleaning spray bottle, fill it half way with white vinegar and the other half with water. shake before use. i use it on almost everything... just not glass. :)

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B.J.

answers from Abilene on

Try Melaleuca products. They are all organic, non-toxic, items.
B. J.

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L.S.

answers from Dallas on

We have made our own cleaning solution with Hydrogen Peroxide and Water. You can use it as bleach in your wash, clean your counter tops and bathroom with. It has worked well for us. I usually use 1 part Hydrogen Peroxide to 1-2 parts of water. Sometimes you can find the natural cleaning products on sale. Also, Clorox has a Green Works product out. Don't use it. It leaves a film on your stuff after you use it! It never seemed clean to me after I used that. Good luck!

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K.M.

answers from Dallas on

I use Melaleuca products myself, they are all non toxic. I have a 2 year old, 4 year old, a dog and a great husband. I also took the Melaleuca prenatal vitamins during both pregnancies and had no problems. The products are concentrated and you add water. They are less expensive than the store and work great. I've tried some homemade non toxic products and they just don't seem to work as well for me.

If you want more details, please email to me. The website is www.melaleuca.com.

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D.B.

answers from Dallas on

I have discovered Melaluca and love the products. If you are interested in trying some out let me know and I can get you some at my cost to see if you like them...

Cheers, Deb B.
###-###-####
[email protected]____.com

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A.M.

answers from Dallas on

I use Melaluca, and love there products. If you would like more info please let me know. I have a 14 month old and clean around him all of the time and do not worry about a thing. It is great. Let me know.

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A.W.

answers from Dallas on

Get this book "Clean House, Clean Planet" By Karen Logan.
It tells Recipes for cleaning everything. You can get a 32oz. bottle of Dr.Bronner's soap at Wholefoods for $15.00 and you can get the oils (lemon and tea tree are a must have) the soap last forever so your cleaning for pennies.
everything else you need you can get at Wal-Mart or Target backing soda,vinegar,borax. Amazon has the book $10.17 new.

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B.T.

answers from Dallas on

Martha Stewart, in her column yesterday, had a whole article about natural-product cleaners. Check it out. Also, Heloise has, on her website, lots of organic and natural cleaning approach. Also the Green Site, from National Geographic. If you have computer, you can search these out, and find more than you can possibly use, including uses for apple cider vinegar, baking soda, etc.

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J.W.

answers from Dallas on

I don't have any advice on how to make your own products, and what I have seen many things still include some pretty harsh chemicals (such as boric acid). I am a marketer for an international wellness company that produces thier own line of environmentally safe products from cleaners, to bath and body, to cosmetics, and vitamins. If you would like to know more please PM me.

Since we switched over to these products a year ago, my son stopped having headaches, and the overall health of my family has improved greatly.

T.F.

answers from Dallas on

I am an avid clorox fan and I will not change because I know I am killing germs.

I also, use a lot of vinegar for regular cleaning, especially glass. Vinegar is a great cleaner.

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D.M.

answers from Dallas on

you can use vinegar in a lot of ways as well as baking soda as safer allternatives to household cleaning products. Just search the internet for both and you should find lots of info on these. Good luck! Note: there are a number of products with tea tree oil that can be good, you just need to be careful of the side effects on boys that are exposed to tea tree oil regularly. Tea tree oil and lavender oil haven been found to cause growth in breast tissue (but it will stop when no longer exposed).
D.

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L.W.

answers from Dallas on

dr. oz (oprah's guru) said to utilize baking soda/vinegar for house hold cleaning. utilize rags as well. place the soiled rags in a separate laundry basket and wash in hot water...

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M.M.

answers from Dallas on

Melaleuca is great. If you would like more info you can contact Jamie at [email protected]____.com .

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D.C.

answers from Dallas on

METHOD Products. They are non-toxic, biodegradeable. Smell yummy - and you can get them at Target and they are relatively inexpensive. 2.99 for a spray bottle. I use them because of my kids and animals and have had absolutely wonderful results. They even make dishwasher/handsoap & washing machine detergent.

#1 in my book. won't use anything else.

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