10 Non-Toxic Cleaning Products For Spring Cleaning

Plus, 9 Cleaning Products I Won’t Use in My Home

by Christiane Northrup, M.D.

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Experts say that the average home has roughly 62 toxic chemicals lurking about. That’s significant!  Government regulations regarding labeling of toxic chemicals in cleaning products are pretty lax. Rather than a list of ingredients, what you see instead are those little pictures, like a flame, or skull and cross bones, or even dynamite.  

But, what those pictures don’t show you is how all those chemicals can affect even a healthy person over time. For example, many cleaning products use volatile organic compounds to enhance their performance (in other words, you don’t need to use too much elbow grease with these.)  Over time, these compounds can impair neurological functions, cause respiratory irritation, and can even cause cancer or reproductive issues depending on the level of exposure.

Now, if you use one of these chemical-containing cleaning products occasionally with proper ventilation, it is most likely not going to harm you or the environment irreparably. The issue is when you use more than one cleaning product that contains harmful chemicals every time you clean.  Just think of your bathroom for a moment.  You probably have one product to clean mildew from your tub and tile, another for your toilet bowl, one for your mirror, and yet another to clean the surfaces. That can add up to a lot of harmful chemicals.

I know that greening your home can be a challenge. One of the easiest ways to begin making your home a healthy sanctuary is by removing the chemical-laden cleaning products you use and replacing them with greener options. You can do this as you run out of your current products and replace them one by one.

Here are 9 “dirty” cleaning products that I prefer not to use in my own home:

Disinfectant Powders and Sprays

The Environmental Working Group found 146 chemicals in Comet, one of the most popular household disinfectants.  Some of these chemicals are known to cause cancer, asthma, and reproductive disorders. The most toxic of the chemicals found in Comet, including formaldehyde, benzene, chloroform and toluene, are not even listed on the label. Try Bon Ami as a safe alternative.

Air Fresheners

While technically not a cleaner, many people use air fresheners and deodorizers to cover up smells in their homes, especially if they have pets. But, air fresheners typically contain toxic chemicals such as 2, 5-dichlorophenol (2, 5-DCP) and 1, 4-dichlorobenzone (1, 4-DCB), as well as endocrine-disrupting phthalates. I prefer to use essential oils in a diffuser as an air freshener.  You can also mix essential oils with baking soda and use as a carpet deodorizer.  Opening a window can do wonders as well.

Tub and Tile Cleaners

Remember the Scrubbing Bubbles TV commercial featuring a cute little bubble that eats all the dirt and mildew?  Well, that product — and many other conventional tub and tile cleaners — is filled with toxic chemicals that act as endocrine disruptors, and can also cause respiratory and nervous system problems.  

Spot Removers

We all have had moments where we spill something on the upholstery, or on a silk blouse, and have reached for the spot remover.  Now you may want to think again.  Spot removers contain a chemical known as “Perc,” (short for perchloroethylene,) a neurotoxin that is also classified as a possible carcinogen. Dry cleaning solutions used by commercial dry cleaners also contain Perc.  Try a nontoxic brand of spot remover, such as Ecover, which you can buy at stores or online.  For clothes that say “dry clean only,” try wet cleaning, a professional cleaning process that avoids the use of toxic chemical solvents.  Or, look for a dry cleaner that does not use Perc in their cleaning process.

Liquid Dish Detergents

Most conventional dish detergent liquids, such as Palmolive Eco+ Gel, contain triclosan, an antibacterial agent (also found in antibacterial hand soaps) that has been associated with the growth of drug-resistant bacteria. In addition, these products contain ingredients with the potential for causing cancer, as well as developmental, endocrine and reproductive issues.

Ammonia

Most glass cleaners and all purpose cleaners contain ammonia, which is a powerful irritant.  People with asthma, or other lung issues should avoid all products with ammonia. Plus, ammonia has been linked to chronic bronchitis and is very harmful to the environment.

Oven Cleaners

If you have ever read the warning labels on oven cleaners, such as Easy Off, you probably realize that these are toxic. Ethanolamine is the main chemical in oven cleaners.  It can have a negative effect on all of your organs and systems.  Oven cleaners also contain sodium hydroxide (lye.) I definitely don’t want these chemicals getting in my eyes, lungs, or in my food!

