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Non-Toxic/Non-Allergenic Help

In 1983 I bagan a 13 year experience owning and operating a Non-Toxic/Non-Allergenic Cleaning Business, and have collected some great information over the years to share. There are home made non-allergenic and non-toxic cleaning product recipe's as well as skin care recipes below for you. I hope you can find some of this information helpful in your fight against allergies. -Maggie


Poison Ivy and Nickel are just two examples to make my point. 'nuff said...

We try to rid our lives of caustic and commercial products because they are not good for us or our environment, but for those of us who suffer from allergies, this is not enough.

Did you know that there are over 250 natural essential oils on the POTENTIAL SENSITIZING LIST? And that they can cause an allergic reaction equally as debilitating as their synthetic counter parts can?

Or that 80% of allergy sufferers are also allergic to dust? And that 80% of dust is composed of dead skin cells, and we are actually allergic to the dust mites (or rather their excrement and dead carcasses) that feed on them?

When one first learns of this, we tend to get the creeps. But this is only because the commercial cleaning product companies have brainwashed us into thinking that this normal and natural recycling process is gross. If you give it another thought, you will find that this is yet another amazing process of the miracle of life. What is our dirt is another living creature's food. For every waste material that our bodies naturally excrete, there is a biological animal/plant/bacteria that consumes it. Don't you wish that man could invent an animal that would eat our trashed "man made" products so we wouldn't have to live amongst them too?

Did you know that furniture polishes that repel dust from sticking to furniture only serve to keep it airborne where we can breath it into our lungs? And that the furniture polish itself contains potential allergens which serves only to further aggravate our allergy problems?

Did you know that there are nearly ten times as many bacterial cells living in/on the human body, than there are human cells themselves? And that bacteria is a necessary and beneficial part of all organic life?

Did you know that there are only a few species of bacteria that cause infectious diseases, but the vast majority of disease causing bacteria are rendered harmless by the immune system?

Or that it is the immune system itself (or rather the deficiency thereof) that renders us susceptible to allergic reaction in the first place?

Did you know that it is the anti-biotics and anti-bacterial products we use that are mutating bacteria into anti-biotic resistant super germs? And that this is taking place in our food, our water, our homes and in our bodies?

Did you know that anti-biotics themselves are allergenic? And that the more we expose ourselves to anti-biotics, the greater the risk of developing an allergy to it? And more importantly, an allergy to anti-biotics can cause a lethal allergic reaction called anaphylactic shock?

Did you know that some bacteria live by consuming other bacteria? Killing germs as a preventative measure against infection really only upsets the natural and healthy balance that controls "over population" of bacterial growth.

There is only one way to effectively prevent the over abundance of dust mites and bacterial germs in our world that makes us sick, and that is by reducing the over abundance of their food supply, not by adding other potentially harmful substances to the mix.

The Non-allergenic Non-toxic Supply Cupboard:
Borax - abrasive
Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (toxic if swallowed)
Baking Soda - non abrasive - for skin, teeth, and house
White Distilled Vinegar & Lemon Juice - interchangable - kills germs - for skin and house
NOTE: NO AMMONIA (do not mix Vinegar with Ammonia containing products)
NOTE: NO BLEACH (or at least use very sparingly and do not mix with anything)
Ivory Bar Soap - for laundry.
Dawn/Ivory/Joy Dish Liquid - for the house
Club Soda - for skin and house
Cornstarch - for skin and house
Petroleum Jelly - skin and wood furniture (toxic if swallowed)
Olive Oil, Vegetable Oil, Coconut Oil (a liquid wax), Jojoba Oil (a liquid wax) - for skin, hair, and house
Bees Wax - for skin, hair, and house
Salt/Sea Salt/Course Salt - for skin and house
Hydrogen Peroxide (3%) - heavy duty mold cleaner for house (toxic if swallowed)
Rubbing Alcohol (70%) - heavy duty disinfectant for house (toxic if swollowed)
Cotton Cloths (T-shirts, Diapers, and Terry Cloth in assorted sizes)
Green Scrubbing Sponges
Soft Bristle Bath Brush for skin
Bristle Brush for hand scrubbing
Toilet Bristle Brush
Bristle Brush on a Broom Stick for washing floors
Cotton String Mop & Bucket
Bagless Floor Vacuum Cleaner with Heppa Filter/s with hose and attachments

Let's talk about dust, or rather dead skin cells. Our amazing bodies shed and replace almost 9 pounds of dead skin cells every year. Additionally, pets shed skin cells too. When you factor in all of your family members, guests, and pets, that's a lot of dust mite food. Dust mites only eat "dead" skin cells, which is why they are not parasitic to our bodies. They congregate in areas that we congregate, because that is where the abundance of food is.

