After removing every chemical in my kitchen and bathroom, I took a photo in disgust. I immediately suffered a lingering headache and a rash on the back of my hand. We assume they are safe. But in fact, many popular household cleaners are dangerously toxic. 

Household Cleaners on Counter

There’s NO federal regulation of chemicals in household products. Rebecca Sutton, PhD, a senior scientist at the Environmental Working Group (EWG), explains, “In terms of household cleaners, neither ingredients nor products must meet any sort of safety standard, nor is any testing data or notification required before bringing a product to market.”

The average household contains about 62 toxic chemicals, say environmental experts. We’re exposed to them routinely — from the phthalates in synthetic fragrances to the noxious fumes in oven cleaners. Ingredients in common household products have been linked to asthma, cancer, reproductive disorders, hormone disruption and neurotoxicity.

Manufacturers argue that in small amounts these toxic ingredients aren’t likely to be a problem, but when we’re exposed to them routinely, and in combinations that haven’t been studied, it’s impossible to accurately gauge the risks. While a few products cause immediate reactions from acute exposure (headaches from fumes, skin burns from accidental contact), different problems arise with repeated contact. Chronic exposure adds to the body’s “toxic burden” — the number of chemicals stored in its tissues at a given time.

This toxic body burden is EWG’s chief concern about household chemicals. Sutton explains: “Our concern is daily, weekly, chronic exposure over a lifetime. Maybe if you’re exposed to a chemical a handful of times it wouldn’t cause harm, but some chemicals build up enough or cause enough harm in your body over time that it triggers some kind of disease outcome. The concept [of body burden] is that pollution is not just in our air and in our water — it’s also in us.”

No one can avoid exposure to toxic chemicals altogether, but it is possible to reduce it significantly. 

I promised I would share my 5 alternative, safe + easy house hold cleaners. You will need to make a one off investment purchasing your refillable glass bottles. I bought mine from Amazon. 

5 Alternative, Safe, and Easy Household Cleaners


8oz/16oz refillable Glass Spray bottles


Baking Soda 



Distilled Water 

Liquid Castille Soap - (Dr Bronners is what I use)  



I use this on my kitchen counters (vodka is the safest option for marble or granite counters, there is too much acidity in vinegar). And my windows have never been so clean.


  • 2 cups distilled water
  • 1/4 cup castile soap, if you feel like this amount is too soapy for you reducing the amount to 2 tablespoons is still considered an effective dilution according to Dr. Bronner's.
  • 2 tsp of Vodka (the cheap brand you only drink when there’s nothing else).
  • 10 drops of lavender + 5 tea tree essential oil.


  • Using a measuring cup and funnel, which are great tools to have for making your own products, pour the vodka and the distilled water into a spray bottle.
  • Add ¼ cup or 2 tsp of castile soap.
  • Choose one or a combination of essential oils.
  • 15 drops of essential oil. (10 lavender, 5 tee tree).
  • Add the essential oils directly to your spray bottle.
  • Shake the bottle to incorporate the essential oils.

Wide Shot of Kitchen


Preparing cleaning products yourself is also economical, as you can often utilize simple, cheap ingredients like baking soda and castile soap. Homemade cleaning products are also all natural, which means you aren't using harsh chemicals in your home. Below is a recipe to make a natural degreaser at home. This method will yield a cleaner that cuts tough kitchen grease with minimal odor, skin irritation, and cost.


  • 1 cup warm water 
  • ½ cup baking soda 
  • 2 TB castile soap  
  • 20 drops lemon essential oil 


  • 1. Heat the over to 125 degrees and grab your spray bottle
  • 2. Once the oven is warm, spray the caked-on stuff until it’s lightly damp.
  • 3. Turn off the oven, let it cool, and then use a wet cloth to scrub away at the mess. 

Wide Shot of Bathroom


For a heavy-duty toilet scrub that deodorizes while it cleans, pour ½ cup of baking soda and about 10 drops of tea tree essential oil into the toilet. Add ¼ cup of vinegar to the bowl and scrub away while the mixture fizzes.

For daily cleaning, fill a 8oz spray bottle with vinegar (about 1 cup should do it) and a few drops of an essential oil of your choosing (lavender and tea tree both work well). Spray on the toilet seats, let it sit for a few minutes, and then wipe the surface clean.


  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 10 drops of lavender + 5 tea tree essential oil.


This recipe makes 8 ounces, so multiply the ingredient amounts as needed to fit the size of your spray bottle.

  • Using a measuring cup and funnel, which are great tools to have for making your own products, pour the vinegar into the bottle.
  • Choose one or a combination of essential oils.
  • 15 drops of essential oil. (10 lavender, 5 tee tree).
  • Add the essential oils directly to your spray bottle.
  • Shake the bottle to incorporate the essential oils.

Bathtub in Lounge


I started making my own foaming hand soap after reading about the concerns over antibacterial ingredients in many hand soaps and potty-training little ones who found the need to wash their hands/arms/the counter with soap a thousand times a day, I needed a healthy and frugal option.

Before you begin, you’ll need a foaming hand soap container. I bought mine on Amazon. 


  • 1 ½ cups of Water (distilled or boiled) 
  • 2 tsp liquid castille soap 
  • ½ tsp almond oil (optional)
  • ½ tsp vitamin E (optional)
  • 10 drops Lavender essential oil for scent (optional)


  • Fill the soap dispenser to about 1 inch of the top (leaving room for the bulky foaming pump and the soap to be added).
  • Add at least 2 tablespoons of liquid castille soap to the water mixture (NOTE: do not add the soap first or it will create bubbles when the water is added.
  • Add the oil (optional but it helps preserve the life of the dispenser) and any essential oils if you are using them.
  • Close and lightly swish to mix.
  • Use as you would any regular foaming soap.

Bathroom Sink and Vanity

5. All IN ONE BATHROOM CLEANER (16oz glass bottle)

Other than the kitchen, bathroom cleaning takes the most amount of time and work to clean since it has so many different types of surfaces and because, by its nature, it is a place that needs to be cleaned often because it’s frequency of use.

If you are like me, cleaning the bathroom is most likely one of your least favorite cleaning activities. Luckily, a checklist and some natural cleaners can make quick work of cleaning the bathroom.


  • 2 cups water warm, distilled for longer-term use or tap water for short-term use
  • 1 TB baking soda
  • ¼ cup castile soap 
  • 30 drops tea tree essential oil  
  • 20 drops lemon essential oil 


  • Pour the warm water into the 16oz glass bottle, followed by the baking soda. Shake the bottle to combine the ingredients. Add the castile soap and essential oils, gently shaking the bottle to combine.
  • Use this spray to clean the tub, tile, toilet, sink, and even floor (particularly around the toilet.) Spray the surface, allow the cleaner to sit for a minute, then wipe with a damp cloth. Rinse the cloth as needed.


Pink Bathtub

 (I had to add this)


This one is so cool. Pour 1 cup of vinegar into an ice cube tray. Once they’re frozen, toss a few down the disposal and let it run—doing so should remove any food that was stuck to the blades.



Not a fan of tea tree oil’s scent—any other options that have marginally similar antibacterial properties?


Any suggestions for the dishwasher?

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published