How to Create a Chemical-Free Home – Remove Harmful Chemicals Now!

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Do you ever stop to think about what chemicals are actually in the products you use every day? Some are great, but many are very toxic, which is why I want to help you create a chemical-free home.

Of course, everything in creation is some kind of chemical, so what I am referring to when I say chemical-free is really pointing towards harmful chemicals. It’s just a mouthful, so I decided to shorten it for the sake of keeping things easy to read.

The crazy thing about harmful chemicals is that they aren’t just in your cleaning products. They can also be found in your beauty products, fabrics, food, and so much more!

This post is going to cover all your bases, so know that you’ll have a solid game plan for transitioning to a chemical-free home by the end.

We are going to walk through the following information:

  • Why you want a chemical-free home
  • The benefits of a chemical-free home
  • Ingredients to avoid
  • How to remove harmful chemicals from your home
  • Helpful resources to ensure you avoid harmful chemicals

Let’s get into it!

Why you want a chemical-free home

Toxic chemical that are in everyday household items can create a series of health effects including dizziness, nausea, cancer, hormone alterations, and much more!

Depending on the product, your symptoms could be very mild or severe. There are a lot of factors to consider, but the best thing you can do is get these things out of your home.

The benefits of a chemical-free home

Once you remove all the harmful chemicals from your home, you can breathe easier. Ignorance is not bliss in this situation.

Having a chemical-free home automatically increases your health and may even improve it over time.

You also don’t have to worry so much about pets or children getting into certain things, because there aren’t any harmful chemicals for them to ingest.

Ingredients to avoid

When you first get started with looking for these harmful chemicals, you will want to look for certain ingredients that you should absolutely avoid!

Here is a quick list and reasons why you should start with avoiding these ingredients:

Fragrance

Fragrance is protected due to trademark secrets, so you have no idea what is actually within a product that contains fragrance.

Here are a couple of articles to share specifics as to why you should avoid fragrance:

Phthalates

Phthalates are a controversial ingredient when it comes to the EWG and the government. They don’t agree. Some studies suggest that it can harm your reproductive organs, kidneys, and liver.

My view of anything so controversial is to avoid it altogether. If there is a chance that I will be harmed by this ingredient, I don’t want anything to do with it.

Check out this article by ThoughtCo. for more information.

Methylisothiazolinone & Methylchloroisothiazolinone

Both are found mostly in beauty products and can create a lot of harmful side effects when breathed in or absorbed through the skin. Some effects can include swelling of the lungs and intestines, which may result in difficulty breathing and weight gain.

Read more about it here.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) & Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)

Sulfates are a foaming agent in beauty and cleaning products that honestly isn’t necessary. They are only added to make cleaning or washing your hair more enjoyable, because you believe that suds mean you’re cleaning things better.

However, this isn’t the case.

These two ingredients are bad news! They can cause irritation to your skin, eyes, and lungs. If ingested, they can cause all sorts of problems for your digestive tract.

They aren’t just harmful to your body, but also the natural environment. Both can live for a long time in the environment, poisoning anything that comes into contact with it.

Here are a couple of articles you may find helpful:

Parabens

According to The Derm Review and other sources, parabens have been found in breast cancer tumors and disrupt the endocrine systems. Needless to say, parabens are also bad news and should be avoided.

The one thing you really need to watch out for with this ingredient is that it can be included within fragrance as a trademark secret, which means that if you only look to avoid the word paraben it can still be found within a product, if that product includes fragrance.

Dyes

Whether we are talking food dyes or hair dyes or any other non-natural dye, there are health concerns. This can include cancer, hormone disruption, increase in ADHD, and more.

If you want to learn more, check out these two articles:

VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds)

VOCs can have damaging effects on our bodies and are found in a lot of household building materials and products – like aerosol sprays. They can cause dizziness, headaches, allergic reactions, and even cancer.

Here is a great article that dives into all the information about VOCs.

Formaldehyde & Formaldehyde-Releasing Preservatives

The word alone makes me want to vomit. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen and can create allergic reactions. It is found in beauty products [why?], building materials, and other places.