Dust drifts around on the air and is deposited on all surfaces of the home. However, the mattress and pillows are a large congregational area, since we spend a third of our lives there. Use a good cotton mattress cover and wash it as often as you wash your sheets. Choose cotton fill pillows that can be washed. Down & feather pillows are themselves highly allergenic, draw dust mites, and can't be washed and dried safely. Down blankets should also be avoided.

We can't prevent all dead skin cells from shedding in our homes of course, but we can reduce this with a daily regimen of exfoliation. Some people swear by an invigorating dry brushing of the skin, to exfoliate and bring healthy new blood filled skin to the surface. I personally like to use a wet bath brush or loofah in the shower with me so that all undesirables go down the drain! :)

That which can't be prevented, must be cleaned up after. Throw away your feather duster and discard any other cleaning routine that serves only to recirculate the dust. If you have a cleaning service, you will need to be sure that they are willing to use your products and your process to clean your house. Cleaning services that get paid by the job are in a hurry to finish their work. This means that they use harsh products which don't require a lot of scrubbing. It also means that they are concentrating on dirt removal, not making your home Non-allergenic.

The best way we know, so far, to clean up dust is with a bagless vacuum cleaner which houses at least one heppa filter. Dump and wipe out the reservoir after each use. Brush off the filters after each use, and wash them when brushing doesn't remove the dirt. When washing does not bring them back to clean, it's time to replace them.

Vacuum everything that you can, as often as you can IE: Ceilings, Walls, Furniture, Nick Nacks, and Floors . If you keep nick nacks to a minimum, vacuuming furniture is a breeze. Dust is so light weight that it is not subject to gravity like most other things. Dust is carried around by the air and is deposited on walls, ceilings, every surface. Heating and air conditioning vents recirculate dust, so use a filter on the returns, and line the vent covers with filters, gauze fabric, muslin, (which can be washed and reused) or cheesecloth. Clean or replace them monthly.

Fans are a big source of redistributed dust so they (as well as window screens) should be vacuumed as part of the weekly cleaning regimen when in use. Fabric on furniture needs to be vacuumed as often as possible too. In addition to the vacuuming, cotton slip covers that can be thrown in the washing machine are cheaper and easier to clean (4 times a year) than dry clean only fabrics (which are allergenic). Curtains should also be vacuumed both sides at least 4 times a year, and are also preferable if they are cotton that can be washed at home.

When cleaning, work one room at a time, and start at the top (ceilings) ... vacuuming everything that you can first. Use the hard floor attachment and slowly glide over the ceilings and walls, letting the vacuum suck up the dust rather than redistributing it back into the air. This will prevent further distribution of dust when you go back to the top to wash or polish whatever is needed.

Polishing (nourishing wood) and cleaning spills is not the same thing as removing the dust from it. And although damp dusting is effecting in removing dust from hard surface furniture (if you rinse your cleaning cloth after every pass), it is not effective from removing dust from fabrics. Additionally, wiped dust is just transferred to your dusting rag, which is then transferred to the washing machine where is can be transferred to your clothes. Only HOT water washes will kill dust mites, and even then it is their carcasses that we are allergic to; clean or dirty, dead or alive. Better to vacuum everything you can then throw away the dirt.

Once you have vacuumed everything that can be vacuumed, you will find that there is not too much left over that needs to be wiped/washed. Now, most of us do not have the time to vacuum every ceiling, wall, base board, curtain, fabric furniture, and rugs every single week. But the more often we can do it, the healthier our homes will be for us to live in. Think of the vacuum cleaner as the number one cleaning product. Instead of wiping everything, vacuum it! It doesn't take any more time, and actually less effort.

