What Natural Household Cleaning Products Do You Use?

| 8/17/2010 11:09:12 AM

Tags: question to readers, green cleaners,

Household cleaning 

It’s no secret that toxic chemicals are found in many of the household cleaning products on the market today. Some of the ingredients lurking in those sprays and solutions can cause serious health risks for you and your family, so it’s important to decide which products to use and which products you would rather avoid. Today, there are numerous choices for eco-friendly, non-toxic cleaning products, and there’s also the option of whipping up your own homemade, natural cleaning solutions from ingredients you probably already have at your home. 

Want to learn more about green cleaners? The Eartheasy website lists several homemade cleaners made from basic ingredients that are inexpensive and easy to find. They also have a list of non-toxic commercial cleaning products.

What non-toxic home cleaning products do you use? Please let us know in the comments section below!


Photo by iStockphoto/macida 

cari hansan
11/7/2011 1:20:59 PM

I use Shaklee products. They're clean, natural and biodegradable. You can even recycle the dryer sheets...lol! Apparently, the White House uses Shaklee exclusively to clean. neat. here is where I order http://livingbest.myshaklee.com

kathy mcmahon
10/26/2010 8:52:58 AM

I make my own laundry detergent using Fels Nafta soap, washing soda and Borax. Also use vinegar as rinse agent plus many other uses around the house.

10/25/2010 12:21:52 PM

Like others I use vinegar, baking soda, essential oils. I now make not only my own body soap but I make laundry soap and dish washing soap. Have actually sprinkled baking soda on half a lemon and used that to scrub my shower! Use the microfiber cloths and the steam machine also. Looks like we're pretty much all on the same page!

jo ann wiblin
10/25/2010 7:57:39 AM

i use vinegar, baking soda, steam cleaners and microfiber cloths almost exclusively. under my sink is nearly empty! vinegar and water in a spray bottle cleans windows, countertops, appliances, tv screens, tabletops, patio furniture (bad stains come clean with baking soda and a damp rag). i use vinegar full strength as a rinse agent in my washer. towels are almost as soft as fabric softener and much more absorbent. i use baking soda to clean my toilet (or shampoo i don't like) daily. i spray vinegar water in the tub after showers to cut down the soap scum. occasionally i wipe it all down with a microfiber cloth. looks better than when i used to use chemicals. i use a steam mop or hand steamer to clean my washer and dryer, ceramic tile, kitchen floor - hardwood, window screens, etc etc etc. all of this means i don't go down the chemical aisle at the grocery, my allergies are much better, the house smells clean and fresh, not artificially floral or whatever. it actually took me about two years to use up all the chemical i had in the house when i decided to go this route. it's better to use them up than dump them down the drain. now im breathing better and spending less. thanks for this opportunity.

9/13/2010 11:12:49 AM

Just over a year ago I became familiar with the Enagic water machine and was amazed that properly ionized water is a phenominal cleaner! NO CHEMICALS! You guys really need to look this up!

8/24/2010 5:34:42 PM

For glass it's microfibre. It cleans streak free with just plain water. If the glass is especially dirty (i.e. nose prints from dogs) then I use a little liquid soap (usually castille, which is made from olive oil) and water. I usually keep one of these cloths on the towel rack and my family has been trained to wipe the foggy mirror with it after they shower - wish the rest of the house was as clean as that mirror. For cutting boards I often scrub them with damp salt. I also use home made spray that usually has vinegar, castille soap (just a drop or two), and essential oils, which have various antimicrobial properties. My favourite essential oil is Eucalyptus (I like the smell), but you could use, tea tree, lemon, grapefruit, oregano, or others depending on your preference and the task at hand. Sometimes I add alcohol into the spray bottle because I have some left over from cleaning and sterilizing salve/cream bottles (I make creams and salves) and I hate to see it go to waste. I have successfully used hydrogen peroxide and cream of tartar to clean the iron deposits out of the tub. Baking soda and vinegar for drains. Speaking of drains, yogurt and other fermented food, as well as a bit of raw ground beef into the septic seems to do a great job there. Who needs fancy/costly septic treatments? Plain vinegar for cleaning that white deposit from well water out of tea kettles etc.

anita bellefeuille
8/24/2010 1:26:09 AM

I use steam for cleaning, no not one of those cheap steam mops. I bought a steam wallpaper remover, and it came with all kinds of cleaning attachments. I use it on my floors, counter tops, doors, walls, stove top, oven, refrigerator, bathroom. I also use it for refreshing clothes that don't need a complete cleaning. You can steam your mattresses, pillows, and blankets. It will cut down on allergens not to mention bugs. It's better for refreshing upholstery, than the spray fabric refresher, and no artificial smell.

8/23/2010 8:54:52 AM

This isn't exactly cleaning but for slow drains pour 1/2 cup white vinegar & 1/2 cup baking soda into the drain and close it off for 10-15 minutes. The vinegar & soda create a non-caustic chemical reaction and will not hurt your pipes like commecial drain cleaners. Then flush drain with hot water to clear debris. This will not work once the drain is completely plugged, it should be done as maintenance to prevent the drains from becoming plugged.

8/22/2010 11:33:41 AM

I use Miracle II products...completely non-toxic...you can dilute the soap to whatever strength you need, to clean anything from windows to ovens.

charlie ewing
8/21/2010 8:03:28 AM

I really like to use vinegar for cutting grease and burnt on gunk from my stovetop. It also works great for removing any oil splatters from fish or other fried foods from my countertops and from my wallpaper. I make my own combination of white vinegar with the peels from any citrus fruit I happened to have when I filled my bottle. The bottle sits under the sink in the dark for a few days before I use it to let the citrus particles flow into the vinegar which gives me extra cutting power and a wonderful citrus smell. The bottle I use is the standard cheapo spray bottle found in the local bath and body section of the grocery store. Set to mist or near mist for wonderful results.

