How to Choose Toiletries and Cleaning Agents

›Choose products that are free of colors and perfumes, petroleum and biodegradable.

Tampons and pads should be organic cotton only.

Buy deodorant or antiperspirants: 

  • free of aluminum salts such as ammonium alum, aluminum chlorohydrate or aluminum zirconium.  Just remember that aluminum salts in deodorant and antiperspirants, if applied under arm or around the breast, can permeate through the skin.  Aluminum is toxic for your body.  Tom's of Maine deodorant is free of aluminum.
  • free of parabens (preservatives found in cosmetics and personal hygiene products).  Parabens mimic estrogen.  Elevated estrogen level in your body can cause hormone related problems.

Buy body creams with minimum ingredients or make your own.

Environmental Working Group is the organization that provides information on safe consumer products.

Cleaning agents

›Many store-bought cleaning products contain unhealthy or irritation causing ingredients. 

  • Look for biodegradable and plant based, “no solvents”, “no phosphate” cleaners.  Terms like “ecologically-friendly” or “natural” does not mean safe.
  • No fabric softener – use aluminum foil to make 2 balls the size of the tennis ball, or buy wool balls and use them instead.  You can add fresh mint or lavender inside aluminum ball.  Place the ball in a small bag made of fabric to insure that mint and lavender leaves will not stain the clothes. 
  • ›Use half dose of the recommended dishwasher soap  (Trader Joe’s is the best, no “rinse aid”).
  • Homemade cleaning agents  can be made from water, liquid kitchen soap (Trader Joe’s), baking soda, distilled vinegar, citric acid powder, and hydrogen peroxide.
  • ›All-purpose cleaning product recipe:  add a mixture of dish soap (1 teaspoon) and citric acid (1 teaspoon) to 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide and shake well.  Keep homemade cleaner in a dark hydrogen peroxide bottle.  The spray top can be used from any other cleaner.
  • Make your own ›window cleaner:  half vinegar + half water.

Please remember that exposure to unhealthy chemicals through air, water, soil, and other environmental sources is hard to control.  Decreasing the exposure from your personal toiletries and cleaning agents is much easer.

Learn more about cleaning agents by signing up for our Choosing Toiletries & Cleaning Agents Class in a private or group setting.