Below are some good recipe's for washing and polishing everything in your home that the vacuum won't take care of alone. If you clean up often, your job will be much easier to do with these gentler products. IE: keep a sprayer bottle of cleaner in the shower and spritz when finished showering, keep another bottle in the kitchen and keep the stove top and counters cleaned after each use.

The proper way to use a scrub brush.
The very tips of the bristles of a scrub brush contain the potential scrubbing power. Apply only a light touch to a scrub brush so that the tips of the bristles are in full contact with the surface being scrubbed. Do not push so hard that the bristles bend, or you will essentially be trying to clean with the soft bent sides of a bristle instead of the course tips. Apply only a light touch and scrub in small circular motions.


Wood Furniture Polish:

Olive Oil, Vegetable Oil, or Coconut Oil, (the Coconut Oil smells good)
Cotton T-shirts, diapers, or terry clothes

A word about Coconut Oil. This oil solidifies to a wax consistency in temperatures under 78*. For this reason, it is sold in wide mouth containers so that it can be spooned out when it is cooled. So this Oil is not recommended for spray bottles. I buy mine in the cooking oil section of Wal-Mart. Purchase 100% Pure brands, they are not expensive.

You can use Coconut Oil for cleaning, for skin, and for cooking. Coconut Oil is an amazing product it is light weight, easily absorbed, very healthy, and smells great especially when heated for cooking.

If using Coconut Oil to polish furniture, apply some to your cloth, then polish.

If using Olive Oil or Veggie Oil, just pour some into a small spray bottle and keep it for polishing. (Olive Oil in a spray bottle is also a great alternative to cooking sprays!)
Spray onto a cloth and polish the furniture with the cloth.

If you have vacuumed the furniture first, you don't have to worry about dusting ... or that you are creating dust "mud" by mixing oil with the dust.

Stuck on Furniture Dirt
Undiluted White Distilled Vinegar, or Lemon Juice on a cotton cloth will remove it.

Glass, Windows & Mirrors

Glass & Windows:
50/50 Vinegar & Warm Water
1 squirt Dish Liquid
Wash Glass and windows with a sponge soaked in the cleaning solution, then rinse with water and dry with a clean cloth.

1 cup white vinegar
4 cups water
1 tsp cornstarch
Mix and pour into a spray bottle and spray onto a cleaning cloth and wash the mirrors. Use a fresh cloth to dry.

Carpet Stain?

Recipe #1:
Make a paste with equal parts Salt, Vinegar, and Borax.
Wet a scrub brush, dip it into the paste, and scrub the spot.
Let sit for a time then blot up with a towel (stand on the towel)
Any residue left the next day can be vacuumed up.

Recipe #2:
Spoon a T. of Baking Soda onto the stain.
Then pour an ounce or two of Club Soda on, and scrub with a brush in small circular motion.
Lay a clean towel over the spot and step on it a few times to pick up as much liquid as possible.
Vacuum the spot when it has dried (the next day). Any residue will dry to a powder again.

Deodorize the house
Note: Undiluted Vinegar kills 82% of household germs and odors, which is why you will see it as an ingredient in many homemade cleaning recipe's. Besides controlling body odor (such as underarm or foot odor) and eliminating pet odor (including skunk odor ), cleaning with vinegar can also get rid of odors resulting from cooking or other everyday chores. Vinegar works by killing the bacteria that cause odors and by neutralizing many of the basic volatile compounds that are responsible for harsh or unpleasant smells.

1. Vinegar in a spray bottle will freshen fabrics on furniture, drapes, matresses, garbage areas, etc. (it will also kill ants)
2. House plants naturally deodorize. Put them into the shower to water them and rid them of dust at the same time.
3. Place a small dish of white vinegar in the center of the room to deodorize.
4. Dried lemon peels and rosemary tied in cheesecloth and hung to freshen closets will also repel moths.
4. Basil or other herbs that you are not allergic to sprinkled on the carpet a half hour before vacuuming. (don't use flower herbs like lavender though, they are too allergenic)


All-Purpose Spray & Wipe
1/4 cup Vinegar
1 Squirt Dish Liquid
Enough Water to fill a spray bottle.
Shake well, and spray on and wipe up with a sponge.

