Are Your Cleaning Products Making You Sick?

Everyone loves a clean house, but many of the commercial cleaning products found in supermarkets can contain toxic ingredients. In fact, studies show that indoor air is actually more polluted than outdoor air because of this. Using these popular brands in your home can aggravate allergies and respiratory issues. Airing your home after each cleaning can help, but a simpler, cheaper, and even healthier way to clean is to make your own cleaning products. You probably have most of the ingredients on hand, which include baking soda, cornstarch, lemon, white vinegar, rubbing alcohol, vegetable oil, and plain soap in liquid, bar or flake form. Try these concoctions from, a web site offering information on how to tread lightly on our planet:

  • General all-purpose cleaner. Mix ½ cup of vinegar and ¼ cup of baking soda with ½ gallon of water. You can use this to remove water stains in the bathroom and take grime off mirrors and windows—and it will keep for quite awhile.

  • Air freshener. Those lovely fragrances emitted by store-bought air fresheners are actually created using toxic chemicals. Instead, place baking soda and lemon juice in small containers around the house to absorb odors. You can diminish cooking smells by simmering a small amount of vinegar in water on the stove while you work in the kitchen. Simmering cinnamon or other spices in water works, too. Grind up some lemon in the garbage disposal, or keep coffee grounds out on your counter, and have an abundance of houseplants—they’ll soak up toxins and freshen your air naturally. You can also place a sliced fresh onion on a plate in your garage or basement to take away odors that occur there.

  • Bathroom mold. Combine one part hydrogen peroxide with two parts water, and spray on the mold. Wait at least an hour before using the shower.

  • Rug stains. Create a solution using half water and half white vinegar, and spray it directly on the stain. After a few minutes, clean the spot with a brush or sponge dipped in warm, soapy water. If that doesn’t do it, try mixing ¼ cup each of salt, borax, and vinegar. Rub it in the carpet, and leave it for a few hours before vacuuming.

  • Wood-floor cleaner. Mix together a solution comprised of vegetable oil and vinegar in equal parts, and apply a thin coat to the floor. Rub it in well.

  • Furniture polish. A few drops of lemon oil mixed with warm water can be sprayed onto a soft cotton cloth and rubbed on furniture.