Drain Clog Removers

The chemicals in clog removers, such as Liquid Plumr, are highly toxic to our water and wildlife. In addition, they can cause severe burns and eye damage. Try boiling water, baking soda and vinegar instead.

Lysol Bathroom Cleaner

The bathroom is probably the place where you use the harshest cleaning products. If the smell of bathroom cleaning products, such as Lysol, doesn’t deter you from using them, then you should know that they can put you at risk for a number of health issues, including asthma and other respiratory concerns, allergies, reproductive and developmental problems and even cancer.

Healthy Spring Cleaning Tips For Everyone

Nothing could be more Goddess-like than using products that are safe for your family and the environment.  I am all for making life easy, so if buying green cleaning products is easier for you, then by all means you should purchase the highest quality products you can afford. When buying products at the store, look for a list all of the ingredients on every label.

If you choose to buy your green cleaning products, remember that just because something claims to be “green,” “natural” or “biodegradable” on the label, that doesn’t always mean it’s nontoxic. Be sure to use the Environmental Working Group’s Guide to Healthy Cleaners database to look up products and check their ratings.

If green cleaning products cost more than you are willing to spend, don’t worry.  The good news is that cleaning like a green goddess can be just as easy and less expensive than cleaning with toxic chemicals. All you need are basic, every day items from your grocery store.

Here are some basic ingredients to keep on hand so you can clean just about anything like a green goddess:

baking-soda-lemon_74452183

  1. White Vinegar – Has antifungal properties
  2. Baking soda – Eliminates odors and can be used as a gently scouring powder
  3. Lemon Juice – Non-toxic bleach, grease cutter, and stain remover
  4. Borax (sodium borate) – Eliminates odors, removes dirt and acts as a disinfectant.
  5. Hydrogen Peroxide (3% concentration) – Non-toxic bleach, stain remover and disinfectant.
  6. Liquid Castile Soap (such as Dr. Bronner’s)
  7. Club Soda – Stain remover and polisher
  8. Corn Meal – For carpet spills
  9. Olive Oil – Furniture polish
  10. Essential Oils – Scent, antibacterial properties. (Always follow safety instructions as they are highly concentrated.)

5 Green Cleaning Recipes To Keep Your Home Healthy

Here are a few basic recipes and techniques to get you started:

All Purpose Cleaner

  • 2 cups white distilled vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • Essential oil (optional)

You can use this on hard surfaces such as countertops and kitchen floors, even windows and mirrors.

Glass Cleaner

  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1 quart water

Mix together in spray bottle. Spray on glass and wipe with lint-free cloth. (Note: You can always add more vinegar for a stronger cleaning solution.)

Soft Scrub

  • 2 cups baking soda
  • ½ cup to 2/3 cup liquid castile soap
  • 4 teaspoons vegetable glycerin (preservative)
  • 5 drops antibacterial essential oil (optional)

Mix together and store in a sealed glass jar for a shelf life of 2 years. 

Use this on kitchen counters, stoves, bathtubs and sinks.

Laundry Soap

  • 1 cup soap flakes
  • 1 cup washing soda (1/4 -1/2 if you have soft water)
  • 1 cup baking soda (1/2 cup for soft water)
  • 1-2 tbsp. oxygen bleach (optional for extra whitening power)

Mix all ingredients together and store in a glass container.

You only need one tablespoon per load, but you can add two tablespoons for more soiled laundry.  Use in warm or cold water and it is safe for HE machines.

Note: You can make your own soap flakes by grating your favorite pure vegetable soap with a cheese grater.

Tips: Distilled white vinegar added to the rinse cycle makes a great fabric softener.  It also removes odors.  Hydrogen peroxide is a great whitener and, when used directly on clothes prior to washing, can be used in place of bleach to remove stains

Furniture Polish

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar
  • 20 drops Lemon essential oil (or 2 teaspoons lemon juice)

Shake well

Note: If using lemon juice instead of lemon oil, you must store in refrigerator

Tips: Dip a clean, dry cloth into the polish and rub wood in the direction of the grain. Use a soft brush to work the polish into corners or tight places.

