20 Natural Cleaning Hacks to Replace Harmful Chemicals

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Many cleaning products are bad for your health and the planet – use these easy DIY methods instead, many of which rely on kitchen cupboard ingredients.

Humans are a funny animal. We are so afraid of the perceived dangers of dirt and germs that all around our homes we spray and sprinkle toxic chemicals that likely do more harm to our health than dirt and germs.

“Cleaning your home can come at a high price – cancer-causing chemicals in the air, an asthma attack from fumes or serious skin burns from an accidental spill,” says Jane Houlihan, EWG senior vice president for research and co-author of the EWG Cleaners Hall of Shame. “Almost any ingredient is legal and almost none of them are labeled, leaving families at risk."

Which is just one of the great reasons to make your own, all-natural, non-toxic cleaners. They are also better for the environment, consume less packaging, and are easier to store at home ... among other benefits. We have been writing about safe cleaning products for years, but sometimes it's good to see a bunch of ideas all in one place – like, you know, in an infographic!

My only caveat with the information below is that bleach is on my no-no list. Instead of using their recommendation, try this Bob Villa formula for grout cleaner instead: Use 1/2 cup of baking soda mixed with 1/4 cup of hydrogen peroxide in a squeeze-top bottle; add 1 teaspoon of liquid dish soap, shake, and apply.

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For more tips on safe cleaning and household chemicals, see the related stories below.