is an All-Natural Non-Toxic
Home Cleaning Services
Home Cleaning Habits
Commercial Non-Toxic Household Products
Today's modern home is loaded with toxic and polluting
substances designed to make domestic life easier.
of these commercial, chemical-based products can be high
-- long term health concerns for the family, and
environmental pollution caused by their manufacture and
disposal. In the US, for example, 1 in 3 people suffer
from allergies, asthma, sinusitis or bronchitis (US
National Center for Health Statistics). Treatment for
these conditions should include reducing synthetic
chemicals in the home environment.
For many home-cleaning chores, you can make your own
cleaning products using the formulas listed below.
A growing number of
commercial non-toxic home cleaning
products are also available, as healthier and
environmentally responsible alternatives. Your use of
these products helps promote the growth of green
businesses which are contributing to a sustainable
many inexpensive, easy-to-use natural alternatives which
can safely be used in place of commercial household
products. Here is a list of common, environmentally safe
products which can be used alone or in combination for a
wealth of household applications.
Baking Soda - cleans,
deodorizes, softens water, scours.
Soap - unscented soap
in liquid form, flakes, powders or bars is
biodegradable and will clean just about anything.
Avoid using soaps which contain petroleum
Lemon - one of the
strongest food-acids, effective against most
- (sodium borate) cleans, deodorizes, disinfects,
softens water, cleans wallpaper, painted walls and
White Vinegar - cuts
grease, removes mildew, odors, some stains and wax
Washing Soda - or SAL
Soda is sodium carbonate decahydrate, a mineral.
Washing soda cuts grease, removes stains, softens
water, cleans wall, tiles, sinks and tubs. Use care,
as washing soda can irritate mucous membranes. Do
not use on aluminum.
- is an
excellent disinfectant. (It has been suggested to
replace this with ethanol or 100 proof alcohol in
solution with water. There is some indication that
isopropyl alcohol buildup contributes to illness in
the body. See http://drclark.ch/g)
be used to clean windows, polish furniture, shampoo
carpets and rugs.
Citrus Solvent - cleans
paint brushes, oil and grease, some stains. (Citrus
solvent may cause skin, lung or eye irritations for
people with multiple chemical sensitivities.)
Trisodium phosphate (TSP)
- a mixture of soda ash
and phosphoric acid. TSP is toxic if swallowed, but
it can be used on many jobs, such as cleaning drains
or removing old paint, that would normally require
much more caustic and poisonous chemicals, and it
does not create any fumes.
Combinations of the above basic products can provide
less harmful substitutions for many commercial home
products. In most cases, they're also less expensive.
Here are some formulas for safe, alternative home care
These formulas and substitutions
are offered to help minimize the use of toxic substances
in your home, and reduce the environmental harm caused
by the manufacture, use and disposal of toxics. Results
may vary and cannot be guaranteed to be 100% safe and
effective. Before applying any cleaning formulations,
test in small hidden areas if possible. Always use
caution with any new product in your home.
Make sure to keep all
home-made formulas well-labeled, and out of the reach of
All-Purpose Cleaner: Mix
1/2 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup baking soda (or 2 teaspoons
borax) into 1/2 gallon (2 liters) water. Store and keep.
Use for removal of water deposit stains on shower stall
panels, bathroom chrome fixtures, windows, bathroom
Another alternative is microfiber cloths which lift off
dirt, grease and dust without the need for cleaning
chemicals, because they are formulated to penetrate and
trap dirt. There are a number of different brands. A
good quality cloth can last for several years.
Air Freshener: Commercial
air fresheners mask smells and coat nasal passages to
diminish the sense of smell.
• Baking soda or vinegar with lemon juice in small
dishes absorbs odors around the house.
• Having houseplants helps reduce odors in the home.
• Prevent cooking odors by simmering vinegar (1 tbsp in
1 cup water) on the stove while cooking. To get such
smells as fish and onion off utensils and cutting
boards, wipe them with vinegar and wash in soapy water.
• Keep fresh coffee grounds on the counter.
• Grind up a slice of lemon in the garbage disposal.
• Simmer water and cinnamon or other spices on stove.
• Place bowls of fragrant dried herbs and flowers in
Bathroom mold: Mold in
bathroom tile grout is a common problem and can be a
health concern. Mix one part hydrogen peroxide (3%) with
two parts water in a spray bottle and spray on areas
with mold. Wait at least one hour before rinsing or
Carpet stains: Mix equal
parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray
directly on stain, let sit for several minutes, and
clean with a brush or sponge using warm soapy water.
For a heavy duty carpet cleaner, mix 1/4 cup each of
salt, borax and vinegar. Rub paste into carpet and leave
for a few hours. Vacuum.
Chopping block cleaner: Rub
a slice of lemon across a chopping block to disinfect
the surface. For tougher stains, squeeze some of the
lemon juice onto the spot and let sit for 10 minutes,
Coffee and tea stains:
Stains in cups can be removed by applying vinegar to a
sponge and wiping. To clean a teakettle or coffee maker,
add 2 cups water and 1/4 cup vinegar; bring to a boil.
