Many of you comment about not wanting to use toxic cleaning products in your home. And for obvious reasons; they smell, are dangerous to have around the house, and the DIY alternatives are safer and in most cases, just as effective.

Here are 5 of the very worst offenders for toxic cleaners and how to make homemade versions for a more enjoyable cleaning experience!

Drain Cleaner

Commercial drain cleaners are among the most dangerous of all cleaning products. Most contain corrosive ingredients such as sodium hydroxide and sodium hypochlorite (bleach) that can permanently burn eyes and skin. Many can be fatal if ingested.

Here’s a DIY Drain Cleaner:

1 Cup Salt
1 Cup Baking Soda
1/4 Cup cream of tartar

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Then using 1/4 cup of the mixture at a time, pour it down the drain, followed by 2 cups of boiling water. Wait at least one minute before repeating.

The boiling water changes the chemical composition of the ingredients and makes it strong enough to eat through grease and grime. This method may take few tries, but it often does the trick!

Toilet Bowl Cleaner 

The corrosive ingredients in toilet bowl cleaners are severe eye, skin and respiratory irritants. Some toilet bowl cleaners contain sulfates, which may trigger asthma attacks in those with asthma and sodium hypochlorite (bleach) which can irritate lungs and burn eyes and skin.

Here’s a DIY Toilet Bowl Cleaner:

1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup dish soap
1/4 hydrogen peroxide
15 drops tea tree oil

Mix all the ingredients together in a squeeze bottle. Then apply to the toilet. Let it sit for a few minutes then clean with a brush. This can also be used in the tub and shower.

Oven Cleaner

One of the primary ingredients in oven cleaner is Sodium Hydroxide, more commonly known as Lye. If you remember that scene from Fight Club, then you know what this stuff can do to human skin. Hint – nothing good!

Here’s a DIY Oven Cleaner:

1 cup baking soda
4 tablespoons dish soap
1/2 cup vinegar
15 drops (sweet) orange essential oil – GREAT DEGREASER

Make a heavy paste, leave for several hours or overnight, then wipe up with clean water.


Much like oven cleaner, degreasers contain a variety of potentially harmful chemicals which when inhaled can have serious side effects.

Here’s a DIY Degreaser:

1/2 cup baking soda
1/4 cup dish soap
20 drops sweet orange EO

Mix up the ingredients in a bowl then apply to the greasy area. Let it sit for at least 10 minutes then wipe away with a clean cloth and water.


Bleach is a highly toxic and dangerous chemical. Bleach causes respiratory problems and the fumes should never be inhaled. Bleach can also burn the skin.

Here’s a DIY Bleach:

1/4 cup lemon juice
1 cup 3% hydrogen peroxide
3/4 cup washing soda

Mix all ingredients together. If treating clothing, soak stained garments overnight. Launder as usual. Or use where you would normally use bleach.


What is your favorite DIY recipe? Tell us in the comments below.

AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE: As an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases on

Looking for a BETTER & EASIER Way to Clean Your Home?

Cleaning Expert Melissa Maker is here to help with her game-changing 3 Wave Cleaning System that will help you clean your house faster and easier than you ever thought possible!

Learn More About The 3 Wave Cleaning System

Melissa Maker is an entrepreneur, cleaning expert, founder of Toronto’s most popular boutique cleaning service, and star of the Clean My Space channel on YouTube (but she still hates to clean!). Every week, Melissa delivers new videos dishing expert advice on cleaning products, tools, DIY substitutes, and practical, timesaving solutions to everyday problems. Melissa has appeared on the Today Show, and has been featured in InStyle, Real Simple, and Better Homes and Gardens.


  1. sodium hydroxide is in many skin care products and acts as a ph adjuster. Something to think about and look for if you’d like to avoid using this ingredient

  2. Do to health reasons I can’t use bleach. When I wash anything that I feel needs disinfecting, I use peroxide in my my bleach compartment and vinegar in the softener compartment and hot water. My doctor told to do this to disenfect my clothes and my counters. Melissa’s would work as a stain remover and disinfectant.

  3. Hi Melissa and Chad. I was wondering if I could replace the dish washing liquid with something more eco friendly? I hear standard dish washing liquids have petroleum-derived surfactants in them and I am looking to avoid these. Thanks, Ellie.

  4. I really enjoy your videos and your website. Thanks for the permission to toss a lot of stuff. My favorite DIY cleaner is baking soda and lemon juice. Makes my stainless steel sink shine like it’s new (it’s 35 yrs old), works great on taking off burned on stuff on pots as well as stovetop spills. Also use it to clean bathroom sinks and bath tubs. Lemon juice is a disinfectant as well. Sprinkle on baking soda (I use a sugar shaker from dollar store) and then squirt on concentrated lemon juice (You can dilute the lemon juice if you want), let it foam and sit for about 10 minutes then wipe it off.

  5. Melissa I love your videos I have try all your natural cleaning product and I love it. My house smells good and my laundry is clean keep up the good work continue making more videos.
    Thank you ????

  6. It’s in reality a nice and helpful piece of information. I am satisfied that you simply shared this helpful information with us.
    Please keep us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

  7. Just pointing out a typo but your toilet bowl cleaner recipe leaves out the measurement of hydrogen peroxide (1/4 of what?). Thanks

  8. I LOVE these recipes and have started using them in my home regularly! Regarding previous negative comments about the bleach alternative solution, maybe their problem is that the ingredients you listed don’t literally create your own bleach but of course they don’t, the point is that bleach is very strong, can be toxic and cause allergic reactions. I am personally very, very sensitive to the smell plus it gives me a horrible rash if it touches my skin, so I can’t tolerate using it in my home. I love having my own disinfectant that is similar to bleach in its effectiveness without toxic side effects. Thanks for all your videos, they are awesome! I love it when your cats appear, they are adorable. 🙂

  9. Sorry your bleach recipe is stupid.
    How do you clean dirty underwear, for example, w/o bleach? One little cup of peroxide isn’t going to kill germs no matter what.
    Why are you making us live with germs while the rest of the world laughs at us. Get real

  10. OK until you got to your bleach. Why are you mixing lemon juice and washing soda? It’s not as if the action of hyrogen peroxide is so pH-dependent that you’d have to buffer it, especially so strongly as with that much lemon juice and soda. I’m guessing you confused bleaching with fizz-dependent recipes like drain cleaner.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here