8/20/2010 7:58:01 PM

Is Murphy Oil Soap not natural? I use it on leather and wood and it smells so nice. I think it would work nicely on your wood floors. I use apple cider vinegar to sanitize, baking soda if I need a soft scrub and an all purpose cleaner I make using water, Dawn dish soap, Borax and baking soda.

michelle walker
8/20/2010 5:51:49 PM

Baking soda, white vinegar, Dr. Bronner's soaps. Essential oils if I want a scent. BUT does anyone know a really good wood cleaner that I can make? My original 1940 wood floors are in great shape but they really need a cleaning! I'd like to hand wax them. I would love some good ideas!!

mary janke
8/20/2010 5:05:21 PM

Microfibre, it's fantastic. I work as a cleaner in schools and I have proved this product over and over. I had to find a solution to all the chemicals we were supposed to use as I worried about what the chemicals were doing to me personally. Wet the cloth, fold into 1/4's and start wiping. Folding into 1/4's means you have a total of 8 wiping surfaces and that makes the cloth go further between rinsing or washing. Microfibre is made specially to collect dust and grime and it just grabs at it. Sometimes a little baking soda will help out on the job - my home bathroom gets the baking soda and microfibre treatment with a little elbowgrease! Baking soda and the toilet brush do a great job on the loo. I keep a pink microfibre for the bathroom & toilet and blue for the rest of the work. When microfibre gets dirty, it's into the washing machine in a lingerie bag, the fibres do have to be protected or they grab up all the fabric particles in the washing machine water....and microfibre hates fabric softener - it ruins the grabbing nature of the cloth:)

patricia nicholas
8/20/2010 3:37:55 PM

I use all "green" cleaners. I make my own usually and recently I started a green cleaning business. I've evengotten a few commercial window cleaning accounts because my window cleaner doesn't stink. LOL I use natural oils to scent all my products for each customer so they can enjoy their environment and not have to cover up the cleaning smells with sprays. I find that the commercial "natural" cleaners are often ridiculously expensive and if they are being made by the same company that makes non-green cleaners it sort of defeats the purpose.

8/20/2010 3:04:32 PM

Vinegar, water, baking soda, and Dr.Bronner's soap is all I use. I use some essential oils in case I need fragrance. Dr.Bronner's has become my favorite laundry detergent and baking soda is a great fabric softener.

alinda harrison
8/20/2010 2:38:09 PM

While we haven't gotten to the point of making our own soaps yet (I generally use Bio-Clean or 7th Generation products for laundry and dishes), we do 90% of the cleaning around our house with vinegar, baking soda and/or a little of the afore-mentioned dish soap or maybe some lemon juice. I get my unscented natural soaps in the "natural foods" aisle and the other cleaning products in the grocery aisles, generally avoiding the heavily perfumed "cleaning products" aisle that I'm so allergic to altogether.

8/20/2010 2:06:40 PM

Tea tree oil in water as an antiseptic for cutting boards and kitchen counters. Great for the bathtub. Takes less scrubbing than baking soda. Vinegar substitutes for fabric softener in the laundry.

margaret fultz_2
8/20/2010 12:25:56 PM

We make our own cleaning products, vinegar and water for cleaning windows, stovetops, countertops, etc. We make our clothes washing soap from borax, washing soda, shredded bar soap and our dishwashing powder from borax, washing soda, citric acid and kosher salt. I use baking soda to clean the bathroom - it takes a little more elbow grease to get the tub clean, but there's absolutely no odor from the cleaning product and the tub sparkles. I have found that the more I use natural products for cleaning, the more I can't be around commercial products. They are not kind to my sinuses;-) Plus, I can totally skip the cleaning aisle except to get my raw materials and it's 'way cheaper!

8/20/2010 11:58:20 AM

One of the best homemade cleaners I've come across is for stainless steel...Just mix alcohol and mineral oil at a 50/50 ratio. Better than any high dollar stuff out there!

b clark_1
8/20/2010 8:04:50 AM

Definitely.. we use Melaleuca products!! We have used other brands for years, such as Seventh Gen, Greenworks, Meyers,etc. But, upon closer examination, we have discovered that they sometimes are not as "green" as they claim. Melaleleuca is as much as 6x concentrated,safe enough that childproof lids not required, perform outstandingly well and have the added benefit of tremendous cost savings!!

8/20/2010 7:27:32 AM

We use Shaklee's "Get Clean" products. They are extremely economical and of course biodegradeable and safe. I believe Shaklee's all purpose cleaner, "Basic H" was the first official Earth Day cleanser back in 1970. We have never been dissatisfied with any of the products and have been using them since 2002. We get a shipment 2 times per year and that's usually laundry cleanser. The other cleaners are concentrated and we haven't had to repurchase them except for liquid laundry cleaner which we use as a pretreater. We love that they are so inexpensive and not harsh but work very well. We highly recommend these products. We liked the idea of making our own, but it's just so much less time consuming to buy the cleaning kit from Shaklee once and then refill every 5-10 years or so. Pam and Bill Baker

m. worrell
8/19/2010 12:01:36 PM

Great post! The natural cleaner recipes are very easy to make and I won't need to go out and buy anything special...that's a HUGE plus. For years, I've used 409, Tide, and Palmolive in my house. After reading up on these on the web, I've decided to switch for eco-friendly brands that are safer for my family. Today, we use Seventh Generation Dish Soap, Sun and Earth Laundry Detergent, and Greenworks Multipurpose Cleaner. These are some of the better products on the market today. Seventh Generation and Sun and Earth have been around for 30 years...never would have guessed that.

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