Some other easy ways to clean and disinfect without harsh chemicals include:

  1. Sprinkle a toilet brush with baking soda to scrub you toilet clean. To disinfect your toilet, you can occasionally use borax instead. To clean the outside of your toilet, just wipe with vinegar.
  2. Wipe away mold and mildew with straight vinegar.
  3. Sprinkle essential oil on a cotton ball and place it in a room to give it a fresh scent. (You can even do this in your car!) Experiment with different oils.  Lavender is great for bedrooms to help you relax. Citrus oils smell wonderful for the rest of the house.  Be sure to place out of reach of children and pets.

What green Goddess cleaning habits work for you? Do you have any tips or recipes to share?

Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Christiane Northrup, M.D., is a visionary pioneer and a leading authority in the field of women’s health and wellness. Recognizing the unity of body, mind, and spirit, she empowers women to trust their inner wisdom, their connection with Source, and their ability to truly flourish.

Comments

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  1. Lorraine
    1 month ago

    Any tips for getting red wine out of a cream wool carpet arghh. I have cleaned once but stain still there.

    1. Sherry
      4 weeks ago

      white wine is a great red wine remover!

    2. Shasta
      4 days ago

      A friend of mine was able to get red wine out of her carpet with a non-toxic cleaner called Sol U Mel. I use it for all kinds of stain removing at my house. It has over 100 uses as a safe cleaner. I love it!!!

  2. Anna
    1 month ago

    Thank you for compiling and sharing this information! I love this post <3 including all the inspiring comments!
    Indeed it is all so easy and inexpensive – I went straight out and had a shopping binge :-))) But before I unpack it all and do my spring cleaning your style this year, I have to share this info:
    I attempted to get some borax at the pharmacy, just like glycerin and hydrogen peroxide … well, what I learned was that it's not possible to buy any in Germany – and the rest of the EU, I assume – for it's coded as toxic and teratogenic. (Interestingly, there's a German article on wikipedia: https:// de.wikipedia .org/wiki/Natriumtetraborat which names the toxicity codes, including that nice little skull, while there's no warning to be found in the corresponding English article)
    The consultant at the pharmacy recommended to use some hydrochloric acid instead to clean the toilet. Of course, like with all chemicals, cautiously 😉
    Happy spring cleaning!

  3. Sue
    1 month ago

    Christiane, You do realize that bar soap – ALL bar soap contains lye, some corn products that are more popular with certain segments of society (such as hominy) are also made with lye… Liquid soaps (such as the liquid castille you mention above) are made by shredding and adding (usually) glycerine to regular castille soap which is lye-water, olive oil and (traditionally) tallow or vegetable oil (the modern alternative and normally 100% soybean oil.

    All soaps are created with either sodium or potassium hydroxide. Chemistry has never come up with its replacement.

    Lye is made from wood ash and has been used for centuries. Not the sort of thing children or klutzes should mess with, but the chemical reaction that creates soap is the same that turns corn into hominy. It is only a few steps up the alkaline ladder from baking soda, which does not produce as much heat, but is essentially creating a similar reaction when combined with water.

    1. Robyn
      1 month ago

      After saponification and aging of soap bars, lye is “used up” and neutral. It chemically changes.

  4. Vivian Franck
    1 month ago

    Dear Christiane,

    I am so grateful for these suggestions! I fortunately have not been using most of the toxic products, but it’s great to know what to avoid, and to have the helpful alternatives to dry cleaning and ammonia, for instance!

    Thanks a million!

  5. Victoria Anderson
    1 month ago

    I love The Simply Co.. Lauren makes her own laundry detergent using only three ingredients in glass jars. The smell is amazing!!! She also has great zero waste tips. Check out her site thesimplyco.com

    1. Christiane L Northrup
      3 weeks ago

      Thanks for this. I’ll check!!

  6. Deb
    1 month ago

    This is a great list and I have been cleaning with these for many years. However, PLEASE BE CAUTIOUS WITH ESSENTIAL OILS IF YOU HAVE PETS! Many that we love are toxic to pets. They absorb them through their paws and cannot metabolize them. Cats are more at risk than dogs. After reading many tragic stories from well intentioned per owners, I stopped putting any essential oils my cleaners so that they cannot come into direct contact. If you want to diffuse, be mindful that their sense of smell is incredibly sensitive. >3

    1. Judee
      1 month ago

      Essential oils that are therapeutic quality are safe for animals. There are veterinarians that use them on animals. If the essential oil is NOT therapeutic, it is probably cut with toxic chemicals and not good for ANYone.

