Cleaning Products & Air Fresheners for the Chemically Sensitive

These are the cleaning products I have tested and use. After many years of trying different products and DIY recipes, these are the products I have settled on. I have also looked at what the most chemically sensitive folks tolerate and use.

Some of these products listed have affiliate programs. Upon purchase, I earn a small commission through affiliate links at no extra cost to you.

Cleaning Products for the Chemically Sensitive

An All-Purpose Cleaner

You can clean many surfaces with simple and cheap products - Vinegar, or baking soda.

Seventh Generation makes a scent-free dish soap that makes a very good all-purpose cleaner.

You can use it on dishes, counters, floors (including wood), walls, and the bathroom.

You can even use this as a body soap, shampoo and laundry soap.

Scouring the Bathtub

I tried a lot of the DIY methods for tubs and none of them really did the job. In the end, after a lot of research into this, I decided on Magic Erasers.

They are made of a melamine plastic, are scent-free, and are safe as long as you don't end up eating any of the particles it could leave behind (i.e. don't use it on dishes).

Bon Ami can also work well.

Scrubbing the Toilet

To clean the toilet I tried natural methods like pouring vinegar or half a cup of lemon juice in the toilet bowl and letting it sit for 30 minutes.

You have to clean really often for this to work.

I ended up settling on Bon Ami as a much easier solution that most chemically sensitive folks do well with.

Cleaning Glass & Windows

A 50/50 vinegar and water solution works great. No need for Windex.

Or, even simpler - water and a microfibre cloth!

You don't need to add any product to this.

You can buy microfiber cloths on Amazon.

Polishing Stainless Steel

While lemon can remove hard-water marks, and baking soda with a scrubbing sponge can remove grime, a microfiber cloth will make it look shiny and new!

For the kitchen sink, use olive oil on a soft cloth to buff.

Baked on oil and food stains on a stainless steel kettle or cookie sheet can be removed with a paste of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Let it sit for a while, it will work wonders.

The most liked natural metal cleaner is this one from  ECOs. Most of the natural ones don't work, or leave streaks. If you want something easy that works go with that one. The most sensitive folks have done well with it.

Cleaning Marble, Granite, and Stone

Seventh Generation Granite and Stone is the best cleaner (it does have an orange scent).

Polishing Furniture

For wood furniture that has a bit of a sheen use two parts olive oil and one part lemon juice (spray on and wipe off).

For a matte dark wood, like my rocking chair, I tried concentrated black tea (cooled to room temperature). It looked great but left the wood feeling slightly tacky.

Rubbing walnuts on wood furniture worked surprisingly well to remove scratches! (Works on wood floors too).

A hairdryer can help to remove rings left by water. Follow with a polish.

Removing Stains & Mold

For stained laminate, clean with a mixture of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide.

The same mix works really well on stained tile grout, i.e. around the toilet, or to remove mold stains from grout.

I have used it as a non-toxic way to remove stains from marble as well.

I use the Magic Erasers to remove stains from walls. They are non-toxic as long as you don't digest it. For that reason, I don't use them on countertops.

Air Fresheners for the Chemically Sensitive

Simmering Recipes

I tried various natural air fresheners: including the popular Pinterest post of simmering vanilla, rosemary, and lemon.

This method was so-so at producing an aroma (if you grate the lemon rind before adding it to get the lemon scent out).

I also tried simmering black tea with spices (cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg) as well, which worked, but only slightly.

Food-Based Aromas

If you cannot tolerate simmering spices to create aromas, but need to have your house smelling good because you are selling it, you can brew coffee or bake cookies in the oven at that time.

This is a wonderful and safe way to add that feel-good feeling to a house viewing.

Should Essential Oils be Used?

I'm not a fan of essential oils for the chemically sensitive. But if you do tolerate them you should use a water-free nebulizer (so that you don't raise humidity too much).

Keep in mind, in attached housing, this affects neighbors (who might be chemically sensitive).

The most tolerable essential oils tend to be vanilla, citrus, as well as peppermint. But individual tolerance varies greatly.

Removing Malodors

You may also consider removing odors instead of adding scents.

Check out my post on mitigating VOCs to see strategies like using enzyme cleaners to properly and safely degrade pet odors and other problematic odors.

Clean has no smell, and even if you are staging the house to sell it, no odor could be a selling point.

Corinne Segura is a Building Biologist with 6 years of experience helping others create healthy homes. I have lived with environmental sensitivities for most of my life.

For individual help on choosing the best products and materials for you and your home, you can schedule a consultation with me here.

Did you find this post helpful? If so you can buy me a coffee to support the research behind this blog. Thank you!


inovexenterprises said...

Its is really wonder to here that lemon,vinegar were used for the cleaning purpose.Your blog is useful.Here after i will try to do this type of best and cheap cleaning

Thornhill Louis said...

The use of natural cleaning products is certainly becoming the most preferred cleaning alternative these days. The best natural cleaning products are safe and odorless because they do not have harmful toxins in them.
Natural Cleaning Products

Lauren Bootfall said...

These are some really good tips which I might have to try. I have found that odor elimination can be a difficult task but there are some good ways to get the smell gone.

Mohammed Ata Elgammal said...

You can try enzyme cleaners products available in the market. These cleaning products are able to remove stains found on your mattress and it has been proven effective to break down any particles.
Cleaning apartments

Unknown said...

For cleaning my toilet I always use white vinegar and baking soda. Just let it fizz and sit for about 20 minutes and brush and flush. I have MCS and had to learn how to stay away from toxins fast and keep my home safe before I would get worse and have to live outside where it had just fresh air.

Lindsay Craig said...

How would you suggest to clean solid wood floors that are first finished in a wax then rubio monocoat oil? We've had some continuing construction in our house after having our solid wood floors were installed and now the floors are a wreck. I've vacuumed several times and was wondering if there's a concoction I can make myself to help smooth the surface?

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