You want to steer clear of this ingredient!

Read more about it here.

BPA & BPS

We all know BPA is dangerous for our health, which is why BPA-free is advertised on many plastic products. However, BPS is the substitute and is just as harmful.

This is why you should do your best to stay away from plastic anything, especially when it comes to food storage containers.

Learn more here.

Triclosan

Commonly known as an “anti-bacterial” ingredient, Triclosan can alter hormones, cause eye and skin irritations, and is toxic to the aquatic environment. It’s found in very common household items and beauty products.

David Suzuki Foundation has more information about it, as it is considered one of The Dirty Dozen.

Teflon

While Teflon is a brand versus an ingredient, it is still something you want to avoid. Any pots or pans that are covered in a non-stick coating are dangerous to our health, because the chipping of the coating can get into our food [then our bodies], release harmful gas in the air, and actually never goes away, just like plastic.

Read more about it here.

Pesticides and Herbicides

These two ingredients are a big reason that organic food has grown in popularity and for good reason, too! They cause all sorts of harmful side effects when breathed in or ingested.

Not only that, but they disrupt the natural environment and cause way more harm than good.

Here are a few articles that dive deeper into the issues:

How to remove harmful chemicals from your home

Now that you have a good idea of where to start with browsing your products, let’s talk specifically about how you can create a chemical-free home.

We’re going to take this room by room and I’ll provide healthier alternative ideas for you.

Let’s start in the Kitchen

The obvious place for anyone to start looking to create a chemical-free home is in the food pantry. Processed foods can have all kinds of harmful chemicals within them.

A good rule of thumb is to stick to Earth grown things, such as plants and animals. Keep the weird chemically created candies and sorts out of your home.

It is important to remove any and all plastic from your kitchen, because plastic leaches chemicals into your foods.

Here are a few swaps I recommend:

These are the swaps I started with, but there are a few more that aren’t as obvious that you can make.

As I mentioned in the ingredients section, you want to stay away from Teflon or any non-stick cooking pots and pans.

Here are a few brands I suggest you try instead:

A few other things I want to suggest to you that make a difference are filtering your tap water and changing your dish and hand soaps.

I’ve had my Brita Pitcher for about 5 years now, and LOVE it! With the inconsistency in water quality, I know that I can always have clean water by using my Brita filter. Chlorine and other chemicals used to “clean” our water are filtered out, which makes it safer to drink.

When it comes to dish and hand soaps, it is best to make your own or use Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Soap or Young Living’s Thieves products. While you may see suggestions for other products, these are honestly the cleanest ready-to-use products on the market.

[Purchase your soaps in bulk to reduce packaging resources by 15%]

Moving onto the Bathroom

The bathroom is home to probably the most harmful chemicals compared to other places in your homes. This is often the place for “pleasure ingredient” filled products – referring to sulfates.

The easiest thing to recommend is if you cannot read the ingredient or know exactly what it is, don’t use it!

But let’s start in a less obvious place, your shower water.

If you’re not filtering your shower water, you’re allowing a lot of chemicals to be poured all over your body. This includes chlorine, lead, mercury, VOCs, and more! I recommend Berkey products for this because they work really well!

Another not so obvious swap that is beneficial for your health is your shower curtain!

If you have a PVC shower curtain, your health could be at risk. A study done by the Center for Health, Environment and Justice found that the gasses that come off the curtain can cause breathing problems, headaches, central and nervous system problems, and more.

Click here to read about it.

Moving onto obvious places in your bathroom to remove harmful chemicals, let’s talk about beauty products!

You should read the ingredient list very carefully with all of your beauty products. Be sure to look through all of your products in the following categories, and if you want my product recommendations, I’ll have them linked below for you as well.

Bathroom product categories you need to audit:
  • Shampoo, conditioner, and hair masks
  • All makeup products
  • Skin care
  • Serums
  • Deodorant
  • Toothpaste & mouthwash
  • Body creams and lotions
  • Feminine care products

Posts containing some of my recommendations:

When it comes to feminine care products

One thing that is not mandatory for feminine care product companies is to list out ingredients of what is actually in your pads, tampons, or other feminine care products.

