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.
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.
You can even use many dish soaps as a body soap, shampoo, and laundry soap.
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 this.
The Best Dish Soaps :
ECOS Dishmate (pictured above) is a good alternative for those that want to avoid those 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 quite a pure formula. 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 – 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 – 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 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).
Chemically sensitive folks usually do well with these.
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. This product is safe for almost all chemically sensitive folks.
Cleaning Glass & Windows
A 50/50 vinegar and water solution works great on windows. 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.
For 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 or 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 non-toxic as long as you don’t digest it. For that reason, I don’t use them on countertops.
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.
An innovative carpet spot cleaner uses mineral technology to remove stains (and is scent-free).
Industrial Strenth Degreasers
- Air fresheners for the chemically sensitive
- Removing Febreeze, frangraced and smoke residue
- Non-toxic alternatives to Febreeze
Corinne Segura is a Building Biologist Practitioner 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.