Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Info On Natural Cleaners To Consider Switching To

This is a list of the main natural cleaners you can use in your home. Most are non toxic with the exception of the borax which you may or may not choose to use. I am undecided on borax at the moment - I will see if it's necessary down the track more.  There is so much more that can be said for each one... I've just picked what stood out to me from what I have read.

You need to have white vinegar and not brown as that one will stain.  Yes it smells strong but actually the smell goes away pretty quickly.
What it does:
* loosens dirt, disinfects and deoderises (ie removes smells)
* removes mineral deposits, stains and tarnish
* eliminates static cling when added to the rinse cycle of your washing machine
* Kills 99% of bacteria, 82% mould, 80% of germs.

Lemon juice cuts grease, polishes metal and freshens things up.  It's great to disinfect chopping boards with also.  Just don't use it on marble!

BAKING SODA (also known as Bi Carbonate Of Soda  or 100% Sodium Bicarbonate)
Baking Soda is a great scrubber and won't damage surfaces.  It absorbs odor - many people keep a box in their fridge to absorb any food smells.  You can add it to your wash cycle to soften fabric.  If you mix it with vinegar it makes a fizz and cleanes toilets and clears blocked drains... this is only a fraction of what baking soda is good for...

It is made only from vegetable oil instead of animal fat.  If you dilute it with water it is a great all purpose cleaner, laundry or dish soap, spot remover and body wash liquid.
Pure castile soap is non petroleum based so this is really safe to use everywhere in your home.

This is more caustic so you need to wear gloves and keep this one away from children.  The advantage of borax is you can add it to the wash for extra cleaning or brightening of your cloths or to scrub stubborn stains on counters or bathtubs.  Borax is also used to disinfect or whiten cloth diapers.
It's a highly effective mould killer and toilet bowl cleaner

Hydrogen Peroxide is an all purpose cleaner also in the same way vinegar is except be mindful that it also replaces bleach in your cleaning routines so be careful what you use it on as it may remove colour.  Keep in mind to wear gloves though and generally you will always make a mix 50/50 with water to dilute it a bit.  It can remove blood stains out of clothes but be careful with it as it can remove colour from them also. It kills bacteria, removes chemicals so rinse your fresh produce in it, wipe chopping boards with it to disinfect and as mentioned above it replaces bleach so can whiten your clothes. (Another way to whiten clothes avoiding bleach is to line dry them in the sun - the sun is a great whitener!)


  1. This one confuses me a little, but it depends on the reasons behind your search for a better solution to cleaning. I know the product's you've listed are natural, but that doesn't necessarily make them safe or "not harmful".

    In my quest for finding something more sustainable in our home, I focused mostly on the "not harmful" component of natural or chemical free cleaners. What products could I use that were better for our health, better for the environment and were sustainable financially.

    Have you read the information available about products such as Borax (see - the toxicity issues alone would steer me clear of using it. As does the info on Hydrogen Peroxide (see

    Remember when you're cleaning you're inhaling the toxins which enter your lungs and blood stream as well as absorbing directly into your skin (on your hands). Often toxic reactions (like the one that killed John Travolta's son, are as a result of repetitive absorbtion. You can be completely fine with no reaction, until you've used the chemical numerous times and it builds up in your body.

    Just remember, natural products can be a better solution than laboratory produced, but still doesn't necessarily mean safe, non-toxic or even allergy free.


  2. Linda,

    I agree with you on the Borax for sure and am not certain that I will actually use that myself however anywhere you research it is always listed for natural chemical free cleaning, so I believe it is a product that is better than man-made chemicals and more natural even though it is caustic. I have certainly already read Wikipedia on those things as well as many other sources breaking down each thing.

    Basically what I'm doing with this blog is I'm doing the research for the reader and presenting the information as I find it on this topic. The reader is fine to choose as he/she will and that is also what I will be doing depending on preference :-) eg I did a blog on plants that clean but I will not be using all those plants! It would be a jungle in my home!

    For me, I'm sticking to cleaning with only what can be eaten as I think that's the safest way to go. But to be fair every book I've read and website I've read on this topic lists those other things also, I suppose because they are naturally effective products that are sustainable over manmade nasties. I have one exception to my only what can be eaten rule which is hydrogen peroxide. I will post more information on this soon but this is a wonderful natural product for not only cleaning but healing the body among other things. So stay tuned on that one!

    Another natural cleaning aid I will delve into on here very soon is essential oils which have many cleaning, antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiseptic etc properties. Again the reader can choose what they want to do with the info and whether they want to bring that into their cleaning routines or not.

    And yes, the whole point of going non toxic in cleaning is exactly as you said because the chemicals absorb in your skin and also into your lungs and build up causing all sorts of health problems - which is scary. That is why with the more caustic ones above it says to always wear gloves for this reason:-)

    Thanks for your comments - hope that answered to clarify your confusion! :-)