If you’re buying from a supermarket, drug store, or other quick access place, odds are you’re putting pesticides, bleach, and other harmful chemicals onto and into your body.

Please stop using these products!

Instead, opt for a brand that cares, like Lola. I’ve used them for many years now and LOVE their transparency and how well they listen to their customers.

They are a subscription based service, so you don’t have to worry about running out or buying in store or wondering what ingredients are in your products.

I also love that they have a referral program for all of their customers, so when you place your first subscription order, you’ll receive $5 off and I’ll receive $5 off. SHOP NOW!

If you’re ready for a zero-waste option, I would recommend the Lena Cup and/or reusable menstrual pads.

Moving onto a not so obvious chemically-filled room – the Bedroom

That’s right! There are things in your bedroom that have harmful chemicals within them that you can remove from your home.

First, let’s talk about your mattress.

This was a change I made in 2017, because we had an old worn out mattress that caused us a lot of pain!

After researching and researching and researching, we chose to go with the Brentwood Home Oceano mattress and have honestly LOVED it!

Conventional mattresses are made with harmful ingredients like petroleum-based foam and synthetic latex, chemical flame retardants, and vinyl.

It can let off toxic gasses for a long time, too, even after the smell is gone.

Other things to consider in your bedroom are your bedding and pillows.

Pillows are similar to mattresses, where you need to be very careful about what materials it includes. The more organic of materials used, the better you can breathe.

The same goes for bedding. You want to use organic cotton or eucalyptus bedding. Don’t settle for things that can have plastic or synthetic materials within them.

Brentwood Home also has great options for both and I highly recommend anything by them!

Let’s talk about general household items!

It’s time to remove harmful chemical cleaners from your home!

The truth is that you only need one or two products to clean your entire home. Marketers have many people thinking you have to have a window cleaner, countertop cleaner, bathroom cleaner, etc.

But the truth is that when you use a natural cleaner, you only need one or two cleaners!

I personally only use Young Living Thieves Household Cleaner and diluted vinegar for cleaning everything in my home. I may use baking soda from time to time, but the Thieves Household Cleaner does a really good job, even with the nastiest of cleaning jobs.

Laundry products are full of crazy chemicals and thankfully easy to replace with chemical-free options!

When you switch to plant-based laundry detergent, you’re not only improving things for your household, but also the natural environment.

Soap nuts or laundry balls are also great options if you’re looking for something that is more eco-friendly.

You honestly don’t need a fabric softener at all! Great news right? Instead, you can use vinegar. It helps keep things super fresh, too!

Lastly, stop using dryer sheets! They are wasteful and unnecessary. Instead, opt for wool dryer balls. They work much better and are zero-waste!

Candles & Air Fresheners

There are many reasons you don’t want to use conventional candles or air fresheners, but the most important reason is that it is very bad for your health!

Instead, opt for diffusing essential oils. They are much healthier for you and the environment.

You may argue that coconut or soy wax candles are fine, and in a sense they are. However, you have to make sure they are not made with fragrance/fragrance oil. If they aren’t made with pure essential oils, DO NOT USE THEM!

Curtains and Window Treatments

Similar to shower curtains, depending on the material used, curtains and window treatments can let gasses off that harm the quality of your life.

Ensure that you’re choosing organic, quality options. Yes, it may mean a higher investment, but your health is worth it!

Conventional Flooring

Be cautious of the flooring material you use when installing new flooring into your home. Make sure you’re choosing a material that is healthy for children and babies to crawl around on without worrying if they will get sick from it.

VOC Paints

We’ve already discussed the dangers of VOCs, but I want to reiterate it with your paints. There are plenty of VOC-free paints for you to use, so make sure any paint you use is of that quality.

Upholstered Furniture

Yes, you even need to consider your upholstered furniture. If it is not made with a quality material, you could be harming your health and the health of anyone who sits on your furniture.