      However, essential oils should usually be used in a “carrier” oil–like olive oil or almond oil–always dilute the essential oils when using them on animals and, usually, on people, too.

      If they are used in water or salts, they are probably OK.

  7. Joy
    1 month ago

    great to talk about this subject, i have for years been using enjo microfibre cloths and also more recently norwex cleaning cloths, they are chemical free and work great, i don’t know if you can get them in the U.S but in Australia we can get them. Thanks Christinane for once again bringing up a really important subject

  8. Suzanne
    1 month ago

    I have a big farm sink that is white. It gets yucky pretty quickly. Instead of using a cleanser, I often take the rind of whatever citrus fruit I have juiced recently, turn it inside out, and wipe down the sink and the drain with it and then put it into the disposal for a fresh scent. This way, I keep that stuff off my sponges and don’t have to resort to a scrub more than once a month or so.

    1. Christiane L Northrup
      3 weeks ago

      I love this idea. Thanks!

  9. Whitney Weinstein
    1 month ago

    I hate the idea that commercial shampoos are only sold in plastic, plus they contain lots of harmful chemicals. Here’s something i found on making your own:

    Easy Homemade Natural Shampoo

    1/2 cup coconut milk
    2/3 cup Castile soap
    10-15 drops essential oil of your choice
    2 teaspoons almond oil or olive oil

    Mix together all the ingredients in the bottle and shake thoroughly. Just give it a shake before you use.

    The Center for Environmental Health based in Oakland, California, performed a study on shampoos and soaps and found that 98 included a possible carcinogen known as cocamide diethanolamine (cocamide DEA). Ingredients such as Cocamide Diethanolamine (cocamide DEA), have been found in body care products. Cocamide DEA is a suspected carcinogen.
    Some of the products that contain high levels of the illegal chemical are sold under well-known companies such as Colgate Palmolive, Paul Mitchell, and Prell. Lab tests also found the carcinogen in children’s products, such as a store brand bubble bath from KMart, and a shampoo/conditioner from Babies R Us.

    Unfortunately, manufacturers can put any toxic chemical they want into shampoos because the FDA allows all sorts of chemicals to be used in these products, including chemicals that are known carcinogens and that contribute to liver failure and nervous system disorders.

    1. Carol McWilliams
      3 weeks ago

      What is the shelf life of this home made product? Does it need to be stored in the refrigerator?

  10. Donna Brown
    1 month ago

    Baking soda is a wonderful grease remover, as well. It wipes away all that gummy kitchen grease that collects on the range hood or on things that might be sitting near the stove, like canisters or salt and pepper shakers, that your sponge normally just smears around. Just be sure you rinse the object after you use it; it will leave a white residue behind when it dries if you don’t.

  11. Thanks for providing such valuable information. These chemicals are harmful to humans and even more harmful to our pets. It’s no wonder we hear about so many dogs and cats getting cancer!

  12. Trish
    1 month ago

    I use all Amway cleaning products. They are all green, very concentrated & work great!

  13. Hedy Klinger
    1 month ago

    Thank you very very much Dr. Northrup for all the wonderful extensive information for green cleaning. It is is the most informative list of tips on this subject I have read. I plan to make good use of what I have learned from you and share it with my friends.
    Much thanks again,
    Hedy Klinger

  14. LOLLY
    1 month ago

    ESSENTIAL OILS CAN BE DANGEROUS TO PETS-PLEASE USE EXTREME CAUTION IF YOU
    DECIDE TO USE THESE IN ANY FASHION.
    AS WE KNOW, NATURAL DOES NOT ALWAYS MEAN SAFE .

  15. Cathy
    1 month ago

    To get water stains out of your wood furniture, sprinkle with some ash (I take it from my fire place – in the 70s, my mother would empty take it from the ashtrays after a dinner party) before polishing with olive oil (my mother used mayonnaise) – stain gone and wood grain pops!

