(click the italicized words below to access links)
EWG's list of top green cleaning products
EWG's "Hall of Shame": cleaning products that you should avoid using
Women's Voices for the Earth's Baby non-toxic shopping guide can help you make better choices for your little one(s)
Use alternative products in your own household:
- Did you know that vinegar or hydrogen peroxide both disinfect almost as effectively as bleach, which can release dioxin into the environment?
- Baking soda works great as a scouring powder, and as a deodorant. Use it in your laundry to improve your soap's cleaning and sudsing effectiveness. Open a box and place it in your refrigerator, closet, or bathroom to freshen the air.
- Baking soda also works to eliminate odors in your child's bottle or sippy cup. Just mix a little with hot water, cover the bottle or cup, and shake for about 2 minutes.
- Milk of Magnesia works as a deodorant and does not contain aluminum-based compounds, which have been linked by some scientists to breast cancer and kidney problems (in those whose kidneys are already functioning at 30% or less). Apply Milk of Magnesia using your fingertips or a cotton pad.
- To deodorize your sink's garbage disposal, grind lemons (either new, sliced in half, or used). Add ice cubes to sharpen the disposal's blades.
- Borax (sodium tetraborate, a boron mineral and salt that’s mined directly from the ground and, despite some fear-mongering, is NOT toxic except when ingested in large quantities) is effective as a laundry detergent booster, odor eliminator, bathroom and kitchen surface cleaner, and even flower preservative (when combined with cornmeal).
- Tea tree oil has many medicinal uses. Use a cotton ball to wipe it on your feet to eliminate foot fungus. Use the same method to unstink your stinky shoes. It can also be used to cure ear infections in adults and children who don't have allergies to this oil.
- Turmeric (get the root from an Indian grocery or health food supplier) can be crushed and made into a paste (mix with water, sesame oil, coconut oil, or almond oil) to heal sprains and bruises, combat inflammation, or reduce the inflammation and itching caused by eczema.
Make your own non-toxic household products:
- to unclog a drain, first use a plunger, then mix a handful of baking soda and 1/2 cup of vinegar. Cover the drain and let it sit for 15 minutes then rinse with 2 quarts of boiling water.
- to clean grout, make a paste with 3 cups of baking soda and 1 cup of water; scrub into the grout, then rinse with water or wipe away. This also works well for cleaning your bathtub, shower tile, and sink.
- vinegar works great for cleaning windows. The one thing to keep in mind is that vinegar wipes away best with paper towels, not newspaper.
- I have removed red wine stains in clothing and household textiles without bleach using hydrogen peroxide. Soak the item in a bath of peroxide and water (I use a 1:1 ratio). It may take a couple of days depending on the fabric and the severity of the stain, but it works very effectively without damaging the fabric!