Less Toxic Cleaning Alternatives

There are many non-toxic or less-toxic products as alternatives to hazardous household chemicals. While a little more "elbow grease" may have to be used with some of these products, the benefits in terms of improved indoor air quality, decreased exposure to chemicals, fewer waste disposal concerns, convenience, and lower costs should make the switch an easy one to make.

First and always—Soap and water, and skip the paper towels, use those dish rags and cleaning rags. They can be used and washed in your washing machine thousands of times saving many natural resources associated with producing disposable cleaning supplies.

Try making this All-Purpose Green Cleaner yourself:


2 cups white vinegar

2 teaspoons of your favorite essential oil (grapefruit or peppermint smell wonderful)

6 drops food coloring (to help remind you there is a cleaning product in the bottle)

tap water

2 tablespoons dish soap (use one with no phosphates)

Supplies: 1 gallon plastic bottle with lid


Add to bottle in this order: white vinegar, food coloring, and essential oil. Fill the rest of the bottle with cold tap water leaving about 2 inches space at the top. Add liquid dish soap (adding soap last prevents bubbles), close lid, and gently tip the bottle back and forth to blend the ingredients.

How to Use: Use as you would any other all purpose household cleaner. Put in a spray bottle and use in kitchen, bathrooms, and for general cleaning. Not for use on glass or windows.


Here is a favorite Non-Toxic Green Cleanser:



Coarse salt (like Morton Kosher salt)

Baking soda

Essential oil (peppermint smells great!)


Plastic shaker bottle (Try recycling an old parmesan cheese shaker bottle)

Plastic funnel

Wire whisk

Instructions: The amount of each ingredient will depend on the size of your shaker bottle. Pour equal parts Borax, salt and baking soda into your container. Empty into a mixing bowl and blend ingredients with whisk to break up any lumps in the baking soda or Borax. Mix in 10-20 drops of the essential oil. Stir well and carefully pour back into shaker container using your funnel.

How to Use: Use as you would any other mildly abrasive cleanser. The coarse salt adds to the scrubbing action and the baking soda and Borax leave a clean finish. Use in kitchen and bathrooms.