Kitchen Sanitizer:
Perfect for any area where food is prepared or stored (fridge, countertops, cutting boards, stove tops).
1 spray bottle, filled with undiluted White Distilled Vinegar.
1 spray bottle, filled with undiluted Hydrogen Peroxide (3%)

Spray with Vinegar, then immidiately spray with Peroxide.
Wipe the area clean and/or rinse with water.

This combonation kills virtually all Salmonella, Shigella, or E. Coli bacteria on heavily contaminated food preparation surfaces, in addition, using both sprays was 10 times more effective than using either spray by itself and more effective than chlorine bleach and all other commercially available kitchen cleaners.

Reference: Science News Online Food for Thought 9/28/96

Tile & Linoleum Floor Cleaner
1 cup washing soda
1 gallon hot water
2 large rag bath towels

Directions for an easy scrubbed clean floor:
1. Mix Soda & Water in a bucket, and apply liberally to the floor with a clean cotton string mop, starting from one end of the room and ending at the other.
2. With a Bristled Broom in your hands, and 1 towel under your feet, go back across the floor scrubbing any stuck on dirt spots in front of you with the broom, and wiping up the dirty water with the towel under your feet. (Hubby calls this the "duck walk")
3. Rinse the mop and the bucket, and refill bucket with cold water, and take them and the fresh towel back to the beginning for a rinse.
4. With mop in front of you and the towel under your feet, rinse the floor with the mop and cold water, and give it a final dry with the towel under your feet.

This process is much faster and easier than you might think, gives you a clean scrubbed floor without getting on your knees. It is also suitable for weekly cleaning.

Clean the Coffee Maker:
For a regular 12 cup coffee maker:
Add 1 cup (250 ml) of warm water to the water reservoir followed by 2 cups (500 ml) of white vinegar, then run the coffee maker through a brewing cycle.
Discard the vinegar solution and clean thoroughly with water.
Run the coffee maker 2 more times through the brewing cycle with just plain water to rinse out all the vinegar.
By cleaning your coffee maker regularly, you will not only get rid of clogging mineral deposits, you will also eliminate coffee oils that can accumulate inside your coffee maker and become rancid.
There is no doubt about it, a clean coffee maker will produce a better tasting coffee!

Automatic Dishwasher Soap
Dry Recipe:
1 T. Borax
1 T. Baking Soda
1/4 t. Dish Liquid
Distilled White Vinegar (do not omit)
Put Borax, Soda, and Dish Liquid into the soap dispenser of the dish washer.
Fill the Rinse Aid compartment to the fill line with the Vinegar before each use.
Do not omit the Vinegar step, or your dishes will have a white filmy residue from the Soda.

Liquid Recipe:
1 Empty Liquid Dishwasher Detergent Bottle.
10 cups Water
2 cup Borax
2 cup Baking Soda
2 T. Dish Liquid
Distilled White Vinegar (do not omit)
Add Water, Borax, Soda, and Dish Liquid to the bottle.
Close, shake well, and shake again before each use.
Fill the Rinse Aid compartment to the fill line with the Vinegar before each use.

Do not omit the Vinegar step, or your dishes will have a white filmy residue from the Soda.


Annie B. Bond's "Soft Scrubber"
In an empty plastic squirt bottle (I use a clean mustard bottle), mix 1/2 cup of baking soda
Add 1/2 cup liquid dish soap.
Add a Tablespoon or two of Water.
Close the bottle and shake well until mixed.
Can be stored in a squirt bottle which closes tightly.
Can add a bit more water if mixture gets too thick from storage.

Maggie's Scrubbing Bubbles
Apply Soft Scrubber to the surface to be cleaned with a sponge.
Spray on pure White distilled Vinegar over the surface and let bubble and sizzle for 15 minutes.
Rinse with Hot Water, then towel dry.

This will also help keep the drain clear!
Vinegar and Baking Soda, when combigned, create a safe non-toxic chemical reaction which is a very effective cleaning agent.
Check out this site for more information about this chemical reaction.
This recipe will also remove hard water stains (mineral build up) as well as soap scum residue and is great to clean glass shower doors!

