It’s wonderful to come home to a clean-smelling, sparkling clean house, isn’t it? Everything feeling so fresh and so clean! Hate to be a Debbie-Downer, but often the smells we associate with “clean” are, in fact, a heap of toxic waste, off-gassing a combination of chemicals that together create a host of health issues.  For example, many different types of household cleaners contain bleach. Bleach is highly irritating and corrosive to the skin, lungs, and eyes. Fumes from bleach are very potent, as you can tell by the smell, and when inhaled they can cause a wide variety of health problems. Bleaches that come in thick liquid form or gel often produce the most harmful fumes. One European study showed that bleach can react to produce Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), most of which are toxic. Inhaling these fumes is potentially carcinogenic. Other common ingredients found in household cleaners include phthalates [thal-its], PERC, Triclosan, and 2-butoxyethanol. Together they make things smell “clean”, clean without streaks, remove pesky spots from carpets and drapes, and kill bacteria. But they also harm the health of humans and animals. Today, we’ll show you some really simple recipes to make your own cleaners so you can clean your house without the sad side effect of things like asthma, skin irritations, and cancer.

For a clean toilet, use baking soda directly in the bowl, topped off with vinegar and any essential oils you like (eucalyptus is nice in the bathroom).  Close the lid and let it sit for a few minutes, then scrub out.  Clean the rest of the toilet with your handy spray cleaner.