Non-Toxic House Cleaning Substitutes

There are several non-toxic house cleaning alternatives that you can use instead of the commercial, chemical-based products. These substitutes are environmentally safe and contribute to the growth of green businesses.

You can use basic home products as substitutes for chemical household products. You can combine the products to make an effective substitute for most of the commercial available products. Listed below are some of the non-toxic housecleaning substitutes.

To make an all-purpose cleaner, you’ll need one-quarter cup baking soda and one-half cup vinegar. Mix these ingredients into one-half gallon of water. If you don’t have any baking soda, you can use two teaspoons of borax instead. You can use this solution to remove water deposit stains on bathroom chrome fixtures, shower stall panels, bathroom mirrors, and a lot more.

There are several ways to keep your home smelling fresh. You can use vinegar or baking soda with lemon juice placed in small dishes to absorb odor around your home. You can keep houseplants inside the house to reduce bad odors. Also, you can use dried herbs and flowers on bowls to keep a room smelling fresh.

The kitchen can be source of bad odor that can spread around the house. You can prevent cooking odors by simmering one tablespoon of vinegar in one cup of water. Or, you can simmer water with cinnamon or other herbs instead. To get onion or fish smells off cutting boards and utensils, you can wipe them with vinegar first before washing them in soapy water. Keep fresh coffee grounds around as natural air freshener. If you have a garbage disposal, grind up a slice of lemon in it to eliminate odors.

Bathroom mold is a common problem. A simple solution is to mix one part hydrogen peroxide with two parts water. Place the mixture in a spray bottle and spray on affected areas. The solution must be left for an hour before you rinse it off.

Carpet stains are hard to remove, but you can actually use vinegar and water solution for these stains. Place the solution in a spray bottle and apply it directly on the stain. Let it stand for a few minutes and then clean it with a brush and warm soapy water. For greasy stains, sprinkle corn starch on the spot. Wait for 15 to 30 minutes before you vacuum it off. If the carpet stain is persistent, you can make a heavy duty cleaning solution. Mix one-quarter cup each of borax, salt, and vinegar. Rub the paste into carpet and leave it on for a couple of hours. Vacuum it off afterwards.

By | 2015-03-08T01:16:32-08:00 March 7th, 2011|Nontoxic|

About the Author:

Grace is a writer for Living Clean, LLC.


  1. Mike@homemade cleaning products February 1, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    Good ideas on safe, natural cleaning.

    I also like your ideas on preventing odors. Many/most of the commercial air fresheners aren’t something you want to use in your home. Some of them work by using chemicals that coat your nasal passages or deaden nerves so you can’t smell the offending odor. Many contain chemicals that react in dangerous ways with common indoor air pollutants and, especially in the case of the plug-in type, they are continuously releasing their toxic fumes.

  2. imma@green business November 6, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    The ladies that used to clean my house always used a vinegar mix to clean the floors. It always did a really good job of cleaning, better I think than some of the commercial products. It would smell like vinegar for a few days, but the smell goes away pretty quick. However, many of the commercial products also have a rather noxious smell that is also dangerous to inhale.

  3. Nana November 2, 2011 at 6:32 am

    Hmm i agree and I think that they should actually create a commercial cleaning product that is non-toxic and safe for everyone .. I know that i would buy it, eventho it might just say cleaning vinegar on it…

    This is much better than contaminating the waters and surroundings with chemicals imho…

  4. Sam August 20, 2011 at 1:10 am

    I would have to agree with Jennifer I have also heard of the vast amount of things that can be cured with simply vinegar and baking soda.

    I remember my nan having an old book that outlined all of the cures for vinegar and honey I wish I could remember what it was.

    I’ll never foget using vinegar to cure my bee sting and it worked!

    • Cheryl September 17, 2011 at 1:22 pm

      Sam, was that a bee sting or a wasp sting? I’ve understood that vinegar works for wasp stings and baking soda for bee stings. In a summer camp stinging incident, we did an experiment. We didn’t know if the stings were from bees or wasps. We put vinegar on half the stings and baking soda on the other half. Only the vinegar worked, so I assumed the stings were from wasps. Since bees are usually not aggressive and only sting when killed, it made sense that the stings were from wasps.

  5. Jack@Ikea rugs July 30, 2011 at 7:36 am

    Actually I use the same procedure as Jeniffer mentioned so I would also recommend it.

  6. Jared@Sell My Stuff May 3, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    Going to have to try that bathroom tip about the mold. And seeing how I just spilled some coffee on the carpet, I’m going to have to find some vinegar too 😉

  7. Jennifer @ Carpet Cleaning Sacramento April 20, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    I’ve heard of using the baking soda & vinegar combination for cleaning. It’s less expensive than traditional chemical cleaners, and safer if children get a hold of it.

    You can also use vinegar & water solutions for everyday cleaning as well. Most people think that vinegar smells too strongly, but it really does go away, and keeps everything clean.

    • Cheryl April 20, 2011 at 2:19 pm

      Hi, Jennifer. You are right. The vinegar smell does go away, and it is totally safe for children, goldfish, and so forth. Another bonus is that ants don’t like vinegar. It takes some persistence, but if you keep wiping down with vinegar areas where you see ants in the spring, eventually, they don’t come back. Be aware, though, that you need to start NOW, not after they are marching back and forth in the thousands.

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