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17 Safe Cleaning Product Alternatives to Popular Cleaners

Shockingly, one of the most common places you’ll find household toxins is within popular cleaning products. The worst part is that many of these products claim to be “natural” or even boldly say “non-toxic”. The issue is that these terms are not regulated, meaning that any company can slap these labels on any product, whether it’s natural or not! Becoming aware of the ingredients in your cleaning closet is the first step in removing common household toxins from your life. Work to swap each one for a safe cleaning product alternative that you can trust!

afresh alternative safe cleaning product

Affresh Disposal Cleaner Alternative

Try This: It’s best to use a safe cleaning product such as this DIY garbage disposal cleaner pods recipe! When you grind a disposal cleaner pod, the particles go into the air, and you’re ultimately breathing them in.

Skip This: Like many other popular cleaning products, the Affresh garbage disposal cleaner pods contain artificial fragrance, which is known to cause hormone disruption and is a neurotoxin.

Affresh Washing Machine Cleaner Alternative

Try This: To deep clean the inside of your washing machine, pour 3 cups distilled white vinegar and 3/4 cups baking soda into the washer drum. Use a cloth or stiff brush to scrub the drum as well as you can. After that, run an empty cycle on the longest and hottest setting to finish the clean.

Skip This: The Affresh washing machine cleaner pods contain artificial fragrance, which is harmful to the hormones and is a neurotoxin.

bar keepers friend alternative

Bar Keepers Friend Alternative

Try This: Make a paste by mixing baking soda with just enough water to reach the desired consistency. Use a cloth to buff the paste into tough-to-clean areas. For an extra cleaning boost, use hydrogen peroxide rather than water, and allow to sit for at least ten minutes before buffing away.

Skip This: Bar Keepers Friend ingredients are not openly listed on the bottles or elsewhere. According to their safety data sheet, the ingredients are harmful and toxic to the body and environment. This is why it’s best to avoid it whenever possible.

bleach alternative

Bleach Alternative

Try This: This homemade bleach alternative recipe is fully non-toxic and works to brighten whites and deep clean the home! It kills germs, whitens laundry, and even removes countertop stains.

Skip This: Chlorine bleach is a lung and eye irritant, and can be fatal if accidentally swallowed. There are better options for brightening clothes and deep cleaning your home, without putting anyone at risk!

bona alternative safe cleaning product

Bona Alternative

Try This: Hardwood floors require cleaners that are not acidic, so that they do not break the wood finish down over time. This Castile cleaner spray recipe is perfect for hardwoods and other delicate surfaces, and is completely all-natural and non-toxic!

Skip This: Bona hardwood floor cleaner contains harmful ingredients such as benzisothiazolinone (which has acute toxicity warnings) as well as methylisothiazolinone (which is linked to lung and neurological toxicity). It’s best to avoid these ingredients.

Clorox wipes alternative

Clorox Wipes Alternative

Try This: The best homemade disinfecting wipes are when you store reusable cotton cloths in a jar of homemade multi purpose cleaner! This is not only a safe cleaning product, but it’s also a reusable solution, making it more cost effective over the long run!

Skip This: Many of the ingredients in Clorox wipes, such as dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride, are linked to reproductive harm and even cancer. These ingredients should be avoided.

dawn dish soap alternative

Dawn Dish Soap Alternative

Try This: By far the best all-natural dish soap that I’ve found is liquid Castile soap. The citrus soap is my favorite for dishwashing because it smells so bright and fresh!

Skip This: Dawn dish soap is loaded with preservatives, artificial fragrance, and artificial dyes known to disrupt hormones and the nervous system. It’s best to stick with cleaners that contain only safe ingredients, especially with something like dish soap where your hands are directly soaking in it!

lysol alternative

Lysol Disinfecting Spray Alternative

Try This: This disinfecting multi purpose cleaning spray recipe is a perfect replacement for other unnatural disinfecting sprays. It kills germs, but also cleans as well!

Skip This: Lysol disinfectant spray contains ingredients like dimethyl benzyl ammonium saccharinate and ethanol which are very harmful if inhaled. Of course, these products are intended to be sprayed, meaning they’ll be inhaled each time they’re used. Protect your lungs by using a safe cleaning product alternative.

magic eraser alternative

Magic Eraser Alternative

Try This: An all-natural alternative for a magic eraser is using a natural scrubbing sponge with baking soda and water on it. It’s a gentle abrasive that will remove scuffs without exposing you to toxins!

