If you’re looking to eliminate toxic chemicals from your daily routine, may I first do a shameless plug about what I think is the very best non-toxic kitchen cleaner on the market: 1 Cleaner. (Ok, okay I know, it is so bold to say upfront…but I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t truly believe it, and I'll tell you why!!😊 )
There are so many health and environmental reasons to consider when thinking about making the switch to a non-toxic kitchen cleaner. Let’s get into the nitty gritty details of why “CLEAN cleaning” is important, and why many traditional kitchen cleaning products are well, downright dirty - because of the chemicals they contain.
So if you’ve decided that you’ll be cleaning “green”, beware of companies that are doing what is called “greenwashing”: by still making products that contain harmful ingredients that we will discuss here (and some that they won’t even tell you about on the label).
How can I clean my kitchen without chemicals?
Some of you may be thinking: “Can I? Do I even WANT to stop using “X”? But my Mom used this product! And do non-toxic kitchen cleaners actually WORK??”
Let's admit it: many of us have happy memories and some degree of nostalgia about products our parents and grandparents used - especially in the kitchen and clean-up after holiday meals.
But despite many of us growing up becoming accustomed to using harsh (often hidden) chemicals for cleaning our kitchens, there are so many SAFER and non-toxic options for cleaning your kitchen safely, and very effectively!
What is most surprising is that the best non-toxic kitchen cleaner can actually outperform the traditional and chemical-laden products you may have become accustomed to.
This is SUPER news for those of us who admire a shiny, clean kitchen and don’t want to compromise on performance when using a natural product!
Exposing the truth behind the toxic ingredients in kitchen cleaning products.
The ugly truth is that the incidence of cancers, reproductive problems, endocrine disorders and allergies is on the rise. And aquatic life is feeling it too, at an alarming rate. Isn’t it hard not to draw a bit of a line between that, and the introduction of certain industrial chemicals in our products and in our food, in the past 50 years or so?
What our bodies comes in contact with and what we flush down the drain to the fish does matter, a lot. Just think of mercury build-up in tuna fish. Or, when our skin reacts from gently brushing against a little leaf of poison ivy. However: unlike poison ivy or an allergic reaction where it is noticeable pretty quickly, we may not always immediately see the effects of chemicals in our products on our skin or in our bodies. But make no mistake: they have an effect.
Unfortunately, many products that we’ve grown up with and that are sold on shelves (in everywhere from the grocery store to the dollar store) contain very worrying chemicals associated with all types of health issues; from being linked to causing cancers and accelerating tumour growth rates, triggering respiratory issues like asthma, to even negatively impacting our endocrine and reproductive systems.
Human beings are basically walking sponges. Our skin has over 5 million pores! We absorb what we put onto our skin and it enters into our bloodstream, so it is critical to consider what our skin comes in contact with on a daily basis.
We’ll be talking here about Parabens, Triclosan and Phthalates, to name just a dirty few. Multiple environmental groups and including David Suzuki have identified and called out these ingredients as being highly harmful and that people should avoid.
I'll also mention Phenoxyethanol, which many feel is a new chemical of concern.
🚩 Avoid any product that does not disclose full ingredients on the label. That’s a big red flag!
Here is what’s lurking in most of those bright and pretty blue, green, yellow and orange kitchen cleaners that many people are using (and absorbing, inhaling) every day:
Easily absorbed by the skin and made synthetically from petrochemicals, parabens are basically preservatives that extend the shelf life of a product. They also a common component of “fragrance” or “parfum” on a label. Under the loophole protection of trade secret laws, parabens are OFTEN hidden in the fragrance blend and may not even be listed on the label. Watch for any ingredient containing the word paraben such as methylparaben, butylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, and isobutylparaben, to name a few.
Parabens are highly estrogenic. Because they behave like estrogen in our body, they can disrupt hormone function, fertility in men and have even been linked to cancer and DNA damage. The use of parabens is strictly regulated and largely banned from products in the EU but, are unfortunately still allowed in many countries, including the United States and Canada.