  16. Elaine Dun
    1 month ago

    Hi Dr. Northrup,
    Thank you for this wonderful blog. I just found out about Methylisothiazolinone a toxic chemical in hand soaps, dish soaps, laundry detergents, lotions, shaving cream, etc. The friend that told me about this was having hair loss, from her shampoo, and numbness and tingling in her arms and hands. Since she has stopped using this chemical her issues have resolved. I went around my house and found it in my son’s shaving cream, shampoo, body wash, hand soaps, even in my favorite hand and body lotion. I thought I was doing a decent job around my house not using toxic house cleaners, hand soap and lotions for myself but apparently I wasn’t doing the best job for the rest of my family, who could care less. What is deceiving is how they market these products to be clean and natural. I have started gathering the products in my home that have this chemical in it to dispose of them, and the list just keeps getting longer. I’m in shock and very upset about this because I’m realizing this chemical is in almost everything we use. I too have been having numbness and tingling down my left arm over the past few months now. I thought it was a pinched nerve from tight muscles, I have been to the doctor. I also have suffered from hair loss. I’m not sure if my issue is related to all the chemicals but it will be interesting to see once I rid my house of all chemicals if my issues resolves. Thank you again.

    1. I am interested to know which products you had that contained this chemical. I checked my Burt’s Bee’s lotion, Alba Botanical shampoo and Mrs. Meyer’s hand soap and they did not contain it luckily. My Husband’s shampoo, that he bought on sale, did contain it and lots more chemicals (Suave Men 3-in-1 shampoo, conditioner and body wash). That is going out and he can use the Alba. He had been using Head and Shoulders for years and recently replaced an empty bottle with the Suave. I hate the fake chemical smell of products like that. Thanks for sharing this info.

      1. Elaine Dun
        1 month ago

        Hi Deborah,
        I found it in my son’s Dove bodywash & Tresemme shampoo & conditioner. I also found it in Trader Joe’s Midsummer Night’s Cream- Extra Dry Formula, My Super Dog’s Lavender Dog Shampoo. Benzisothiazolinone is in our Shout stain remover for clothes. I can’t see the ingredients on the bottle of Ajax dish soap but when I look the product up on line it lists Methylisothiazolinone & Benzisothiazolinone as a preservative. I have used Alba lotion & Burt’s Bee’s products previously, thank you for the information.
        I hope this is helpful.
        Elaine

    2. Eileen
      1 month ago

      Thanks for sharing this! Going to go check every thing!

  17. Lauren Woodley
    2 years ago

    Thank you for sharing such a thorough list on products you can use to clean your home in a more effective and eco-friendly way. That being said, you talk about how White Vinegar has antifungal properties and Baking soda eliminates odors and can be used as a gentle scouring powder. Additionally, you talk about how these can clean just about anything, so I was wondering if you think that these two ingredients together can help to clear and clean clogs effectively? I have heard that this is a great way to regularly maintain your home’s plumbing, but I wanted to hear if you would agree? Thank you for the help!

    1. Danielle Guion
      1 month ago

      There are enzyme culture cleaners for drains like “Biokleen.” I’m not sure if vinegar and baking soda will do exactly what you described but I feel like the effervescence of them together is effective. I also ‘soak’ my gemstone jewelry in baking soda and vinegar, then give a little scrub and rinse. A spray bottle of pure white vinegar and box of baking soda replaces so much!

    2. Dee
      1 month ago

      In conjunction use a plunger on sink or tub clogs works like a charm. No chemicals

  18. Dyson
    2 years ago

    If that’s the case, you should consider hiring a professional duct cleaner — this is probably not a job you can safely do on your own. Your basic vinegar and water solution is really the perfect choice for cleaning most types of bare floors in your home.

  19. Amatul Wadood Nazli
    2 years ago

    Thank you very much for all these green ideas. I have very successful experience with soap nuts. We boil them and put the liquid in the bottles. For half an hour I soak the clothes in the liquid. The clothes becomes clean. sometimes I brush the clothes if needed.

  20. Renee
    2 years ago

    Use ordinary table salt to soak up and eliminate red wine spills on carpets or table linen.

    Sprinkle liberally and leave overnight

  21. Kimberly
    2 years ago

    using olive oil is far better than anything you can buy in the store. with bees wax 3T wax to 6T oil in a double boiler and the wax helps seal the wood so you don’t need to polish as often

  22. Radmila
    2 years ago

    You can also use your own rose vinegar. It´s very easy to make it by yourself.
    Just take a small bottle (250 ml) and fill it with about 2/3 with dried rose petals. Add organic apple vinegar.
    Leave it at least for 2 weeks at and filter the amount you need. you can use it in salads, for cleaning or even also to rinse your hair after shampoo. It is great multi-purpose vinegar. I always have some.