Skip This: While it would seem that Mr. Clean Magic Erasers would just be a powerful scrubbing sponge, they actually contain formaldehyde which is a known carcinogen. Homemade alternatives are just as effective, but without carrying cancer causing risks.

mrs Meyers alternative

Mrs. Meyer’s Alternative

Try This: Opt for a homemade multi purpose cleaning spray instead of most store-bought cleaners so that you know what you’re bringing into your home!

Skip This: I know what you’re thinking. ‘I thought Mrs. Meyer’s cleaning spray was all-natural’! Unfortunately, this is called “green-washing”, which is when a company promotes itself as a natural alternative, when it’s really not natural at all. Mrs. Meyer’s cleaning sprays contain toxic ingredients such as methylisothiazolinone, benzisothiazolinone, and hormone-disrupting artificial fragrance. Who knew!

pledge alternative safe cleaning product

Pledge Dusting Spray Alternative

Try This: Try a homemade Castile cleaner spray for all of your dusting needs! It’s non-toxic, cost effective, and safe for the entire family.

Skip This: Pledge dusting spray contains ingredients such as dimethyl ethylbenzyl ammonium chloride, which is known to be corrosive to the skin, harmful to kidneys, and acutely toxic if ingested. Busting dust is easy with a homemade cleaner, without risking your health.

scrubbing bubbles alternative

Scrubbing Bubbles Alternative

Try This: To deep clean the shower, use a sponge and liquid Castile soap to remove soap scum. Rinse with warm water, and then follow up with homemade multi purpose cleaning spray to disinfect.

Skip This: Scrubbing bubbles bathroom cleaner contains sodium hypochlorite bleach, which can cause dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. It also contains sodium hydroxide and artificial fragrance. It’s best to opt for a homemade cleaner that’s just as effective, but without the toxins.

simple green alternative safe cleaning product

Simple Green Alternative

Try This: Depending on the application, one of the best natural replacements is a homemade vinegar cleaning spray. It degreases, lifts stains, neutralizes odors, and more!

Skip This: Simple Green cleaner has a very unclear ingredients list. They do not reveal every ingredient in their product, but some of the known ingredients are hormone-disrupting artificial fragrance and methylisothiazolinone, which is toxic when inhaled. Even though the name of this cleaner may suggest that it is a natural product, it is far from it.

the pink stuff alternative

The Pink Stuff Alternative

Try This: Use a natural scrubbing sponge with baking soda and water to clean and buff surfaces. It’s a gentle abrasive that will remove scuffs without exposing you to toxins! Depending on the application, follow up with homemade vinegar cleaning spray to polish, remove any remaining buildup, and leave a streak-free finish.

Skip This: The Pink Stuff is taunted as an “all natural” cleaning product, and yet the full ingredients list is very hard to come by. Amongst the ingredients we were able to find is artificial fragrance, which is a known hormone disruptor, as well as a red dye to make the product appear pink. Furthermore, the term “natural” is unregulated, meaning any brand can claim that their product is all-natural, even if it is far from it! It’s best to stick with products that you know the ingredients of.

tide alternative

Tide Alternative

Try This: An alternative to unnatural laundry detergents is a fully non-toxic homemade laundry detergent! It is a powder detergent, but if you prefer liquid there are instructions for how to do that in the recipe as well.

Skip This: Tide laundry detergent contains very harmful ingredients such as organosilicone copolymer (a reproductive toxin), blue dyes, and artificial fragrance (a hormone disruptor). It’s also found to contain other toxins not on the ingredients list, which are known carcinogens (cancer-causing substances). Considering that detergent sits on your skin all day every day from your clothes, it’s best to use a non-toxic option.

windex alternative safe cleaning product

Windex Alternative

Try This: To get the perfect streak-free finish, use a non-toxic homemade vinegar cleaning spray for glass, mirrors, windows, appliances, and more!

Skip This: Windex glass cleaner contains eye and lung-irritating ingredients such as sodium dodecylbenzene sulfonate, ammonium hydroxide, isopropanolamine, and 2-hexoxyethanol. Of course like many other popular cleaning products, it contains hormone-disrupting artificial fragrances and artificial dyes as well.

Zeiss spray alternative safe cleaning product

Zeiss Lens Spray or Wipes Alternative

Try This: The best alternative to popular lens cleaning products is this DIY lens cleaner spray. It’s made with safe and all-natural ingredients!

Skip This: Zeiss lens spray contains dangerous chemicals like butyl diglycol, which is known to cause liver and kidney damage. It also has eye and lung-irritating ingredients such as methylchloroisothiazolinone and methylisothiazolinone. It’s best to swap this for a non-toxic and safe cleaning product option.

More Safe Cleaning Products

To find more safe and non-toxic cleaning products, visit the cleaning page!

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