Let cool, wipe with a clean cloth and rinse thoroughly
• Plastic food storage containers - soak overnight in
warm water and baking soda
• In-sink garbage disposal units - grind up lemon or
orange peel in the unit
• Carpets - sprinkle baking soda several hours before
• Garage, basements - set a sliced onion on a plate in
center of room for 12 - 24 hours
Dishwasher Soap: Mix equal
parts of borax and washing soda, but increase the
washing soda if your water is hard.
Commercial low-phosphate detergents are not themselves
harmful, but phosphates nourish algae which use up
oxygen in waterways. A detergent substitution is to use
liquid soap. Add 2 or 3 tablespoons of vinegar to the
warm, soapy water for tough jobs.
Disinfectant: Mix 2
teaspoons borax, 4 tablespoons vinegar and 3 cups hot
water. For stronger cleaning power add 1/4 teaspoon
liquid castile soap. Wipe on with dampened cloth or use
non-aerosol spray bottle.
Drain Cleaner: For light
drain cleaning, mix 1/2 cup salt in 4 liters water, heat
(but not to a boil) and pour down the drain. For
stronger cleaning, pour about 1/2 cup baking soda down
the drain, then 1/2 cup vinegar. The resulting chemical
reaction can break fatty acids down into soap and
glycerine, allowing the clog to wash down the drain.
After 15 minutes, pour in boiling water to clear
residue. Caution: only use this method with metal
plumbing. Plastic pipes can melt if excess boiling water
is used. Also, do not use this method after trying a
commercial drain opener--the vinegar can react with the
drain opener to create dangerous fumes.
Fabric softener: To reduce static
cling, dampen your hands, then shake out your clothes as
you remove them from the drier.
Line-drying clothing is another
Floor Cleaner and Polish:
apply a thin coat of 1:1 vegetable
oil and vinegar and rub in well.
mix 1 teaspoon washing soda into 1 gallon (4L) hot
brick and stone tiles:
mix 1 cup white vinegar in 1 gallon (4L) water; rinse
with clear water.
Most floor surfaces can
be easily cleaned using a solution of vinegar and water.
For damp-mopping wood floors: mix equal amounts of white
distilled vinegar and water. Add 15 drops of pure
peppermint oil; shake to mix.
Polish: For varnished wood, add a
few drops of lemon oil into a 1/2 cup warm water. Mix
well and spray onto a soft cotton cloth. Cloth should
only be slightly damp. Wipe furniture with the cloth,
and finish by wiping once more using a dry soft cotton
For unvarnished wood, mix two tsps each of olive oil and
lemon juice and apply a small amount to a soft cotton
cloth. Wring the cloth to spread the mixture further
into the material and apply to the furniture using wide
strokes. This helps distribute the oil evenly.
Laundry Detergent: Mix 1 cup Ivory
soap (or Fels Naptha soap), 1/2 cup washing soda and 1/2
cup borax. Use 1 tbsp for light loads; 2 tbsp for heavy
Lime Deposits: You
can reduce lime deposits in your teakettle by putting in
1/2 cup (125ml) white vinegar and 2 cups water, and
gently boiling for a few minutes. Rinse well with fresh
water while kettle is still warm.
Marks on walls and painted
surfaces: Many ink spots, pencil, crayon or
marker spots can be cleaned from painted surfaces using
baking soda applied to a damp sponge. Rub gently, then
wipe and rinse.
Cleaners and Polishes:
soft cloth, clean with a solution of cream of tartar and
brass or bronze:
polish with a soft cloth dipped in lemon and baking-soda
solution, or vinegar and salt solution.
chrome: polish with
baby oil, vinegar, or aluminum foil shiny side out.
soak a cotton rag in a pot of
boiling water with 1 tablespoon salt and 1 cup white
vinegar. Apply to copper while hot; let cool, then wipe
clean. For tougher jobs, sprinkle baking soda or lemon
juice on a soft cloth, then wipe. For copper cookware,
sprinkle a lemon wedge with salt, then scrub.
clean with toothpaste, or a paste of salt, vinegar, and
line a pan with aluminum foil and fill with water; add a
teaspoon each of baking soda and salt. Bring to a boil
and immerse silver. Polish with soft cloth.
clean with a cloth dampened with undiluted white
vinegar, or olive oil. For stainless cookware, mix 4 tbs
baking soda in 1 qt water, and apply using a soft cloth.
Wipe dry using a clean cloth.
Mildew: Use white vinegar or lemon
juice full strength. Apply with a sponge or scrubby.
common mothball is made of paradichlorobenzene, which is
harmful to liver and kidneys. Cedar chips in a
cheesecloth square, or cedar oil in an absorbant cloth
will repel moths. The cedar should be 'aromatic cedar',
also referred to as juniper in some areas. Cedar chips
are available at many craft supply stores, or make your
own using a plane and a block of cedar from the
Homemade moth-repelling sachets can also be made with
lavender, rosemary, vetiver and rose petals.