To sum it up: Parabens can harm with your health and the ingredient “fragrance” or “parfum” on a label should be avoided, unless the company can certify that the product does not contain parabens.
Triclosan is an antibacterial and anti-fungal chemical that is found in all kinds of products, from kitchen cleaners to hand sanitizers, deodorant, mouthwash and even toothpaste. According to The David Suzuki Foundation’s website in an article called “The Dirty Dozen: Triclosan” (references with supporting studies are cited in the original article):
“ Triclosan can pass through skin i and is suspected of interfering with hormone function (endocrine disruption). ii U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention scientists detected triclosan in the urine of nearly 75 per cent of those tested (2,517 people ages six years and older). iii The European Union classifies triclosan as irritating to the skin and eyes, and as very toxic to aquatic organisms, noting that it may cause long-term adverse effects in the aquatic environment. ivEnvironment Canada likewise categorized triclosan as potentially toxic to aquatic organisms, bioaccumulative, and persistent. In other words, it doesn’t easily degrade and can build up in the environment after it has been rinsed down the shower drain. In the environment, triclosan also reacts to form dioxins, which bioaccumulate and are toxic. v “
Triclosan has been linked with increased allergies in children, lowering immunity and interfering with thyroid function. In clinical trials it caused cancer in mice.
To sum it up: Triclosan kills fish (and mice), and can make us humans really sick too. Steer clear.
Phthalates are a family of industrial chemicals that are classified as plasticizers, added to products to increase softness and flexibility. They are also used as solvents in cleaning products.
Phthalates are anti-androgenic and can affect the male reproductive system in particular. Studies have shown that young children and babies - particularly the unborn – seem to be the most susceptible to being impacted by exposure to this harmful family of chemicals.
According to a 2021 Harvard School of Health article by Russ Hauser, Frederick Lee Hisaw Professor of Reproductive Physiology and professor of environmental and occupational epidemiology:
“In the last ten years, epidemiologic studies have also shown that prenatal exposure to phthalates affects children’s neurodevelopmental and neurobehavioral outcomes. That was the focus of the new paper, which reviewed more than a dozen studies that have shown that maternal exposure to ortho-phthalates during pregnancy can impair child brain development and increase children’s risks for learning, attention, and behavioral disorders.”
To sum it up: Phthalates are dangerous to our health, and to the health of our children in particular.
Phenoxyethanol is easily absorbed by the skin or through inhaling it. It is known to be neurotoxic and cause organ damage if inhaled or ingested.
Phenoxyethanol is a glycol ether which is an ethoxylated ingredient, used as a preservative in products. The ethoxylation process can also result in it containing trace amounts of the carcinogen 1,4-dioxane. Many brands have now dropped using it altogether, with good reason for concern.
It is also known to trigger asthma, allergic reactions and eczema. It is considered hazardous by the 2012 OSHA Hazard Communication Standard (29 CFR 1910.1200), and highly regulated for health and safety concerns, including restrictions for use on children under 3 years of age.
Most regulatory bodies allow use of this chemical in a product up to a concentration of 1%. But let me ask you this: if I gave you a litre of water and said I would just add 2 teaspoons (10 ml) of poison to it, would you still want to drink it, or pour it on your body? Or spray it on your kitchen counter?
To sum it up: Phenoxyethanol is a dangerous chemical and neurotoxin. Think twice before using it, especially around your children.
Why switch to a non-toxic kitchen cleaner?
The trouble is that even in "government-allowed concentrations", many chemicals bio accumulate in our bodies, and in the environment. Compound this by using multiple products containing small concentrations of these harmful chemicals across all of the products you use on a regular basis, and very suddenly it can add up to be a harmful amount!
Where to find the best non-toxic kitchen cleaner?
I’d like to share the origins of why we started this company, Elva’s All Naturals. (If you can’t tell already, we are pretty passionate about natural ingredients, and the dangers of toxins in our products.)
