Get Rid of the 3 Most Toxic Cleaning Products in Your Home

oven cleaning via photo pin cc

I bet you’ve already heard the dirt on conventional cleaning products.  You know that most of them are either bad for your health in some way or they wreak havoc on the environment after they go down the drain.  Perhaps you like the idea of giving the cupboard under your kitchen or bathroom sink a green makeover….but you can’t do it all at once.  Well you could, but I wouldn’t recommend it.  Instead, get rid of the most toxic of the cleaning products in your home first, then slowly replace others as they run out.  Here are the 3 that I recommend doing away with pronto:

  • Oven Cleaner – Conventional oven cleaning products contain lye, which is extremely corrosive and can burn skin on contact.  I’ve got a self-cleaning oven so I haven’t had to worry about this myself but I’ve heard that Restore Grill & Oven Cleaner works well and there’s always good old Bon Ami, a mineral-based scrub.  Or, make your own oven scrub using baking soda.  Just coat the bottom of your oven with baking soda and use a spray bottle of water to dampen it.  Leave it alone for awhile (I’d leave it overnight) and come back and scrub.
  • Earth enzymes Drain Cleaner –  Chemical drain cleaners are probably the scariest cleaning product lurking in your home.  These caustic mixtures commonly contain lye, bleach or sulfuric acid and can cause damage to skin, lungs and eyes.  Instead of messing with chemicals, try an enzyme-based drain cleaner like Earth Enzymes from Earth Friendly Products or use the popular home remedy of vinegar and baking soda followed by hot water.  It really works!
  • Toilet Bowl Cleaner – Most toilet bowl cleaners are highly acidic and can irritate lungs and burn eyes.  I’ve used Ecover and Seventh Generation toilet bowl cleaners with good results.  For maintenance and to treat stubborn stains, try Borax, a naturally occurring alkaline mineral that is a powerful disinfectant and deodorizer.  Toss 1/2 cup in your bowl, wait a half an hour,then scrub.

Note: don’t just toss these products in the trash.  Bring them to your local hazardous waste disposal location because that’s what they are….hazardous waste!

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photo credit: alsis35 via photopin cc

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About Micaela

Micaela Preston is a marketing and communications consultant specializing in natural, organic and eco-friendly products and the health and wellness space. Micaela is available as a social media manager, green lifestyle writer, public speaker, brand ambassador and marketing manager.


  1. Thanks for this good reminder! It’s always good to start somewhere. . . and always good to have fewer products around!

  2. Have you heard of Shaklee’s Basic H2? It is organic, non toxic, and cleans almost everything under the sun! Totally green, this product was green when green was just a color. I’m all about non toxic cleaners!

  3. I tried to clean some burnt on gunk under the burners of my stove with baking soda. It didn’t work very well. I grabbed a bottle of straight vinegar and poured a little on the gunk. After it finished fizzing, it worked through the gunk and it was easy to clean. A very happy experiment!

  4. Hi! We loved your post over at KiwiLog and decided to feature it as part of our weekly mom blog round-up. Thanks!

  5. Yeah – that vinegar and baking soda works wonders! Thanks for the tip!

  6. I’ve never used Shaklee – but it seems like everyone who uses their products loves them!

  7. James From says:

    I’ll have to check out these 3 types of products.

  8. Jennifer Taggart, TheSmartMama says:

    Great ideas!

    To clean the oven with baking soda, you have to wet it a couple of times to have it work well. You also don’t want to get it in the light . . .

  9. I just blogged about this very topic today.

    Switching is the best way to go, but if you do want to stick with your existing cleaning products you might want to take a look at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services database first. The database provides health risk-related information as well as links to Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), which are provided by the manufacturers. They tell you which chemicals each product contains as well as specific dangers. You can search by brand or product type. Scary, scary stuff…

  10. Good point about looking up the Material Safety Data Sheets – every manufacturer must provide them.

  11. Have you heard of Wowgreen? It’s a green company with 12 non-toxic cleaning products. All the products contain only 4 ingredients and enzymes are its cleaning agent. Another plus, all made in the USA. Great company and product. Safe, effective, and affordable. They really are passionate and committed to their mission of freeing the world of toxic chemicals, one household at a time.

  12. Are you aware that Lye (KOH) is a natural product? If you soak hardwood ash in water and wait x units of time, you get lye.

  13. Natural Green Cleaning products are works amazingly. It is environmental friendly and does not harmful to our health. You should try it also aside from baking soda and vinegar.

  14. We used to have these for cleaning around the house. But a year ago, I switched to DIY cleansers. Most of it can be found at the local hardware store like white vinegar, baking soda, borax, etc. These are easier on the nose and on the environment.

  15. Thanks for this info. It’s good to know about these products. I have been researching different cleaners and janitorial supplies in phoenix az for my daughters business. Thanks 🙂

  16. With kids in the house, I have always been worried about toxic cleaners getting into their hands. I have been researching for safer products and have found that some janitorial cleaning supplies are the safest. They come in child-proof and break-resistant containers and are also very easy to organize. I would recommend these products to anyone who is trying to avoid toxicity with their cleaning products.

  17. Another good option for oven cleaning is the self-clean function that many ovens have now. It literally burns everything off! After the oven cools, just wipe out the remaining ash!

  18. Good point Marjoire! I use the self cleaning option on my oven. It stinks while it's happening but boy does it make the oven easy to wipe clean!


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