Dried lemon peels are also a natural moth deterrent
- simply toss into clothes chest, or tie in cheesecloth
and hang in the closet.
Oil and Grease Spots: For
small spills on the garage floor, add baking soda and
scrub with wet brush.
Oven Cleaner: Moisten oven
surfaces with sponge and water. Use 3/4cup baking soda,
1/4cup salt and 1/4cup water to make a thick paste, and
spread throughout oven interior. (avoid bare metal and
any openings) Let sit overnight. Remove with spatula and
wipe clean. Rub gently with fine steel wool for tough
spots. Or use Arm & Hammer Oven Cleaner, declared
nontoxic by Consumers Union.
Paint Brush Cleaner:
Non-toxic, citrus oil based solvents are now available
commercially under several brand names. Citra-Solve is
one brand. This works well for cleaning brushes of
oil-based paints. Paint brushes and rollers used for an
on-going project can be saved overnight, or even up to a
week, without cleaning at all. Simply wrap the brush or
roller snugly in a plastic bag, such as a used bread or
produce bag. Squeeze out air pockets and store away from
light. The paint won't dry because air can't get to it.
Simply unwrap the brush or roller the next day and
continue with the job.
Fresh paint odors can be reduced by placing a small dish
of white vinegar in the room.
Rust Remover: Sprinkle a
little salt on the rust, squeeze a lime over the salt
until it is well soaked. Leave the mixture on for 2 - 3
hours. Use leftover rind to scrub residue.
Scouring Powder: For top of
stove, refrigerator and other such surfaces that should
not be scratched, use baking soda. Apply baking soda
directly with a damp sponge.
Shoe Polish: Olive oil with
a few drops of lemon juice can be applied to shoes with
a thick cotton or terry rag. Leave for a few minutes;
wipe and buff with a clean, dry rag.
Stickers on walls: Our
children covered the inside of their room doors with
stickers. Now they are grown, but the stickers remained.
To remove, sponge vinegar over them several times, and
wait 15 minutes, then rub off the stickers. This also
works for price tags (stickers) on tools, etc.
Toilet Bowl Cleaner: Mix
1/4 cup baking soda and 1 cup vinegar, pour into basin
and let it set for a few minutes. Scrub with brush and
rinse. A mixture of borax (2 parts) and lemon juice (one
part) will also work.
Tub and Tile Cleaner: For
simple cleaning, rub in baking soda with a damp sponge
and rinse with fresh water. For tougher jobs, wipe
surfaces with vinegar first and follow with baking soda
as a scouring powder. (Vinegar can break down tile
grout, so use sparingly.)
Mix equal parts of white vinegar and hot water, apply
with sponge over the old wallpaper to soften the
adhesive. Open room windows or use a fan to dissipate
the pungent vinegar smell.
Water Rings on Wood: Water
rings on a wooden table or counter are the result of
moisture that is trapped under the topcoat, but not the
finish. Try applying toothpaste or mayonnaise to a damp
cloth and rub into the ring. Once the ring is removed,
buff the entire wood surface.
Window Cleaner: Mix 2
teaspoons of white vinegar with 1 liter (qt) warm water.
Use crumpled newspaper or cotton cloth to clean. Don't
clean windows if the sun is on them, or if they are
warm, or streaks will show on drying. The All-Purpose
Cleaner (above) also works well on windows. Be sure to
follow the recipe, because using too strong a solution
of vinegar will etch the glass and eventually cloud it.
Healthy Home Cleaning Habits
Many modern homes are so tight there's little new air
coming in. Open the windows from time to time or run any
installed exhaust fans. In cold weather, the most
efficient way to exchange room air is to open the room
wide - windows and doors, and let fresh air in quickly
for about 5 minutes. The furnishings in the room, and
the walls, act as 'heat sinks', and by exchanging air
quickly, this heat is retained.
Remove clutter which collects dust, such as old
newspapers and magazines. Try to initiate a
'no-shoes-indoors' policy. If you're building or
remodeling a home, consider a central vacuum system;
this eliminates the fine dust which portable vacuum
Most time is spent in the bedrooms. Keep pets out of
these rooms, especially if they spend time outdoors.
Gentle Cleaning Products:
Of the various commercial home cleaning products, drain
cleaners, toilet bowl cleaners and oven cleaners are the
most toxic. Use the formulas described above or purchase
'green' commercial alternatives. Avoid products
containing ammonia or chlorine, or petroleum-based
chemicals; these contribute to respiratory irritation,
headaches and other complaints.
Clean from the Top Down:
When house cleaning, save the floor or carpet for last.
Allow time for the dust to settle before vacuuming.
Us Today for a Free Consultation