It all started because we were really upset about the chemicals found in conventional cleaning, kitchen and personal care products that were being sold to trusting consumers - some even marketed as “green” - and yet filled with literal poison. (I learned all about it when I worked for GreenPeace as a teenager.)
We were also disturbed that many natural / non-toxic cleaners on the market just didn’t work as well as we’d hoped. (While we are somewhat crunchy people and did a lot of DIY solutions, I just can’t do vinegar everywhere because I personally don’t enjoy the smell! Plus - vinegar damages granite, marble, stone and stainless steel, FYI.)
We needed to invent something better – without chemicals, and that WORKS. Everywhere. We were actually on a MISSION to create the best non-toxic kirchen (and everywhere!) cleaner. That’s how our product 1 Cleaner was born!
Best non-toxic kitchen cleaner: 1 CLEANER All in One Cleaner.
1 Cleaner doesn’t contain any toxic chemicals and it WORKS. Everywhere. Period. 😊
It's called 1 Cleaner because you just need the one bottle, instead of 6+ other products.
With a beautiful light citrus smell that customers say is almost "spa-like", it won’t irritate your nostrils either. It’s refillable and comes in a 3L box with a spray bottle that you can store in your pantry for easy at-home refills. Just like that classy box of wine in the pantry, haha! 🍷 <3 :-D (But don’t drink this because it contains soap, OK?!?)
Less waste, total convenience and the peace of mind that you switched to a truly non-toxic kitchen cleaner.
Where exactly can you use this non-toxic kitchen cleaner?
Cleaning stovetops is a breeze with 1 Cleaner. It is pH-balanced: that means you won’t need to buy a specialty cleaner for your flat-top range or specialty enamel, because it’s safe and will protect the surface.
Inside and Outside of Cabinets, Drawers and Pantry
I adore using 1 Cleaner on kitchen cabinetry, inside and out. It is safe and effective on all wood and wood composite types (including painted wood, melamine, antiques, and vintage/reclaimed wood), so you won’t need another cleaner for that, either. Again, the pH balance and non-toxic composition of the ingredients really make a difference here, in protecting special care surfaces!
I used to hate cleaning out my fridge until I started using 1 Cleaner. It’s just so fast now. You know how they always say to use a mild dish soap inside the fridge? I used to bring a bowl filled with soapy water to the fridge and a cloth. It was super messy! (The article picture is of my daughter when she was little helping me clean out the fridge ❤️)
Now, I just spray and easily wipe clean – without the need to rinse. And the fact that it is streak-free is a MAJOR plus on those glass shelf surfaces!
Our microwave is made up of stainless steel, plastic, metal and glass. What I love about 1 Cleaner is that it whips through dirt and grease like crazy, and is safe on all of those surfaces too.
I love to use them, but I hate to clean them! While you CAN use 1 Cleaner to spray clean a cutting board, in general this is not a spray and wipe application and I don’t really recommend it. A natural, non-toxic dish soap like SQUEAK and hot water works best because usually a fair bit of water and scrubbing tool is required, and rinsing after that. (think: GARLIC).
If you’ve cut meat on the surface, you will need to do the recommended two-step process for disinfection: clean AND disinfect. So thoroughly first wash the surface with hot soapy water, then spray on vinegar and allow it to sit for at least 30 minutes before rinsing clean. So yes, vinegar still has a purpose in my kitchen. ☺️
Honestly one of my favorite things about 1 Cleaner is storing just one bottle under the kitchen sink! I love that I can use it to safely clean all my kitchen surfaces, including appliances like the outside of my stainless fridge, the toaster and the coffee maker.
Yes, it cleans everything - and the kitchen sink too. 😊
Elvas All Naturals – About Us
I hope you found this information helpful! Here at Elva’s we make all-natural products that help people eliminate chemicals and waste from their homes. That’s why our motto is “people. planet. pure.”
Clean products made from all-natural and pure ingredients, that WORK. And, without compromising people’s health nor that of that planet.
Please contact us anytime, we love to hear from you and are always happy to help!