Spring Cleaning without Toxic Detergents or Waste

Commercially available cleaning detergents can not only harm the environment, they can also harm you. Many detergents contain known carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, and neurotoxins.

Making your own detergent(s) means taking charge of the chemicals and substances that enter your home, to keep your family, pets, and the environment safe. In this guide, we’ll provide recipes and instructions for effective toxic-free detergents.

Note of caution: As with anything in life, dosage and length of exposure matters. It is important to read and follow labels and use common sense.

WasteLess Cleaning Guide

This WasteLess Cleaning Guide features over 30 pages filled with recipes and tips to help you become a green cleaning hero! 

$0.00     $15.00

Table of Contents

Why opt for earth-friendly cleaning options?

Commercial cleaning detergents often contain ingredients that are problematic or even hazardous for the environment, where they may end up once they go down your drain as greywater.

It is therefore better to adopt earth-friendly cleaning habits to lower your impact on your environment and the world as a whole.

Problematic ingredients

  • Triclosan. This ingredient is often used in anti-bacterial soaps and is an endocrine disruptor that is known to interfere with the body’s regulation of thyroid hormones.
  • Parabens. These easily penetrate the skin and are known endocrine disruptors that mimic estrogen and have been detected in human breast cancer tissues.
  • Phthalates. They are known endocrine disruptors and are linked to reduced sperm counts in men (source).
  • Sulfates. These make your soap foam up. Sulfates strip your skin of its natural, protective oils, allowing toxins to enter your system via your skin.
  • Fragrances. Because of proprietary laws, companies don’t have to disclose the components that make up their scents, leaving you in the dark about their ingredients. Very often, “fragrances” contain phthalates and other toxic substances.

Canadians spend nearly $2.3 billion on household products each year. (Source)

What are earth-friendly cleaning alternatives?

While the ingredients in the list below are unproblematic for the environment, please keep in mind that dosage matters. Also, the impact of an ingredient is not just limited to its effect post-usage but also the effect its production has on the environment. So be mindful of any product you use and try not to waste it unnecessarily. 😉 

Earth-friendly ingredients

  • Distilled white vinegar. Used to disinfect, soften fabric, 
and cut grease.
  • Lemon. An acid that combats bacteria.
  • Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). Used as an antacid, water softener deodorizer, and more.
  • Washing soda (sodium carbonate). Used as an antacid, water softener 
and to cut grease. Be sure to read the label on storage and usage. Essential oils (lavender, peppermint, cedarwood, eucalyptus, etc.). 
Used to disinfect and to add scent.
  • Starch. Used as absorbent.
  • Alcohol. Used as a disinfectant.
  • Castile soap. Used to capture dirt.
  • 3% Hydrogen peroxide. Used for removing stains. Be sure to read the label on storage and usage. It is to say, however, that the production of hydrogen peroxide does have an environmental impact (see our stain removal guide for more information on this). While it is more environmentally friendly than bleach, which has a very high environmental impact, it still isn’t perfect. So, use it responsibly.

Recipes for earth-friendly cleaning options

Here are a few examples of the recipes we’re sharing with you in our WasteLess Cleaning Guide to get you started. For more great recipes, please download the WasteLess Cleaning Guide and become a green cleaning hero!

Surface Cleaner

  • 2 cups of distilled white vinegar
  • 2 cups of water
  • ¼ cup of baking soda
  • 3-4 drops of essential oils (e.g. peppermint, lavender, eucalyptus)

Mix the ingredients and fill the mixture into a glass spray bottle.
Do not use on granite and marble surfaces.

Window Cleaner

  • 2 cups of water
  • ½ cup of vinegar
  • ¼ cup of rubbing alcohol

Combine all ingredients, spray onto a cloth and apply to your window. Dry well with a lint-free cloth or old newspapers. 

Dishwasher Detergent 

  • 1 cup Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Liquid Soap,
  • 1 cup of warm water 
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon or lime juice.

Mix the ingredients and add 1 tablespoon detergent to your dishwasher-detergent dispenser and
1 cup white vinegar to the rinse-aid dispenser. If you have especially hard water or notice watermarks remaining on glass items, you may need to increase the amount of white vinegar.

For more awesome cleaning recipes, feel free to download our WasteLess Cleaning Guide. Enjoy! 

Happy Green Cleaning!

WasteLess Cleaning Guide

This WasteLess Cleaning Guide features over 30 pages filled with recipes and tips to help you become a green cleaning hero! 

$0.00     $15.00

It’s our mission is to help Canadians
waste less
by learning to truly reduce consumption and breaking free from wasteful habits!

Get Involved

Let's Connect

Phone: +1 (604)-500-8376

WasteLess Society
c/o Connie Reichelsdorfer
PO Box 55028
Southgate Mall PO
Nanaimo, BC V9R 6L0

2021 – WasteLess Society. All rights reserved.

Created with in Nanaimo, BC.