This list is a result of ten years of working with and being in community with chemically sensitive folks. I have also tested these products when I was sensitive myself.
I continue to update this post with new products or new favorites amongst the chemically sensitive.
Some of these products listed have affiliate programs. Upon purchase, I earn a small commission through affiliate links at no extra cost to you.
An All-Purpose Cleaner / Dish Soap
You can clean many surfaces with simple and cheap products – vinegar, or baking soda.
Dish soaps also make great all-purpose cleaners. You can use it on dishes, counters, floors (including most wood), walls, and the bathroom.
Seventh Generation is a popular brand but it does contain two preservatives that are common and not exactly healthy. Though most tolerate it, some like to avoid it.
The Best Dish Soaps:
ECOS Dishmate (pictured above) is a good alternative for those that want to avoid any potentially toxic preservatives and most people do well with this one. Phenoxyethanol is the preservative and they do have a scent-free version.
Brands with no preservatives include:
Branch Basics is very pure all-purpose cleaner. Many chemically sensitive folks like this brand. The camomile extract in this does not have a scent.
Ingredients: Water, Coco Glucoside, Organic Chamomilla Recutita (Chamomile) Flower Extract, Decyl Glucoside, Sodium Citrate, Lauryl Glucoside, Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Phytate.
Made of Organics also has a very clean ingredients list. Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Tocopherol, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera), Cocos Nucifera Oil (Coconut), Helianthus Annuus Oil (Sunflower), Ricinus Communis Oil (Castor, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Extract, Potassium Hydroxide.
Dr Bronners Castile soap another long time favourite this can be used as an all-purpose cleaner. Ingredients: Water, Coconut Oil, Potassium Hydroxide, Palm Kernel Oil, Olive Oil, Hemp Oil, Jojoba Oil, Citric Acid, Tocopherol.
Scouring the Bathtub
I tried a lot of the natural DIY methods for tubs and none of them really did the job.
In the end, after a lot of research, I decided on Magic Erasers.
They are made of a melamine plastic, are scent-free, and are safe for chemically sensitive folks 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 also work well. This scouring powder has long been a favourite of the chemically sensitive. The ingredients are Calcium Carbonate (Limestone), Feldspar Powder, Sodium Carbonate (Soda Ash), Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda), C10-C16 Alkylbenzene Sulfonic Acid (Surfactant).
To remove stains from acrylic bathtubs, oxygen bleach with hot water can 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. This product is safe for almost all chemically sensitive folks. Ingredients are in the section above.
Cleaning Glass & Windows
A 50/50 vinegar and water solution works great on windows. No need for a chemical glass cleaner.
Or, even simpler – water and a microfibre cloth! You don’t need to add any product to this.
You can buy microfiber clothes 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. For pots and pans, soak in vinegar and then scrub with baking soda.
For stainless steel fridges, the most liked natural metal cleaner is this one from ECOs pictured above. Most of the natural ones don’t work, or leave streaks. If you want something easy that works on a fridge, go with that one. The most sensitive folks have done well with it.
Cleaning & Disinfecting Marble, Granite, and Stone
Seventh Generation Granite and Stone is the best cleaner for stone (it does have an orange scent).
If you need to disinfect marble, granite, or travertine you can’t use most conventional options like bleach, ammonia (including quats, i.e. Lysol), hydrogen peroxide, or vinegar since they all damage the stone.
You can use hypochlorous acid (which is very affordable – I have this one), 7th Generation Thymol-based wipes / spray, or 70% rubbing alcohol (you can mix 99% isopropenyl, with some water, dish soap, and if you like, essential oil).
Those who are chemically sensitive could have challenges with any of those three disinfectants – so be sure to test what is best for you, it’s likely that one of them will work.
Some wood furniture can be polished with one of the penetrating drying oils featured here. It really depends on what is already on the wood.
Don’t use a non-drying oil like olive oil or coconut oil as it can go rancid.
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
The mix works really well on stained tile grout, around the toilet, or to remove mold stains from grout.
I have used it as a non-toxic way to remove stains from marble and quartz as well.
I use the Magic Erasers to remove stains from walls. They are safe for most uses around the house except for countertops and dishes.
AFM Safecoat, a company that makes products for the chemically sensitive, makes a scent-free carpet cleaner. You can use that as a solo product to shampoo carpets or with their carpet sealing system.
This innovative carpet spot cleaner uses mineral technology to remove stains (and is scent-free).
Non-Toxic Hardwood Floor Cleaner
You can clean hardwood floors (solid or engineered) with a synthetic finish (acrylic/polyurethane/poly-acylic/UV cured synthetic finishes) with diluted dish soap, diluted Branch Basics concentrate or diluted AFM Superclean.
If the floor is finished with a natural oil or wax, don’t use Branch Basics, which is likely to remove natural finishes. You generally can use diluted dish soap, or diluted AFM Superclean on tung oil and linseed oil finished floors. You should ask the company that makes the finish what they recommend and you may want to go with their branded cleaners in some cases like with Rubio Monocoat.
The article on non-toxic floor cleaners goes into more detail.
Industrial Strength Degreasers
This post goes into more detail or where you should use them.
Corinne Segura is a Building Biologist Practitioner with 8 years of experience helping others create healthy homes. I have lived with environmental sensitivities for most of my life.