    1. Christiane
      2 years ago

      Oh I love this idea!! We have Rosa Ragosa bushes all over so many beaches here in Maine. And the petals are fragrant and wonderful. So thank you. I’m trying this!!

  23. vidisha kaushal
    2 years ago

    There is a wonderful thing called Soapnuts which do so many wonderful things.
    1) I put 4-5 in a lill pouch for my laundry and my clothes come out lovely.
    2) It is a natural softener for clothes especially wollens and silks and washes even carpets!!
    3) It is used in every Paraben free hair/ body wash in India.
    4) It washes jewellery wonderfully and lastly – I soak my veges and fruits in it – they come out free of any chemicals , pesticide that might be there on the skin.
    5) Oh yes- it is a natural and healing berry so works beautifully for people who need to go detergent free!

  24. Jean S.
    2 years ago

    I’ve used a drying rack for years instead of my clothes dryer. I hang everything on there regardless of the fabric. The next day I throw all the clothes (in smaller fast drying portions) in the dryer to fluff up just for a couple of minutes. I then either pull them out of the dryer and hang on a hanger or fold and put away. I also use my cloths line outside weather permitting. I love it & it has saved me a lot of money over the years. Saves on the life of my dryer too!

  25. kathy
    2 years ago

    Where can I get “oxygen bleach”, “washing soda” and “soap flakes”/

  26. Jkang
    2 years ago

    I’m so grateful for all your tips and advice thank you!
    Jkang

  27. Sharon
    2 years ago

    I’m trying to make as much as possible at home. For all the common reasons. I will be using your site. Thanks so much

    1. Christiane
      2 years ago

      So glad you like these ideas. I also love all the others that are being shared here!!!

  28. Sharon
    2 years ago

    THANK U FOR SHARING!

  29. katalin
    2 years ago

    Green cleaning is so important. Have you heard of e-cloth yet. No chemicals at all!!!!
    I have just discovered it and am ahhhhed at how well it works on everything with just water.
    Check it out.
    Thank you for all your wonderful help in all areas of my life.

  30. Julie P
    2 years ago

    Cleaning glass coffee pots
    When I worked as a waitress, they had us clean the coffee pots every night with a scoop of semi-crushed ice and some salt. Swish it around and rinse! You can add a slice or two of lemon for a fresh scent.

    1. Christiane
      2 years ago

      This is fantastic!!! I have run diluted vinegar through my coffee maker. And it works. This is also really good! Thank you.

      1. Susan
        1 month ago

        Baking soda & hot water work great too. Epecially to eliminate the odor from flavored coffee. If you want to use your coffee maker for hot tea or another coffee flavor

  31. Mary Ann
    2 years ago

    I live in Southwest Florida and am as green as I can be for several reasons. But, I cannot get my shower clean without bleach. Straight vinegar does not work on the mold and mildew we have down here. It even grows on my shower curtain – in a few hours. Any other ideas – I know bleach isn’t great for the environment or for humans/pets, but I’m at a loss. I’ve already tried food grade peroxide and that didn’t work either.

    1. Christina
      2 years ago

      I wonder if a stronger concentration of hydrogen peroxide would do the trick Mary Ann?

    2. Christiane
      2 years ago

      Good old bleach is actually non-toxic. And is easily broken down organically. I researched this after our last blog on cleaning products.

      1. Leslie
        2 years ago

        I have never heard of bleach being non-toxic.

      2. Lynn Schelitzche
        1 month ago

        Bleach is non-toxic?

    3. Pamela K
      2 years ago

      I have very successfully used baking soda and hydrogen peroxide mixed in a paste for mildew in my tile grout. Apply this directly to the grout lines, leave on for 5-10 minutes, then scrub. For severe mold problems, bleach may be required. It can be diluted in a spray bottle and the shower sprayed after every use.

  32. Noëlle
    2 years ago

    How about the oven? I’ve been inquiring about a safe and EASY way to clean it and never found.
    Thanks

    1. Lisa
      1 month ago

      Vinegar and bicarb of soda – sprinkle on bicarb spray vinegar over top , leave a while and wipe off , it’s fabulous!

