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An All Purpose Cleaner is a must-have in the house.  They are so handy.  You can clean your kitchen counters, bathrooms, and table tops with one product. With so many surfaces of your home coming in contact with this all-in-one cleaner, it is important to know what is in it.

Most all-purpose cleaners do not list ingredients. So another way to find out if your cleaner is toxic, look for clues on the label.  If you see the following terms on your commercial cleaning products, you may want to consider using green alternatives. The terms “Danger, Warning or Caution” indicate the level of toxicity.

  • Danger or Poison – most hazardous
  • Warning – moderately hazardous
  • Caution – slightly toxic

Besides the terms above, you will usually find a phrase that describes the nature of the hazard, such as “flammable,” “may cause burns on contact,” or “may cause skin irritation.”

Yowza, causing burns on contact?  No, thank you.

According to the Organic Consumer’s Association,

Some all-purpose cleaners contain the sudsing agents diethanolamine (DEA) and triethanolamine (TEA), which can react with nitrites (an often undisclosed preservative or contaminant) to form nitrosamines – carcinogens that readily penetrate the skin. Skin also easily absorbs nerve-damaging butyl cellosolve (also known as ethylene glycol monobutyl ether), present in some cleaners. Fumes from ammonia-containing cleaners may cause respiratory irritation. Sodium hydroxide and sodium hypochlorite (bleach) are highly caustic, and sodium hypochlorite should never be mixed with any product containing ammonia or acids, or toxic gases will result. To prevent chemical accidents, it’s best to simply avoid.”

Did you get all that?

Now, if you are completely freaked out, here is a simple recipe for an all-purpose cleaner that is non-toxic and effective.

All Purpose Cleaner Recipe


1/2 tsp Washing soda
1 tsp Castile soap
20 drops Essential oil (lemon/orange is a good combo) – optional
2 cups warm boiled water


Step 1: Boil 2 cups of water.

Step 2: Once cooled to warm, pour into a sturdy spray bottle.

Step 3: Add the baking soda, Castile soap, and essential oils.

Step 4: Shake gently to mix.

Step 5: Try it out.

If making a cleaner is not your thing, the following list of natural cleaning products are good choices.

Green cleaning alternatives

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day All Purpose Cleaner – earth-friendly, cruelty-free and not tested on animals.

Seventh Generation All Purpose Cleaner – Kills 99.99% of household germs botanically.

Puracy Natural All Purpose Cleaner – plant-based, safe for children and pets, natural, non-toxic and biodegradable.

Have a great one and let me know if you try out this recipe! xo