Nontoxic Home Cleaner Overhaul

I am on a mission: to detox my home. This isn’t really a new thing, but it’s been a long, slow process. The journey started when I first learned I was pregnant. When it comes to food, I’ve always been relatively health conscious. I shop the perimeter of the grocery store, steer clear of GMOs and processed foods, buy organic when I can/feel it’s necessary… and so on and so forth.  That said, I eat whatever I want when I’m out and I rarely turn down a glass of wine, so on the “food front” I’d say I’m healthy within reason 🙂 Household, personal and beauty products are a whole different ball game, or at least they were until I got pregnant. I’ve always been aware of the dangers of harsh chemicals, but I figured it’d be too much effort to make the shift so I threw caution to the wind and kept using what I always used. The second I got my first BIG FAT POSITIVE pregnancy test, that all changed. I became hyper aware of every chemical I was being exposed to and began immediately seriously tailoring my chemical usage. I’m still honing my home detox strategy, and I’ve come a long way, but there is still work to do.  I think most people are probably a bit reluctant to throw away hundreds of dollars in product that they’ve accumulated, and so was I. The process is a bit overwhelming, but I ended up finding a manageable system by which to gradually detox your home without wasting tons of money and perfectly good (well, sort of) products.

1. Minimize:

I am the queen of dual-duty everything. Dual-duty bath soap, dual-duty household cleaner, dual-duty makeup… The list goes on. Make a list of the household products you use most frequently and start there. My list went like this:

  • All Purpose Cleaner (for countertops, baby messes, etc)
  • All Purpose Kitchen cleaner
  • Window cleaner
  • Laundry Detergent
  • Stain Remover
  • Bleach
  • Hardwood floor cleaner
  • tile floor cleaner
  • toilet cleaner
  • Bathroom tile cleaner
  • Shower cleaner
  • Dish soap
  • Dishwashing detergent
  • Febreeze
  • Pledge

Lordy. That was actually a lot more than I thought, so this quickly became something of a minimalist exercise as well. So I asked myself… Where can I cut back on my overall product load? It’s a lot easier to revamp your cleaning arsenal if you cut your products down. Is there anything on that list that can be consolidated (if you’ve followed me for any length of time, you’ll know I have a love for all things dual-duty – maybe to a fault).

2. Prioritize:

The goal is to detox your household products by as much as you can, within reason of course. There are items on that list that I know I could never do without, so I starred those items and left them alone.  I found that some of those lovely items could actually work dual-duty if I got crafty. I also found that some of the items on the list didn’t need to be there at all –  I decided to can the Febreeze and the all-purpose kitchen cleaner and to consolidate the tile and hardwood floor cleaner, as well as the shower and bathroom tile cleaner, and the all purpose cleaner and the Windex. This left me with a new list that looked like this:

  • All Purpose Cleaner
  • Glass Cleaner
  • Laundry Detergent
  • Stain Remover
  • Floor Cleaner (for tile and hardwood)
  • Toilet Cleaner
  • Bathroom Cleaner
  • Dish Soap
  • Dishwashing Detergent
  • Dusting/Furniture Cleaner

3. Strategize:

Now that you have your master list of products, start looking for clean, non-toxic alternatives. You can do all store-bought, all DIY, or a combination of the two. For me this looked like a combination of homemade DIY cleaners, and store-bought nontoxic (or less toxic) products. Decide what on the list you would feel comfortable DIY-ing, and what on the list you couldn’t imagine attempting to make yourself. Personally, there were a few things I either didn’t want to chance or didn’t have the patience for, but there are tons of people who DIY all of their cleaning products and have great success! Here is what that list looked like for me:

  • All Purpose Cleaner – SB
  • Glass Cleaner – DIY
  • Laundry Detergent – SB
  • Stain Remover – SB
  • Floor Cleaner – DIY
  • Toilet Cleaner – SB
  • Disinfectant Bathroom Cleaner – DIY
  • Dish Soap – SB
  • Dishwashing Detergent – SB
  • Dusting/Furniture Cleaner – DIY

Once you decide if/what you’re willing to DIY, start searching! Check out my Clean Mommy Pinterest board (click Pinterest icon at the top and bottom of page) for tons of ideas for DIYing your cleaning supplies. Below are the recipes I settled on:

Glass Cleaner

  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup rubbing alcohol
  • 1 tbs cornstarch
  • 5 drops lemon oil

Floor Cleaner

  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tbs dish soap
  • 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 5 drops lemon essential oil

Bathroom Cleaner

  • 1/4 cup dish soap
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 5 drops essential oil

Dusting/Furniture Cleaner

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 c white vinegar
  • 1 c warm water

As for the products you plan to buy, I would recommend going in with a strategy and doing some research before braving the cleaning supply aisle. There is so much out there, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. I went with a handful of products from Trader Joes, and a few more from Target and Amazon. Trader Joes has awesome, nontoxic (or at least less toxic) household supplies, many of which I already have in my home. Side note – I absolutely love their laundry detergent. If you live near a TJ’s and you’ve never tried their laundry detergent, I would TOTALLY recommend picking some up next time you’re around. It’s pretty reasonably priced and it’s gentle enough for baby’s sensitive skin.


4. Mobilize:

Ready set! It’s time to put your strategy into action. This will likely require a run to the grocery store, and probably a run to the trash. Make your grocery list and make a run for it. I grabbed all of my DIY supplies, including the four empty spray bottles.  Side note- I think the spray bottles I bought are pretty ugly, so I plan on ordering some prettier ones on Amazon. Here is what my final grocery list looked like:

Here’s all of the stuff I used to make my DIY cleaners:

Here was my starting chemical laden lineup:

Here was my final nontoxic cleaning lineup!:

As for the store-bought stuff, here is what I ended up settling on:

All Purpose Cleaner: Berkley Green Baby Multi-Surface 
Laundry Detergent: Trader Joes
Stain Remover: Boulder Clean Ox-smart Natural Stain Remover 
Toilet Cleaner: Seventh Generation Natural Toilet Bowl Cleaner 
Dish Soap: Seventh Generation Dish Liquid 
Dish Washing Detergent: Trader Joes

5. Sanitize

I couldn’t wait to try the DIY cleaners, so I went on a cleaning spree as soon as I finished with them, and guess what? They are AWESOME! Probably even better than chemical cleaners in my opinion. They were so easy and cheap to make too! I had already used a couple of the items listed on my store bought list, but there are a few new things that I have yet to try so I will post an update as soon as I get around to it!


Well, there you have it! Step one in detoxing my home was to get the cleaning products all sorted out. It feels so good to have all of those harsh, endocrine-disrupting chemicals out of my house! Stay tuned on more posts on detoxing your life (I’m planning on doing a personal product and makeup post soon!), and thank you so much for reading!

<3 Lexi


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