Recipes for a Nontoxic Home

Basic ingredients:

Baking Soda - cleans, deodorizes, softens water, scours. 

Soap (such as Dr. Bronner’s) - unscented soap in liquid form, flakes, powders or bars is biodegradable and will clean just about anything. 

Lemon - one of the strongest food-acids, effective against most household bacteria.

Borax - (sodium borate) cleans, deodorizes, disinfects, softens water, cleans wallpaper, painted walls and floors.  (Borax is a natural substance which is non-carcinogenic, does not accumulate in the body, or absorb through the skin. It is not harmful to the environment.)

White Vinegar - cuts grease, removes mildew, odors, some stains and wax build-up. 

Vodka - an excellent disinfectant. 

Cornstarch - can be used to clean windows, polish furniture, shampoo carpets and rugs

Essential oils

Laundry Upgrades

Dryer balls 

DIY Fabric Softener

Add a drop of lavender or citrus essential oil to ¼ cup of baking soda to the final rinse cycle to soften clothes. 


6 cups water       
1/2 cup baking soda
3 cups white vinegar

Add water and baking soda to a large glass container and stir to mix well. Very slowly add vinegar and allow chemical reaction to take place.  Add lavender.  Use ½ cup per laundry load.  Store in an airtight container.‬

Air Freshener Upgrades 

Diffuser blend recipes (click here)

Room/linen sprays:

Uplifting Body Spray
1 oz filtered water
60 to 90 drops essential oil of Citrus Bliss or grapefruit
1/2 teaspoon organic vegetable glycerine

Add to glass spray bottle and shake to combine.  Shake again before each use.

Orange Blossom Body Spray

1 oz filtered water
60 to 90 drops essential oil of orange
1/2 teaspoon vegetable glycerine

Add to glass spray bottle and shake to combine.  Shake again before each use.

Bathroom‬ Spray

1/2 tsp vegetable glycerine
20 drops ‪‎Lemongrass‬ 
20 drops ‪Grapefruit‬ 
20 drops ‪‎Bergamot‬‪

Add to glass spray bottle and shake to combine.  Shake again before each use.

Yoga Mat Spray
3/4 cup distilled water
1/4 cup alcohol-free witch hazel
5 drops ‪‎Lavender‬ 
3 drops ‪Melaleuca‬

Add to a glass spray bottle (or old glass vinegar bottle, adding a pump) and shake to mix before each use.

Bug Spray Upgrade

1/2 cup witch hazel
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
50 drops essential oils (eucalyptus, lemongrass, citronella, tea tree, rosemary or a combination)
8 oz. glass spray bottle

Mix all ingredients in 8oz spray bottle.  Spray over all portions of the body but avoid repellent in eyes and mouth.

Household Cleaner Upgrades

Melaleuca Lemon Household Cleaner

1 cup water
4 oz distilled white vinegar
15 drops melaleuca (tea tree) essential oil
15 drops essential oil of lemon
Glass Cleaning Spray bottle

Fill spray bottle with ingredients.  Close bottle and shake to mix.  Shake bottle before each spray.

Glass Cleaner Upgrade

Mix 2 teaspoons of white vinegar with 1 quart (4 cups) warm water.

Oven Cleaner Upgrade

Moisten oven surfaces with sponge and water. Use ¾ cup baking soda, ¼ cup salt and ¼ cup water to make a thick paste, and spread throughout oven interior. (avoid bare metal and any openings) Let sit overnight.  Remove with spatula and wipe clean.  Rub gently with fine steel wool for tough spots.

Beauty Product Upgrades

Body Scrub Upgrade


1 cup granulated white sugar
1/3 cup oil of your choice: coconut oil, olive oil, sweet almond oil, apricot oil, avocado oil, or a combination of these
2-4 tablespoons orange or grapefruit zest
2 tablespoons vegetable glycerine (optional)
10 drops peppermint essential oil
10-15 drops wild orange essential oil or tangerine or lemon or grapefruit oil

Mix sugar, oil, zest, and vegetable glycerine (if using) together. Depending on what type of oil you use, you may need to add more or less to get the proper consistency. Gradually add in the essential oils until you’ve reached the desired scent. It may take more or less, depending on the type of oils you use.  Store your sugar scrub in a glass container. 

Sugar scrub variations - substitute peppermint and wild orange above with:

Rosemary and peppermint
Any combination of wild orange, lime, lemon, and/or grapefruit oils
Lavender, lemon, and rosemary
Cypress and white fir
Lavender and cedar wood
Peppermint citrus
Cinnamon vanilla

Body Wash Upgrade

¼ cup coconut oil
¼ cup raw honey
½ cup liquid Castille soap
1 teaspoon vitamin E
15 drops eucalyptus or peppermint essential oil
10 drops sweet orange essential oil
10 drops lemon or grapefruit essential oil

Scoop coconut oil into a saucepan heat over medium heat until melted.  Add honey, essential oils and vitamin E and whisk together.  Add Castille soap slowly, stirring gently to avoid creating suds.  Transfer to glass bottle or mason jar.  Shake before each use.

Foaming Hand Soap Upgrade

Homemade Foaming Hand Soap 
2 tablespoons liquid castille soap
1 tablespoon fractionated coconut oil
10 drops ‪essential oil of Lemon‬ or ‪‎Wild Orange

Use a glass bottle with foaming pump

Bath Soak Upgrade

In a large bowl, mix to combine: 6 parts coarse sea salt; 3 parts epsom salt, (to soothe tired muscles, remove toxins and reduce inflammation); and 1 part baking soda, (to soften water and alleviate skin irritation).

Add a few drops of essential oils of choice, and combine.  To color, use drops of beet juice, blueberry juice, spinach or kale juice, lemon or other citrus juice, until you achieve the desired shade. If you intend to present the bath salts as gifts, be sure to store them in a stoppered and labeled container to keep out moisture.

Moisturizer Upgrade

Seabuckthorn oil

Body Butter

1/2 cup shea butter
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup sweet almond oil
10-20 drops of essential oil of your choosing  

Combine all ingredients, except the essential oils, in a small pot or double boiler.  Gently melt and stir over medium-low heat until the mixture is liquid.  Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to partially cool. Once the mixture is partially set, add the essential oils of your choice, and whip with a hand mixer or stand mixer until the body butter is fluffy and stiff peaks have formed.  Store in a small glass mason jar.

Deodorant Upgrade

1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup baking soda
40-60 drops essential oils
     Scent recommendations: 
     Female oils scents (lavender, lemon and sage)
     Male oils scents (cypress, rosemary and bergamot)
Empty deodorant containers or small glass mason jars

Put coconut oil in bowl.  Mix in baking soda.  Add in essential oils.  Store in a deodorant container or in a small glass jar.

Sunscreen Upgrade

10 drops lavender
1 tbsp pomegranate oil
3/4 cup coconut oil
2 tbsp Zinc Oxide
2 tbsp shea butter
glass jar

Combine all ingredients except zinc oxide in a jar.  Place a saucepan with 2 inches of water on stove over medium/low heat.  Place jar in saucepan and stir contents until ingredients start to melt.  Once all ingredients are combined, add in zinc oxide and stir well. Store in a cool place.