  33. Debi
    2 years ago

    Thankfully, I learned about all of these from my grandmother. I’ve used them for the past 30 years when I noticed that I got awful headaches after using a popular commercial “disinfectant”.

  34. Emily
    2 years ago

    My godmother used to polish up her sink with good old velvet soap on a little steel wool. It shines up like a mirror. I love doing this.

  35. Kelly Pasholk
    2 years ago

    I use distiller vinegar and baking soda as s fabric softener in the rinse cycle. And eco minded, hang the clothes on an outside line. Haven’t had a dryer for years.

    1. Christiane
      2 years ago

      If I did this, half the year, the clothes would be FROZEN on the line!! But love the idea!

      1. Patricia
        1 month ago

        My mother always hung out clothes on the line in winter as we didn’t have a dryer for a long time. The clothes freeze dry and when they thawed they were dry. I always marvelled at how that happened. I live in Canada.

      2. Deidre
        1 month ago

        When we lived in Saskatchewan when I was a preteen I had to help my mom do laundry. We had an electric wringer washing machine and a clothesline. When our clothesline broke I had to walk next door with my mom, to hang them on the neighbours clothes line. I remember going to get them one winter day and having to “crack” the clothes over my knee to try to fold them in half so I could try to put them in the basket to carry them home! LOL!!

      3. Robyn
        1 month ago

        I live in snow. I rack dry all year, with a fan pointed at the racks. Planning is required for sheets and the duvet cover, but it’s easily doable.

  36. phyllis
    2 years ago

    Involved, teaching and doing with Astrology charts for about 50 years…Old pro they call it. You got it exactly right, the stars do not compel.
    We all have free will, but astrology is all about timing and you, inside. We are all connected even to the stars.
    Thanks for recognizing.
    Phyllis G
    ps..have always loved you, and watched everything you have done on PBS

    1. Christiane
      2 years ago

      Thank you for this wonderful post!!!

  37. Corey Johnson
    2 years ago

    Great read! I’m bookmarking it for future use. Thanks.

  38. Sue P
    2 years ago

    when u return from the market fill your (clean) sink with cold water toss in your fruit and veg and add 1 tsp hydrogen peroxide to the water. Leave for abut 20 mins. It is not necessary to put things like bananas as the skin is not likely to be eaten but if u have a birds nest plant, toss the skin into the center of it and watch it thrive. Meanwhile your food will be cleansed from pesticides and other unwanted chemicals.

  39. Joan Willis
    2 years ago

    Mix in sink or bathtub: In a gallon jar or larger bucket, combine 2 cups white vinegar, 1/2 cup baking soda….fill with water (after dramatic fizzing) and add a few drops of your favorite essential oil. In a small 1qt plastic or glass container, place 3 or 4 sponges cut in half and fill with prepared liquid. Place 3 or 4 of the sponge halves in your dryer with clothes. When done, place dried sponges back in container.

  40. Karen Malay
    2 years ago

    To get rid of toothpaste residue in your bathroom sink or ring around the bathtub try this trick to give your baking soda a little “oomph”. Spray down the sides of the tub/sink with the vinegar and water solution. Sprinkle baking soda over that so it sticks to the sides. Then use the cut side of a lemon as a “scrub brush.” Leaves everything squeaky clean and lemony.

    1. Christiane
      2 years ago

      I am SO doing this. Thank you!!

    2. Gail
      1 month ago

      For anyone else that is just reading through these notes 2 years later – this works! Just cleaned the shower with this method – loved it! Thanks Karen Malay!

  41. Robyn Mancell
    2 years ago

    I became more aware of how we clean our homes when I went back to school to get a degree in Environmental Studies. I was educated on this matter when raising my 3 sons but now that I have a granddaughter, I’m much more aware. I’ve even started a business to help people detox their homes. I was also inspired by so many people with or recuperating from Cancer that had never thought about changing their habits. I’m finally doing something with purpose. The Green Makeover Team. Thank you so much for all you do to hep women know their strengths and to stay on “Goddess mode”.

