Wellness and a healthy built environment are always a key focus when working with my clients. Human health and wellness is often overlooked when discussing design and our living spaces. However, the condition of our home environment directly affects many aspects of our well-being, most noticeably- our autoimmune health. I care not only about designing spaces using sustainable practices, but I also care about the types of products brought into the home and how they affect the end-users. According to the EPA, indoor air quality can be 2-3 times worse than outdoor air quality. It seems crazy that companies would produce cleaning products that are harmful, but the reality is it is easier to add in lab-curated chemicals than sourcing naturally derived products. Nevertheless, all-natural cleaning products have huge impacts on our health. Better air quality means better health!
I have probably too many recommendations for non-toxic home cleaning methods + products but today I am going to share a few of my favorites!
Better air means better health.
Brands I recommend
One thing I want to note right away is that brands are able to label their products “all-natural” or “green” while still having harmful ingredients inside. This is called greenwashing and is a marketing practice used often. Therefore, it is super important to do your research on brands and companies – and to continue researching them. Sometimes companies get bought out and under new ownership they may not follow the same practices they used to.
I recommend using the app, ‘Think Dirty’ to scan products and see potentially harmful ingredients and level of risk. You can also check out the blog and Instagram page of Irina Webb’s, I read Labels for You where she does thorough research on clean-branded products before recommending them.
For general home cleaning products, I recommend Branch Basics and Supernatural. Branch Basics offers all-natural, good-for-your-health laundry and kitchen products. They are a great resource and offer excellent starter kits. Supernatural is also a great company for clean-home products and offers home cleaning products as well as niched products like stainless steel cleaner. Both are amazing brands to start with as you embark on your clean-home journey.
I’d also recommend Dr. Bronners if you are looking for a body wash, and an all-purpose cleaner all-in-one. By no means is this one new to the market, in fact I am sure most of you have heard about it or even used it. Although most people know that it is a great castile soap for your body, many people aren’t aware that in different dilution ratios; this product can be used to clean nearly everything from laundry, to produce washing and everything in between.
Everyday Products for Non-Toxic Home Cleaning
There are simple and affordable products you can use for non-toxic home cleaning as well. Many of these you likely have lying around your home already! Here are some home products you can use:
- Rubbing Alcohol – this is by far the best glass cleaner I have ever used! It is effective and not harmful to you or pets. You can use this as a counter cleaning, floor cleaner, etc. I recommend researching some ratios for using this on your counter or other surfaces first. You should also make sure it is safe to use on the types of surface material you have.
- Baking Soda – I use baking soda and water to clean my sink and shower all the time! This is a safe, non-harmful way to clean. Highly recommended!
- Hydrogen peroxide – This is a great DIY surface cleaner, but requires some attention and research with the dilution ratios to ensure it’s safe to use on the material you are cleaning.
- Distilled White Vinegar – Coming in as a great recommendation by Martha Stewart, distilled white vinegar has a high pH and is antibacterial – meaning it can kill most bacteria on surfaces. This is a great option for almost any area of your house, just use sparingly to clean your laundry machine or dishwasher as you don’t want to break the seal.
- Pure Essential Oils – If you like DIY home sprays, essential oils are a great option. I recommend tea tree oil, citrus oil or peppermint essential oil for your home sprays, or your own dish detergent or dish soap. If you don’t want to DIY your home spray, Supernatural Counters + Granite is a great option. If not diluted properly, essential oils can be harmful to your health so do you research before mixing these in. Many essential oils are harmful to pets, so make sure you double-check resources like this to ensure you won’t be causing harm to your furry friends.
- Castile Soap – Castile soap is amazing and can be used as a base for so many non-toxic home cleaning products. I personally use it for hand soap, laundry detergent, and dish soap. Adding in some citrus essential oil will give it that fresh scent!
Other Non-Toxic Home Cleaning Methods
I also recommend using a steam mop versus bleach and a regular mop. This allows you to clean the floor without introducing any chemicals into the air. Steam mops clean using steam..yep that’s it – just water and heat (no cleaners needed). I use it regularly and couldn’t live without it!
I hope these brands and all natural cleaning products serve as a great beginner guide to non-toxic home cleaning. It’s been a journey for me, but it is absolutely worth it in the long run.