There are many options and companies available to help you find quality furniture that is safe.

Nasty Air

If you live somewhere with poor air quality, it is time to do something about it!

I have the Rabbit Air MinusA2 Air Purifier and LOVE it! The air quality has vastly improved since we’ve introduced it into our home, especially when it comes to cooking. It sucks bad air out of our home quickly and replaces it with clean air.

An air purifier is an investment, but one that is absolutely worth it!

Another option is house plants! Check out my post about how to have a greener home for all of the air purifying house plants that NASA recommends you have.

Dry Cleaning

The dry cleaning process is actually full of a lot of harmful chemicals. It is best to stay away from clothes that need dry cleaning altogether.

However, if you absolutely love certain dry cleaning pieces, a better option is to use an at-home kit.

New habits to create to maintain a chemical-free home

1 // Read the label

Before you purchase anything, check the ingredients list. This will help you from purchasing things that can hurt you more than help.

2 // Leave shoes at the door

You honestly don’t know what things you’ve brought home with you on the bottom of your shoes, so take them off at the door. This cuts down on dust, dirt, and the unknowns.

3 // Dust more

Want to keep a healthy home? Make sure you keep the dust at bay. This will keep you mindful of having a healthy home and help you want to take the next step to reducing harmful chemicals in your home.

4 // Eat clean and organic

This is one of the best things you can do for your health, because you cut out processed foods, pesticides/herbicides, and chemicals that were never meant to be ingested in the first place.

Helpful Resources

It’s a learning curve to figure out what to purchase and what not to purchase. The good news is that I have two resources that will help make it easier to make good choices.

  1. Think Dirty app
  2. EWG’s Skin Deep

Both of these are great resources for learning which products to avoid or use.

Take Action

If you’re looking to create a chemical-free home, live more sustainably, and just live a better life, take action by getting access to The Tannehill Homestead Resource Library!

It has checklists, workbooks, ebooks, and more to help you get started with living more intentionally!

Final thoughts

Remember to give yourself grace in this process. Creating a chemical-free home isn’t going to happen overnight.

Also, don’t beat yourself up for the things you have that contain harmful chemicals. I did that [and still do when I mess up], and it doesn’t help.

Instead, just do what you can and celebrate those accomplishments. You will create a chemical-free home as long as you are consistent with your efforts!

You’ve got this, friend!

Are you tired of using harmful chemicals in your home and ready to create a chemical-free home? Here's how to do it, and it's not hard!

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30 thoughts on “How to Create a Chemical-Free Home – Remove Harmful Chemicals Now!”

  1. Sophie Mahir

    I’m really appreciate thanks for your sharing !!!!!
    Toilet cleaner is very important issue for our daily needs.Natural cleaning product is perfect for for kitchen, bathroom and also floor cleaning.

    1. I am glad you found some use within this post, Sophie! I agree that natural products are perfect for the home. Cleaning the home no longer suffocates you with the harmful chemicals that conventional cleaners use, which is so important for your health!

  2. Niccole Wallentine

    I did enjoy your post and the motivation it gave me to continue to strive for healthier living. My only disagreement conerns sodium hydroxide commonly known as lye. While a strong base on its own and thus very caustic for the skin that’s where it stops. It is used to create natural soap, soap being a biochemical reaction of lye and oils surrounding the lye. It is not absorbed into the skin or stays within the adipose tissue. It is indeed more natural than one may originally think. Now, for most I have been told that there is soap that does not contain lye, that is not true soap. Liquid soap is able to be made from potassium hydroxide ( this should NOT be consumed) however, sodium hydroxide can, its even used to make pretzels! So I guess my whole point of this rant is, don’t be afraid of chemicals because everything is composed of chemicals especially dihydrogenmonoxide. What is more important is to see which ones are fat soluable and are not broken down by the bodies metabolism and how these chemicals affect hormone receptors. For instance lavender essential oil when used for prolonged periods of time has been known to create breasts in men because it adheres to the estrogen receptors in the body. This of course is solved by discontinued use. But continue to do good research and educate yourselves daily! Thank you for the post and motivation again!