Maggie's Quick and Easy Bathrooms:
After vacuuming all that I can, I remove the throw rugs from the room.
I scrub on "Soft Scrubber" to the shower/bath walls and floors, inside the glass shower doors, the sinks, and the toilet bowl.
I then spray undiluted White Vinegar onto the Mirrors, Countertops, Spiggots and Faucets, Shower/Bath walls and floors, inside the glass shower doors, the sinks, and all surfaces of the toilet.
I let the scrubbing bubbles work on the surfaces where I've put the "Soft Scrubber" while I clean and dry the other areas of the room.
I get a bucket of hot water and pour it into the toilet. This also cleans the drains.
I rinse and dry all the rest of my Scrubbing Bubbles areas with hot water and then towel dry.
Finally, I wash the floors with the disinfectant cleaning solution (below), and towel dry before replacing rugs.

Mold and Mildew is another highly allergenic reality that can build up in our homes. It's best to prevent them by staying on top of potential problems in the shower/bath and other areas where there is limited airflow and plenty of water. The easiest way to prevent Mold & Mildew is to dry the area with a towel after getting it wet. Once a build up occurs, a 50/50 solution of bleach and water may be required to completely kill it, and this is almost as harmful to us as a Mold & Mildew allergic reaction can be.

Recipe #1
Use white vinegar or lemon juice full strength. Apply with a spray bottle, scrub gently, then rinse and dry well.

Heavy Duty Recipe
1 part hydrogen peroxide (3%), and 2 parts hot water for tough jobs.
Scrub, then let soak for an hour before using the area.

Bath & Shower Stains
1/2 cup of Borax
1/2 cup Water
2 squirts of Dish Liquid
Mix ingredients and scrub with a sponge or hand brush.

Disinfectant Cleaner
2 t. Borax
4 T. Vinegar
1/4 t. Dish Soap
3 cups hot water.
Mix in a spray bottle

Drain Cleaner
Pour a pot of boiling water down the drain
Pour 1/2 C Baking Soda followed by 1/2 cup vinegar
You can safely do this weekly as a preventative measure

Toilet Bowl Cleaner
When it becomes neccesary to give the toilet a bit more attention, turn off the water valve and flush the toilet to drain the water from the bowl and tank.

Recipe #1
2 parts Borax
1 Part Lemon Juice
Pour into basin and tank and let it set for a few minutes. Scrub with toilet brush.
Turn water back on and flush.

Recipe #2
White Vinegar
Baking Soda
Sprinkle Soda into the toilet bowl and tank.
Spray straight Vinegar onto the entire toilet
Let bubble and sizzle for 15 minutes.
Scrub the bowl and tank with the toilet brush.
Turn water back on and flush.

Hard water toilet ring?
Once a month pour 1 cup of Vinegar into the toilet bowl with a T. of Baking Soda, and let sit over night.

Toilet Seat Disinfectant:
Wipe all surfaces with a cloth that has rubbing alcohol on it.

Got Hard Water?
Take 1 fresh lemon to the shower with you (or a spray bottle of lemon juice).
Use it as a final conditioner rinse on body and hair.
Also use it as a cleaner to fight mineral deposits on your shower door, tiles, and spigots etc..


Liquid Laundry Soap:
I love this laundry soap. I'll never use anything else again.

3.1 oz bar Ivory soap (or Fels Naptha)
1 cup 20 Mule Team Borax
cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (NOT baking soda)
5 Gallon container [Ace Hardware sells great 5 gallon buckets with lids]

Grate the soap with a cheese grater and place in a pot with 5 cups of water.
Heat the water and stir until the soap is dissolved.
Pour 3 gallons of hot tap water into a 5-gallon container, add the soapy water and stir. Add the washing soda and stir until dissolved.
Add the borax and stir again until dissolved.

Cover the container, and let it sit overnight.
Once it's cooled it will gel, but not uniformly ... it will be lumpy and watery.
In the morning, stir breaking up any lumps.
Use cup per laundry load. [You can put some into smaller empty containers so you can just shake and pour on laundry day]

In the washer:
Add the laundry, the above laundry soap, and the water, then shut off the wash cycle and let soak for half an hour.

Baby & Kids Clothes (this works great!):
Fill a 5 gal. bucket 3/4 way with warm water.
Add 1/2 cup of the above laundry soap, and mix.
Toss baby's clothes into the bucket instead of the laundry basket throughout the day.
In the evening, pour the entire contents of the bucket into the washing machine, and run the cycle.
You'll be the only Mother in town who's baby has a wardrobe of unstained clothes!

