Nontoxic Cleaners for the New Year

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Is one of your new year’s resolutions to use safer cleaning products but unsure where to start?  Do nontoxic cleaners work as well as the ones you’ve been using all your life? How much do they cost?  Where does one find them?

These are all questions I had when I started this journey.  When I was struggling through hypothyroid symptoms and ready to eliminate endocrine disruptors from my home environment, I decided to jump right in and try some new products that were safer.  I was apprehensive about trying new products because I’m a clean freak, and I didn’t want to sacrifice that to use safer products.  The good news is, you don’t have to sacrifice cleanliness for nontoxic products. Before I switched I was wearing a mask to avoid the noxious fumes from the old cleaners I was using.  Now I can clean without getting a headache or wearing a mask!

Just to be clear, I’m not being paid by any of these companies, I’m simply offering my honest opinion of some cleaning products that I’ve used.

Here are some safer brands that I recommend:

  • Better Life Products – They’re all plant-based and scented with essential oils.  These products can be ordered from their website, are available at some big box retailers, and I’ve even found them at discount stores.  I found a 32 oz bottle of WhatEVER at TJ Maxx for $3.99.  You can also buy in bulk which will save on the cost, and the paper containers the products come in reduce your carbon footprint and the amount of plastic waste left behind.  I’ve tried several of their products and have yet to be disappointed.  WhatEVER cleans anything, hence the name.  I prefer the unscented version, though they have others.  I Can See Clearly Wow is a glass cleaner that works great and doesn’t have a strong odor, which I love.  Even The Kitchen Sink is a great cleaner for sinks, tubs, etc.  No odor and it removes stains and grime.  Natural Stain and Odor Eliminator can be used as a cleaner to remove stains or as a spray to eliminate odors.  My only complaint is I’m not a fan of the smell, but that’s because I don’t care for Lemongrass or Lavender.  If you like them you will probably like this scent.
  • Earth Friendly Products – so far I’ve only tried two of their products, and I think I’m in love!  They can be purchased online, and this is another brand I’ve found at both discount stores and health food stores that carry green cleaners.  The Free and Clear Auto Dishwasher Gel with built in rinse aid gets our dishes clean without any powdery residue.  The dish detergent in Natural Pear smells amazing gets our dishes just as clean as any traditional detergent.  It doesn’t create much later, but remember – you don’t need lather to get clean!
  • Seventh Generation – I’ve tried several of their products, and my thoughts are mixed.  Some products I like, some I don’t.  The products are easy to find since most grocery stores and big box retailers carry them.  They are a bit pricey compared to their traditional counterparts, though.  The unscented dryer sheets are a product that I love.  The toilet bowl cleaner in Emerald Cypress and Fir works great, and the smell isn’t too strong.  I’ve also used the Free and Clear dish and laundry detergents and they work great without any odor.  The dishwasher tabs always left a powdery residue on our dishes.  The cleaning wipes in Lemongrass Citrus smell like bug spray to me, so I only bought them once.
  • Dr Bronner’s – even though it’s not pictured here, I do like to use this brand of products.  They are available at many big box retailers, grocery stores, health food stores, and of course, online.  The prices may seem expensive at first glance, but because the soap is so concentrated, a little goes a long way!  I like to use the Castile soap in peppermint for household cleaning and personal care.  The great thing about this brand is that the same soap can have so many different uses.  It’s a great multi-tasker, and peppermint has antibacterial properties, so it makes a great cleaner!

I hope this helps you get your new year off to a great nontoxic start!

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