Are Your Household Cleaners Toxic?

June 3, 2019

How toxic are your household cleaners and what are safe alternatives you can use?

A woman washing windows with non-toxic household cleaner 

Household cleaning supplies may get the job done, but have you worried about the toxic health risks they could pose to your kids and pets? Some of these products cause irritation to the throat and eyes and can result in headaches. There are even concerns that some cleaners contain cancer-causing agents.

Believe it or not, you may have all you need in your kitchen to make healthy household cleaning supplies. And they’ll still dissolve grease, remove odors and shine up your surfaces as good as anything you could buy at your local retail shop. The perks are a safe family, a healthier planet and money saved.

The Natural Power and Versatility of Lemon-Based Cleaners

Lemons contain citric acid, D-limonene and, of course, natural lemon oils. These three super-lemon qualities help with hard water film and spots. Lemons work well as a natural solvent and powerful degreaser. To top it off, lemons provide antibacterial properties and a fresh scent. The cleaning uses for lemons are nearly endless. Here are a few ideas.

  • For Your Cutting Boards—Sprinkle coarse salt on your wooden cutting boards, slice a lemon in half and scrub away! This helps remove odor, disinfects and alleviates worries over chemicals coming into contact with your food.
  • Furniture Polish—Say goodbye to chemical-laden furniture polishes. Instead, combine 1 tablespoon of white vinegar, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Mix thoroughly and use a towel to apply a small amount to clean and shine wood surfaces. This cleaner works equally well on wood floors, alleviating the need for toxic wood-floor cleaners. As always, try a small amount in an inconspicuous place to test your concoction before “going all in.”

Vinegar Is a Super Cleaner

Vinegar cleans just about anything. Pour some in the rinse cycle of your washing machine instead of fabric softener or use it to wash your windows instead of the famous blue spray. Vinegar is non-toxic and is an overall amazing cleaning warrior to have on your side. But if its smell is keeping you from using it, try the following tips to combat vinegar’s pickled odor:

  1. Consider adding citrus and pine to your vinegar. Those two go together like peanut butter and jelly.
  2. Fill a large jar with white vinegar.
  3. Add a few small branches of pine and orange, lemon or lime peels.
  4. Cover your mixture and let it sit for several days to a few weeks.

The smell is heavenly, and you can hardly beat the cleaning power it provides. Use it to scrub your counters, clean your bathroom floor or try it on your windows. It’s such a great replacement for those harmful over-the-counter sprays.

If you’re looking for another unique vinegar combo, try adding the following herbs:

  • Sage
  • Thyme
  • Oregano
  • Mint
  • Lavender
  • Rosemary
  • Cloves

Add all or any combination of these herbs to a jar of vinegar and allow it to sit for one to two weeks. These amazing herbs will give you a cleaner that provides antimicrobial and disinfecting properties. Strain your mixture after it infuses and store it in an airtight jar. This cleaner eradicates toilet bowl odors and cleans refrigerator handles and any other place germs may be hanging out.

You Can Succeed at Making Your Own Household Cleaners!

You don’t have to break the bank when it comes to cleaning your home with non-toxic household cleaners. Making your own is simple and so much healthier for you and your family. You may even discover most of what you need is already in your kitchen.

A collection of potentially toxic household cleaners

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by Geoff Ullrich

About the Author

Geoff Ullrich is a writer and Content Marketing Strategist at Germania Insurance.

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