Fabric Stain Removers
Recipe #1:
t. of Borax
t. White Vinegar
t. Lemon Juice
Gently scrub the spot with an old toothbrush, then rinse with clean water before laundering.

Recipe #2: Make a paste from Baking Soda and Water.
Scrub as above and rinse.

Recipe #3:
Pour a little Club Soda on the spot and let sit.
Wash as usual.

Fabric Softener
50/50 Vinegar and Water.
Mix and add cup to final rinse cycle or fill the fabric softener dispenser.
This will reduce the amount of lint in your dryer's lint filter, and your towels will be more absorbent because they wont be coated with chemicals from the fabric softening sheet.


Use undiluted White Distilled Vinegar in a spray bottle to kill weeds growing in the cracks of driveways and sidewalks.

This will also kill ants, and discourage new ants from nesting in the area.

Outdoor Windows:
1 Cup Vinegar
1 Gal. Hot Water
1 or 2 squirts Dish Liquid
Combine in a bucket. Wash windows with a sponge soaked in the cleaning solution, then rinse with water/hose and dry with a clean cloth.

Window Screens:
This recipe is also great for spring cleaning the screens.

Let's talk about Skin. Once we enter our 30's the acidic mantle of our skin begins to deplete. The skin is what is responsible for protecting our bodies from invasion of foreign objects, and the acid mantle portion of our skin is what is responsible for keeping the bacteria (which lives on our skin) out.

Soaps are highly Alkaline (high pH) and when we use them on our skin we further deplete this acid level. So we either need to reduce the use of soap, or increase the Acidic levels of our skin with a low pH rinse, preferably both.

Let's think about this for a moment, why do we clean our skin daily, but not our eyeballs? It is because our eyes have a natural defense against dirt. With each blink our eyes are flushed with tears (water) which washes away foreign particles. We then only add other cleaners (usually more water) to our eyes to flush particles that our tears can't rid of on it's own.

Our skin should be treated the same way. Water (including sea salt water) has a balanced pH. And once we reach our 30's there is usually not too much that gets on our skin which would require more than water to clean off.

Our faces and most of the rest of our bodies need only be cleaned with water and an exfoliating substance. Faces should get a soft terry cloth, and sea salt if desired, or a buff puff if it's not too aggressive. Bodies should get a nice loofah, or soft bristled brush scrub, sea salt and/or baking soda can also be added. Feet, Armpits, Hair, Fingernails and Groin, only need the additional grease cutting properties of soap to clean.

Lemon Juice has a very low pH (Acidic) and can be used after washing as a rinse to balance the pH levels of our skin. Additionally, Lemon Juice will freshen without perfumes, will help prevent body odor, and will tone the skin.

If you can get into the habit of using Lemon Juice in the shower or tub, it will additionally clean hard water deposits and bacteria from your shower or tub as well as from your hair and skin! :) Who knew?

Coconut Oil is a great moisturizer for dry skin areas because it is absorbed into the skin. It is perfect as a shaving lotion, and wonderful as a massage oil too.

Petroleum Jelly is the best non-allergenic protectant I know. It is not absorbed by the skin and therefore must be re-applied when rubbed off. Use it on really dry cracked skin patches, like wet eczema and also to prevent diaper rash and chapped lips!

Baby Oil (Mineral Oil) ~ if you are not sensitive to it, is a wonderful mascara remover. I've been using this since my teens and still do not need an eye moisturizer, well into my 40's.

Try Baking Soda with your tooth paste as a whitener. It is also helpful as an occasional facial scrub to remove dead dry skin and bring up fresh blood filled skin.

Corn Starch is a terrific body and foot powder.

To Make a Non-Petroleum Jelly for Lip Balm and Eczema:
Melt 1 part Beez Wax with 4 parts Olive Oil in a mixing bowl sitting in a pot of water over medium low heat.
Whip with an electric mixer until the mix begins to cool and turn opaque.
Transfer to a clean glass jar with lid.

Other sources:
Borax =
Arm & Hammer Washing Soda =
Arm & Hammer Baking Soda =

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