Non-Toxic House Cleaning

Tea Tree Oil
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The everyday cleaning materials we can buy in supermarkets may look nice on the shelves, but most if not all of them are full of damaging chemical toxins.  These toxins can be absorbed into the body in many ways – through ingestion, breathing, and even skin-contact.  And in many cases the toxins remain in our bodies for very long periods of time, if not for all our lives. What are some of the effects of these toxins?  Well, they can be too numerous to count.  But they can include fatigue, illness, headaches, skin problems, overweight, stomach trouble, skin rashes, a lackluster wooden feeling in life, and even anxiety or depression.  (By the way, the “medications”  you can get for depression do not solve the problem but deepen it, and can even lead to violence or suicide.  They are simply additional toxins being introduced into your body!) These toxins are not only harmful to your own physical or emotional well-being, but also to the planet and our atmosphere. The point of this post is not so much to go into the numerous effects of living in a toxic and chemical environment, but to give some simple alternatives and solutions which you can use to reduce the amount of harmful substances in your home or work environment, so as to live a cleaner life. Here are some basic non-toxic cleaning tips:

1.  To Remove Smells

After thoroughly cleaning the area (thoroughly cleaning up anything that might be creating smells, such as rotten food, garbage, dirty, food cupboards, the cat litter, etc.) open windows/doors to air out the space well. Place a small dish (or more than one dish) around the space with some pure baking soda and cut up lemon.  This should absorb the remaining smells. See also point 2 below on freshening the air, as well as point 6 below on freshening carpets.

2.  To Freshen Air

Place several drops of lavender, rose, peppermint, or other essential oil in a pot of water and simmer on the stove for several hours.  You can also squeeze essential oil into the cardboard roll that holds your toilet paper in the bathroom.  (This is a much better idea than using toxic chemical air-fresheners!)  Repeat this each time you hang a new roll of toilet paper.

3.  To Clean Surfaces

Tea tree oil and lavender oil have anti-bacterial properties.  Mix a few drops with water and spray to clean counter-tops and surfaces in kitchen, bathroom, etc.  For tougher jobs, use about 50 drops per bucket of water.

4.  To Remove Mildew

Pure grain alcohol (like Everclear) is the best mildew killer.  Use it to scrub off the mildew, and/or let it sit and soak if needed. You can also use vodka, which is grain alcohol mixed with more water.

5.  To Clean Floors

Try mixing 15 drops of orange essential oil, 8 drops of lemon essential oil, 1 gallon of hot water, and 2 tablespoons of non-toxic liquid soap.  This will leave the room smelling good and should also clean quite well.

6.  To Freshen Carpets

Try the following recipe: 4 cups of baking soda or cornstarch 25 drops essential rosewood oil 35 drops eucalyptus oil 30 drops lavender oil. Mix together in a bowl and stir until the clumps of soda or starch have broken apart.  Pour into a jar, close tightly, and shake.  Sprinkle this mixture on carpets about 15 minutes before you vacuum.

7.  For Laundry

You can make home-made dryer sheets by placing several drops of essential oil (such as rose, lavender, etc.) on a towel, and put the towel in the dryer with the rest of your clothes while drying.

8.  To Disinfect

Isopropyl alcohol and bleach are both extremely toxic.  They kill bacteria, but they can kill people as well.  Isopropyl alcohol has been found by some studies to be a prime cause of cancer.  Chlorine gas was used for chemical warfare during Word War I. (If you have heard of the deadly effect of mixing bleach with ammonia – that’s chlorine gas). A non-toxic alternative is pure grain alcohol.  This can be used in either a pure or a diluted form.  Use this to clean areas where ill people have been, to clean light switches and faucets that are often touched, etc.

A Note on Essential Oils:

Keep essential oils away from your eyes and be careful not to get them on your hands and then rub your eyes.  Also make sure to keep them out of reach of children or animals who might ingest them.  Small quantities of essential oils are sometimes ingested as part of natural home remedies, but too much can make a person quite ill. And you don’t want to get them in your eyes, no matter how non-toxic they are. Ouch!

By | 2014-11-10T15:31:58-08:00 July 3rd, 2008|Green Living, Nontoxic|

About the Author:

Megan helps others understand how they can use green technologies and tecniques to live cleaner and healthier lives, utilize natural resources, and adopt environmentally friendly living standards.


  1. Anthony DeNardis April 13, 2011 at 11:11 am

    I haven’t indulged in the non-toxic natural cleaning supplies yet. I have started to read about them and am fascinated by what I see out there.

    • Cheryl April 20, 2011 at 10:04 am

      Hi, Anthony. I hope you will be able to use some non-toxic cleaning products in your work. You would be helping a lot of people.

  2. Towel Warmers December 1, 2009 at 11:34 am

    It’s so easy to use a natural alternative… and sometimes it’s just as cheap if not free! Amazing post.
    .-= Towel Warmers´s last blog ..EXHIBITION PRODUCTS ON PDF =-.

  3. C. Loh November 15, 2009 at 11:05 am

    >> By the way, the “medications” which you can get for depression do not solve the problem but deepen it, and can even lead to violence or suicide.

    From personal experience, brisk exercise can cure mild depression. Whether it is dancing or jogging or martial arts … whatever gets you moving. Worst comes to worst, even a 15 minute to 30 minute brisk walk can help. The worst thing to do is staying still, watching TV or sleeping when you feel down in the dumps.

    >> You can also squeeze essential oil into the cardboard roll that holds your toilet paper in the bathroom.

    Ah! This is a great way to recycle those leftover toilet rolls.

    >> if you have heard of the deadly effect of mixing bleach with ammonia – that’s mustard gas

    Actually, that’s chlorine, if I’m not mistaken. But it’s still toxic as heck. After all, it’s used to kill germs.

    • Cheryl November 19, 2009 at 9:08 am

      Welcome C.Loh,
      Thanks for pointing out the error about mustard gas. Bleach plus ammonia produce, not just chlorine, but chlorine gas, which was also a gas used in warfare, as was mustard gas.

      Nontoxic anti-depression tips are always welcome, to help people avoid the use of toxic pharmaceutical drugs. A great site is Safe Harbor for alternative mental health options.

  4. ron March 3, 2009 at 7:29 am

    I know how to protect my self.
    Other people are killing me.
    The last place I lived, a cleaning attic moved in.I seen trouble coming. He had with him, about 40 bottles of bleach. and numberous other cleaners
    I have mcs. the wash room is next to my room,
    He clean and mixed his chemical, bleach, and other, who knows!? he would clean bath room for at least 4 hours. 3 times a week.
    my live turned into turmoil.
    Does any body. have a chemical free house, for me to stay.

  5. Cheryl December 28, 2008 at 10:12 pm

    These ideas work! I’ve used only non-toxic methods of cleaning house for 14 years, after reading Hulda Clarke’s books about how toxins contribute to disease. I find NO benefits in using the commercial varieties of cleaners vs. the non-toxic methods.

  6. Pamsmom June 23, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    These are excellent, and simple to follw tips, which can make a HUGE difference not only in the mileage, but in the overall performance, and longevity of the vehicle as well.

    Thanks for the reminder

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