    1. Niccole, you may think you are ranting, but I think you are providing a thoughtful point of view. I appreciate you taking the time to explain why you think it is acceptable to use. It can be hard to find good, resourceful information, so communicating and sharing with others helps! Now that you have shared this, I am definitely going to look into it more. As you said with Lavender Essential Oil, you have to moderate usage to what is right for you. Too much of a good thing is not always a good thing.

  3. Cleaning supplies I could do, but not sure about the shampoo and conditioner. I do use ones that are less full of chemicals, like Yes to Carrots, but I love having my shampoo and conditioner have a nice fragrance. I definitely need to look into making our own cleaners and wipes. Thank you for your recipes!

    1. I’m glad you found this useful, Shann! Hair products are hard to pull away from for me. It’s not that I want a product with a lot of chemicals or fragrance, but I am scared of what I will look like through the transition phase! I want to try it, but I may also try the Yes to Carrots you mentioned!

  4. I am seriously thinking more about this since we have our first child and for all the reasons you listed above! I do feel overwhelmed thinking about how to go about it though! These are some great tips! My mom always said baking soda for shampoo. She always said “How do you think they did it back in the day??” ?

    1. I am with you, Gloryanna! But after reading Cassie’s tips, I feel less overwhelmed! Her recipes are so simple, and use a lot of products I have already in my home! I am weary of trying the no-poo, but I think I’m going to give it a try when I run out of my current shampoo!

  5. Great tips – we use a mix of home-made and bought cleaning products and toiletries, and are mindful of what we use – for the sake of our environment as well as ourselves 🙂

    1. That’s great, Sarah! I am working on phasing out my chemical products one by one. My husband loves it, because I am cleaning a lot more than usual to hurry the process! haha!

  6. This is good. My wife and I started taking chemicals out of our house just because our kid is experiencing some skin reactions. Now, she’s getting better. Thanks to having a house with less chemicals.

  7. I very much enjoyed reading about your journey. I too am working towards a healthier, cleaner and less wasteful life. I am much more comfortable with my toddler running around barefoot on floors that have been cleaned with all natural products and that’s just one small benefit. Sometime I find it a struggle but then I read posts like this that help encourage me when I feel like I’m falling back. I look forward to reading more and trying out some recipes!

  8. That is where I am taking my family as well. We have to take control of ourselves because those who are making these toxic products are only after the money.

    1. I couldn’t agree more, Mardene! You would think they wouldn’t cost so much so we wouldn’t look for alternatives. Regardless, they will not be getting any more of my money!

  9. We use vinegar and baking soda to clean a lot in our house. I love adding lemon essential oil because that just smells fresh and clean to me! I want to do the “no-poo” method, but I’ve never been able to make it past the transition period.

    1. Adding lemon sounds refreshing! I am going to have to try that! I haven’t been brave enough to try the “no-poo” method myself, but after reading everything Cassie had to say, I think it is worth giving my best shot.

  10. I hope to go chemical free when it comes to cleaning products. Sometimes they’re more expensive, but it’ll be so worth it. There’s so much toxic stuff in household cleaners, yuck! Nobody wants that. If I end up having children, there’s no way I want to use anything with chemicals in them!

    1. I agree KP! It’s more about being healthier to me than anything else. I’ve found a lot of them are consentrated, so they will last longer by diluting with water compared to the chemical products you can buy.

  11. Great post! I just recently bought everything I need to make the vinegar disinfectant for multipurpose uses. I’m excited to try it now!

  12. Great post. I make all my cleaning supplies, laundry and hand soap, plus we grow almost everything we eat. Homemade is the best from what you eat to what you clean with. Control what you take in and what you breath and consume.

    1. Thank you, Candy! I was so glad Cassie could help us with this! I make my own laundry detergent as well, and am starting to get into growing my own food. It is really exciting transitioning into a self-sustained, chemical-free home!

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