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Green Alternatives to 7 Toxic Household Cleaners

Updated on December 21, 2012
When cleaning your home, use eco-friendly cleaners in place of the toxic cleaners commonly found in many homes.
When cleaning your home, use eco-friendly cleaners in place of the toxic cleaners commonly found in many homes.

Toxic Household Cleaners

I recently published an article about 7 toxic household cleaners and chemicals that we should avoid using in our homes at all costs. That list included ammonia, bleach, degreasers, air fresheners, drain cleaners, insecticides, and carpet stain removers. There are healthy green alternatives to each of these toxic chemicals. These are the alternatives that you should use in place of these chemicals.

Green Alternatives to Ammonia

There are actually a number of options available as an alternative to ammonia. White distilled vinegar is harmless to the environment, non-toxic to you (although I don't recommend drinking it), and it is an effective sanitizer and cleaner for household surfaces. Acid water produced by water ionizers is another completely green way to clean surfaces and kill germs. The acidity in the water acts as the cleaner and is effective against germs. Best Living Systems LLC puts out an enzyme cleaner called EnzyMagic 91 which can also be used as an all purpose cleaner. These are all great alternatives to Ammonia.

Green Non Toxic Alternatives to Bleach

When it comes to removing stains, finding the right green solution can be a challenge. But as people have become conscientious about the chemicals they keep in their home, many more non-toxic options have become available. Enzyme cleaners, diluted to the right formula, work great as a stain remover. We highly recommend the enzymagic 91. Although not designed specifically for stain removal, it has the properties that allow it to be effective. An alternative to bleach that I learned as a child is to mix hydrogen peroxide, baking soda together. Then pre-treat the stain area with this substance. You may experience a small chemical reaction take place when mixing the peroxide with the baking soda. The mixture will actually get warm as part of the reaction. This is completely natural and a great pre-treatment stain removal method.

The Natural Alternative to Air Fresheners

The real solution to Air Fresheners is ozone. Unlike air fresheners which use chemicals to mask odors, ozone oxidizes and destroys the odors completely. Ozone is written chemically as o3 and is considered an unstable form of oxygen. It exists naturally in the air you breathe in low quantities. In nature, ozone levels increase when pollution levels increase but then break down again as the ozone oxidizes and destroys the pollution. A simple ozone machine can take care of the majority of odors you will ever deal with at home. Another possible solution is carbon filtration systems which adsorb odors in the air. This is a less efficient and more expensive method, but it also works.

The One Eco-Friendly Alternative for Drain Cleaners and Degreasers

The alternative for Drain Cleaners and Degreasers is a green enzyme based cleaner like Enzymagic 91. The enzymes in enzymagic 91 break down organic matter, making them very effective at breaking up drain clogs and removing grease. They are very good at what they do, they are completely natural, and they are good for the environment. Everyone should have a bottle of enzymagic 91 because its multi-purpose, you can use it for most anything, and you can throw away all your toxic drain cleaners and degreasers.

The Best Alternative to Carpet Stain Remover

Yes an enzyme based cleaner would also work for removing carpet stains. But let's be real, that's not the very best alternative. The best thing you can possibly do is get rid of your carpets. Carpets are a festering ground for sickness and disease. They are expensive and require constant maintenance. A relative of mind recently removed the carpet in their home to discover there was a beautiful hardwood floor underneath. Now they do not have to worry about carpet stains or stain removers. It's a non issue and they are healthier because of it. So if you plan to keep your carpet, use an enzyme cleaner for stain removal. But I implore you, for the sake of your family's long term health, get rid of the carpets. Then you will be able to tell those pesky Kirby salesmen you do not have a carpet and send them packing.

When You Toss the Insecticides

That's right. Toss them. They are poison. They are bad for you and the plants and the soil and the animals. But when you toss them, have no fear because there are so many great natural solutions to dealing with bug problems. I don't have space in this article to delve into them all, but we can look at a simple one as an example. If you have ants invade your home, mix chill peppers with vinegar. You can also dilute it with water to increase the solution. This will easily take care of the ants.

The Creativity and Fun of Thinking Green

When you commit yourself to healthy green non toxic cleaning solutions, you learn to think creatively and you have fun doing it. The modern obsession with product creation has for years been built on an economy fed by sickness; a sickness not only fed by humans but also fed by the lack of well being in the earth. Over the years, people have forgotten the simple remedies their ancestors used and have turned to complicated products with toxic fumes. But now we say no more. Those of us who think about it are compelled to turn to the simple natural solutions easily provided by nature and common sense. Most importantly, we have a ton of fun doing it.


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