Non-toxic kitchen cleaner (other than vinegar)?

I use vinegar for as much of my kitchen cleaning as possible, but up until now have still used products with bleach for really tough jobs. The problem is, lately products with either bleach or ammonia in them have been giving me headaches. I can't seem to tolerate their toxicity, but I don't know of a non-toxic alternative for cleaning really tough to remove stuff on the stove or sink. Is my solution to get someone else to clean my kitchen, or are there products out there I don't know about?

Kristen W.


Kristen W. September 11, 2012
Oh, cool -- thank you!
SKK September 10, 2012
Hi Kristen - here is the link I promised from Environmental Working Group which lists cleaning agents with grades from A - F. Very useful
SKK September 10, 2012
Kristen, This may be a better link - same info from Environmental Working Group
Kristen W. August 29, 2012
Huh! Thanks for the additional tips!
Sam1148 August 29, 2012
Citric Acid (sour salt) is available in bulk some stores. It makes a very powerful cleaner with water..but be careful on proportions can etch some things as it's acidic if you use it mixed really strong.

However a table spoon in an EMPTY dishwasher will clean it well and dissolve soap scum build up.

As a bonus: it makes a good homemade 'alkaseltzer' with a 1/2 tsp in water, and a tsp of baking soda, more or it fizzes and tastes 'right'. Add a BC powder for headache mix.
QueenSashy August 28, 2012
I am alergic to chemicals (the smell is just killing me) and like to clean my countertop wit alcohol. Works wonderful.
EmilyC August 22, 2012
EPA's Design for the Environment Program has a labeling program to identify safer chemical products, including kitchen and countertop cleaners. If you want to find products with the DfE label, check out this site:
SMSF August 21, 2012
I recommend Method all-purpose spray surface cleaner. Within the past year or so Cook's Illustrated did a comparison test of many different cleaners, non-toxic and not, and Method's all purpose was the winner. They tested them on grease and other tough stuff. I use Method now and find it is just as effective as the more conventional cleaners I used to use.

I believe it's available in an unscented formula, though I'm not 100% certain. I love the pink grapefruit version, though -- lightly scented and it smells really clean and nice.
Kristen W. August 21, 2012
Thank you, everyone, this is great information! And yes, SKK, I bought a Simple Green product recently and could immediately tell (based on the aforementioned headache) that it was just repackaged toxic chemicals. I am so glad to know that there are alternatives that work.
SKK August 21, 2012
Organic Consumers Association put out an article on which cleaning substances are safe and do the job - here is the link.
Included in another article was background on toxic cleaning agents, and I do remember Simple Green was right on the top. I immediately stopped using it. Here is the link on what makes it toxic.

I will look for the whole list of what to avoid and send it to you.
ChefJune August 21, 2012
I've been using a product by Shaklee for more tnan 30 years. These days it's called Get Clean. Used to be called Basic H. It's wonderful for many things, fragrance and color free, totally biodegradable. I use it for almost everything cleaning-wise in my house. You can see it on their web site, or message me. There's also a"scrubby" cleanser called Scour Off. Before I had a self-cleaning oven, I used it to clean the oven. Smells like bubble gum and cleans like a dream. I use it for sticky spots and burned on stuff on pans. The best.
HalfPint August 21, 2012
sorry, that should be "dirt" , not direct.
HalfPint August 21, 2012
This is a non-chemical solution that I been using for the past few years: microfiber cleaning towels. You just use water and it picks up direct, grease, whatnot. No cleaning solution needed. It's great for scrubbing. Sorry for sounding like an infomercial (I swear I'm just an ordinary financial analyst at an investment co.).

If you want a cleaning solution, we also like Simple Green (interesting scent, not quite sure how to describe) and Goo Gone (orange oil, gets sticky grease messes cleared up and it smells so nice).
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