  42. Marilyn Evans
    2 years ago

    Many people these days have granite or marble counters in the kitchen and bath. Vinegar is acidic and will etch the stone over time, unless the sealing coat is good (and sealing need to be redone every few years). We discovered that on the marble counter in the bath when a bottle of vinegar left a nasty white ring. I now use this formula for my stone:
    2 cups distilled water
    1 1/2 to 4 tsp liquid castille soap
    1 tsp tea tree oil
    essential oil for pleasing scent

    1. Christiane
      2 years ago

      I have marble countertops in my kitchen and bathroom. So thank you for this!

  43. Charlotte Fulton
    2 years ago

    Thank you so much for stating the importance of getting rid of the over use of chemicals. I have promoted natural living for a long time but your fame and recognition make your words carry a greater impact. I know my health is improved by eliminating so many of the products that people don’t even think about. Thank you, again

  44. Christine Imbs
    2 years ago

    I’ve used vinegar to clean sinks and counters with great results. I even remember my mother using a vinegar and water solution to wipe down her sofa and chairs. But I did have a problem using vinegar as a cleaner myself. Vinegar will take the color out of fabrics. I kept wondering why my t-shirts had large sections where the color was faded out. And it was always in the same area! Then it dawned on me. The spots were right where I leaned against my kitchen counter when preparing meals. I also ruined a set of beautiful bath towels by placing them on a bar that had been wiped down with a vinegar and water solution. Again, the color was removed right where the towel and towel bar met. Yes, I did dilute the vinegar and the area was dry. It may have been that I didn’t dilute it enough. Still, please tell everyone to be careful!

  45. Yvonne D'Angelo
    2 years ago

    Here is an easy, economical and eco friendly way to shine up your stainless steel sink using mineral oil.
    Clean sink throughly (using whatever method suits you)
    Dry sink
    Shine sink with a moistened towel (handi wipes work well) using mineral oil. VOILA’
    (Slip towel into a zip lock bag and re-use)

  46. Jean
    2 years ago

    thanks for the cleaning recipes. I really needed a laundry detergent.
    I am still looking for a non-toxic drain cleaner for slow drains. Any ideas?

    1. Angella
      2 years ago

      Try a cup of baking soda and a 1/2 gallon of white vinegar. It works great.

    2. Maria
      2 years ago

      For slow drains, put 1/2 cup baking soda in the sink and then pour 1 cup vinegar over it. It will fizz like crazy. Let sit over night and in the morning pour a tea kettle full of boiling water down the drain. It works great!

    3. Raewyn
      2 years ago

      I did read somewhere to remedy a slow drain required dropping several spoonfuls of baking soda down the drain. As much as you want, depending on how slow it is. Then pour white vinegar (from bottle) down the drain. It will froth up like a volcano. Quite fun actually! It worked for me.

      1. Christiane
        2 years ago

        This is something that the adolescent boys ( of all ages) in my life would LOVE. Thank you!!

    4. Susan
      1 month ago

      I found even a tiny amount of coffee grounds made my drain (sans a disposal ) slow. Once I put them elsewhere. No slow drain

  47. Claudia
    2 years ago

    A great way to a clean cast iron skillet is to pour some table salt into the skillet, rub it around with finger tips, add a small amount of olive oil, rub with fingers. Rinse out skillet, wipe dry with paper towel.

  48. Heather D.
    2 years ago

    Throw out your Dryer Softening sheets and use wool balls that help the clothes dry faster and add a softness to the clothes. To scent the balls, add a few drops of a high quality essential oil much as lavender. I purchased my wool balls on Amazon.

    1. Trudi Thomas
      2 years ago

      I do my clothes washing in the washing machine – then I hang it all on a dryer rack – next morning it’s all dry and some of the clothes nee fluffing up I put them 5 min. into the dryer and most of it I don’t even need to iron – just fold immediately.

    2. Debi
      2 years ago

      I too use the wool dryer balls and love them. I don’t use any laundry detergent in the washer because I have a Pure Water system which adds oxygen and negative ions to the water to clean the clothes. Love it. If you don’t want to spend the money on that look for soap nuts. They work great in the washer, too and are safe and natural. They even come in a capsule form. So great for travel, too. You can also make a multi-purpose cleaner from the soap nuts.

    3. Christiane
      2 years ago

      I use organic hair conditioner –about a dime size_ on a wet garment before turning on the dryer. Works GREAT!! But I also love these other ideas!!

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