Toxic Talk Tuesday-Naturally Clean Kitchens

Natural Cleansers

For Toxic Talk Tuesday-Introduction and Laundry Care, click here.

Toxin-a naturally occurring poisonous substance

Toxicant-a synthetic poisonous substance

To continue the series on Chris Fabry Live’s Toxic Talk Tuesdays, we move into the kitchen. Again, I am mixing both direct quotations with paraphrases and my own summaries to be as concise as possible. For the entire broadcast, click here.

“We all have a certain margin for chemicals and toxicity in our lives, but if our health takes a turn, our margin has decreased, and therefore our awareness has increased…We don’t normally think this way, but if you do think about it, why add a toxic burden to an already failing immune system. I admire people who take this on if they are not sick, because the only reason I thought about this–our house had every chemical known to mankind–and then as we became ill, we couldn’t handle any chemical. Now we can handle a little better, but I will never go back to chemicals, now that I’ve found this and how much better I feel and how much better I feel about sharing this with our kids.”

The goal is to learn to use in our cleaning all natural ingredients from the earth, things that God made that can be used to benefit us.  But this can be such a mountain, it can be so overwhelming. Just take a step, and you’ll be amazed at how much you liked that step, and then take another, but don’t feel like you have to do everything at once. I have included some recipes for homemade cleaning agents as well as some very practical steps for change at the end of this post.

Toxicant of the Day: Triclosan

Triclosan can be found in antibacterial soaps, cutting boards, toothpaste, deodorant, computer equipment, etc. It is antimicrobial, which is why it is in these products.  While its antimicrobial properties can be helpful for things like surgery, they are finding that over time, exposure to triclosan causes a buildup of immunity, causing them to no longer be effective as an antimicrobial. Would it not be better to remove these products and find something else altogether?

In 1969, when Triclosan came on the market, it was registered as a pesticide. It still is a pesticide, but because of its crossover use in kitchen utensils and personal care products, the FDA and the EPA cover it.  They are reviewing it currently as a health hazard due to the possibility of its causing resistance and the fact that it may be endocrine disrupting. For further reading, click here.

90% of chemicals are derived from petroleum.  The question becomes, do we want to wash our hands in gasoline (essentially)? More on this in Toxic Talk Tuesday-Personal Care Products.

What were the five natural ingredients used to clean the laundry?

Baking Soda

Washing Soda



Castile Soap

(Washing Soda and Borax can be found at Wal-mart in the laundry detergent aisle. Castile soap can be purchased online or at select Walgreens.  Dr. Bronner’s and Kirk’s are two brands of castile soap).

These five ingredients can also be used in the kitchen!

Add lime essential oil to vinegar and it helps reduce the smell! You can add an essential oil to any of these for various reasons (each oil has unique healing properties-antifungal, antimicrobial, aroma therapeutic, etc). The uses for essential oils are endless. Essential oils should not be ingested, however. Tea tree oil and grapefruit seed extract are both natural antimicrobial and can be added to soaps, cleaning agents, etc.  100% essential oils can be purchased online or at your local health food store.

Dishwashing Recipes (From Moms AWARE)

Dishwashing Liquid:

  • 2-3 c. diluted Castile soap
  • 10 drops tea tree oil
  • 10 drops lemon oil
  • 10 drops grapefruit seed extract (optional)

Combine liquid Castile soap with water in whatever ratio you prefer (60-75% soap works well, depending on the mineral content of the water). Add tea tree oil and lemon oil. If desired, add grapefruit seed extract for increased disinfecting properties.

Automatic Dishwashing Powder:

  • 1 c. washing soda
  • 1/2 c. Borax
  • 1/2 c. baking soda

Combine ingredients and store in mason jar under the sink. Use 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons for each dishwasher load, depending on mineral content of water. Use 1/2 cup white vinegar as a rinsing agent.

Automatic Dishwashing Liquid:

  • 1/2 c. liquid Castile soap (using regular soap can result in too many suds)
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1/4 c. white vinegar
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • Several drops tea tree oil or grapefruit seed extract

Combine ingredients in mason jar and shake. Use 2 tablespoons for each dishwasher load. Can be stored in a squeeze bottle.

Practical And Simple Cleaning Suggestions:

  • Whip up a half batch of your favorite dishwashing soap and test it out next time you do dishes! Sometimes this can be finicky because whether you have hard or soft water can affect proportions. This can be tweaked and experimented with a bit until you find what works for you! If you end up with white film, stay tuned. I am working on solving that problem in my own kitchen…
  • Sprinkle baking soda on your countertops and spray vinegar over the top. It will fizz and bubble. Wipe down your counters and rinse as usual.  (For ease, buy a shaker bottle for your baking soda and a spray bottle for your vinegar. These can be purchased at your local Wal-Mart). Now you can throw out your SoftScrub!
  • Fill one spray bottle with white vinegar and another spray bottle with hydrogen peroxide. Spray this on countertop surfaces, sinks, etc.  This is an incredible antimicrobial combination, and the peroxide helps dilute the vinegar smell. Who needs Lysol? This natural combination is more effective than bleach.
  • To deodorize disposal, quarter a small lemon, drop 1/4 of it into disposal, and run water and disposal until it sounds clear. Leftover lemon can be quartered, frozen, and saved for later use!
Cautionary Notes: Due to its acidity, vinegar should not be used on metal surfaces or ingested directly. 
For the complete broadcast, or the website, check below:

Toxic Talk Tuesday, August 23, 2011


6 responses to this post.

  1. I’ve been using vinegar and water to clean my glass and mirrors for a while, as well as using baking soda as a “friendly” abrasive, but had no idea about the soap issue. Great resource! (EWP has some fantastic educational / watch dog materials, too).


  2. […] Toxic Talk Tuesdays: Naturally Clean Kitchens […]


  3. […] we will be eating off of? The third and final motivation was listening to Chris Fabry Live!’s Toxic Talk Tuesday on a naturally clean kitchen.  Andrea gave her recipe, and I decided, hey, if it works for them, I […]


  4. […] ones. Melaleuca offers fantastic options while you are figuring out how to make your own out of four simple, natural ingredients! Also, opt for natural solutions to air fresheners. Open the windows (even when it’s a little […]


  5. […] we join Chris and Andrea Fabry once again for Chris Fabry Live!  We have already explored the laundry, the kitchen, and personal care […]


  6. […] For more information on Naturally Clean Kitchens, check out Toxic Talk Tuesday: Kitchens […]


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