The Best Natural, Non-toxic Cleaning Options for You and Your Home
Updated: Jan 31
When you are looking for effective ways to get out stains, fight odors or disinfect surfaces, instead of opting for anti-bacterial wipes sometimes it pays to do things ‘old school’.
Here are some of the best natural cleaning products you can start using at home:
Pure Soap. The good news is that there are many safe soap options. Switch out your soaps that contain synthetic fragrances, parabens, and phthalates or preservatives for cleaner options.
Vinegar (5% acetic acid) as a mild disinfectant,
Cornstarch as an odorless powder that is great for carpet cleaning and greasy stains.
Sodium Carbonate, a key ingredient for washing clothes, washing soda cuts grease, removes stains, disinfects, and softens water. Washing soda should not be used on aluminum.
Baking Soda (Bicarbonate of Soda) works well as an abrasive and it also deodorizes, removes stains, polishes, and softens fabrics.
Salt dissolves easily in water and makes a great abrasive for cleaning pots and pans or mixed with vinegar or lemon juice to clean sinks, tiles and glass and to remove coffee and tea stains.
Ingredients To Avoid In Cleaning Products
Parabens are a type of preservative used to prevent the growth of mold and bacteria and to prolong the shelf life of lotions, cleansers, cosmetics, deodorants, and almost any other personal care product.
Parabens can act like the hormone estrogen in the body and disrupt the normal function of endocrine systems, therefore, interfering with the production of hormones.
Phthalates are used in self-care products, such as nail polish, cosmetics, non-prescription drugs, and natural health products to enhance, product absorption, help products stick to your skin, and keep fragrance smelling fresh.
Again phthalates are weak endocrine disruptors and androgen-blocking chemicals. This means that when absorbed into the body, they either mimic or block female hormones or in males, suppress the hormones involved in male sexual development. Phthalates can also cross the placenta.
The raw materials used to produce polyethylene glycol or PEG are by-products from petroleum refining and can also be derived from natural gas or coal.
Polyethylene glycols are considered penetration enhancers, which are substances that make it easier for other ingredients and moisture to pass through the skin.
The bad news is that the manufacturing process introduces even more impurities and by-products, such as ethylene oxides and 1,4-dioxane, which are known carcinogenic materials.
Synthetic scents can be an extremely cheap way to give everything from shampoo to lotion to candles a desirable scent. But I'm here to tell you that unfortunately, just because you enjoy a scent, doesn’t mean it’s 100% safe for your health.
Many cleaning and personal care products list fragrance as an ingredient and don’t have to disclose the fact that these formulations may contain hundreds of compounds. Synthetic chemicals in fragrances are mostly petroleum-based and can be harmful to human health and that's why I warn my clients about prolonged exposure to them.
Fragrances can be carcinogenic, endocrine disruptors, allergens, respiratory irritants, and neurotoxic chemicals.
Sulfates like Sodium Laurel Sulfate (SLS) are added to many personal care products to produce foam. SLS can lead to irritation, and that’s something worth avoiding if you’re exposed to them every day
Want your home to smell clean and fresh?
Since I learned about the side effects of air fresheners and scented candles back in 2015 I have stopped buying them for the house, bathroom and my car completely. I have also noticed I have a hard time entering or even passing by stores that sell scented items like soups, air fresheners, and candles or other skincare products as I reduced my exposure to them. Not only does your liver metabolize what you ingest, but anything you inhale, or simply come into physical contact with has to be processed by the liver. So do yourself a huge favor and limit your consumption of toxic sprays and air fresheners. If you are in Canada you can switch to better options by Wax and Fire Co. or WildCraftCare
Lastly, you can try my favorite and all-natural air purifiers – house plants. They may not instantly diminish odor or add a fragrant smell to your house but they play an important role in keeping the indoor air fresh.
Here are some natural solutions to keep your space smelling clean and nice:
White vinegar removes odors naturally on surfaces and in the air
Baking soda absorbs odors, so place a few open boxes throughout the home and replace them every 2-3 months
Boiling spices like cinnamon and cloves in a little bit of water to release their fragrance
Boiling pineapple or lemon and orange rinds
Essential oils diluted in water can be used as a spray freshener – try a combination of your favorite -(Ylang Ylang and grapefruit are my favorites)
Essential oils like lemon and cedar as effective air deodorizers
Burning incense sticks, dried sage leaves, and Palo Santo sticks
Let me know which liver-friendly natural solutions you have found that you love.
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