Nontoxic Household Products

- By DeAnn Waggoner, Executive Director, Wings of Love Bird Haven

Chemicals and toxic cleaners can be very hazardous to your birds. I personally believe they are hazardous to you and your family as well. Why not make the change--- for your whole family's sake? First of all I will say that many times we reach for a strong cleaner- when just a mild soap/water solution would work just as well… because of habit. Try to re-think the use of any and all cleaning products and ask yourself if you really do need it. Many times it isn't necessary.

There are 2 basic products that most people keep in their kitchen that work great for cleaning many different surfaces. .. baking powder and vinegar. I'm including a couple of simple recipes that you can make yourself that work great as a household cleaner. For those that want the convenience of a ready-made product I'm listing a few other items below. Just remember that with the self-made products you are also SAVING money, a huge plus in today's economy. All of the prepared items I am listing can be purchased at almost any health store or click on Good Shop. On this page just type in the store name VITA-COST or their website which is Once on the Vita-cost website you will see each product that I've listed below and how to order them. They are almost always discounted, plus you can order as much as you want for only 4.99 shipping. Many times for me the cost is much cheaper than going to my local health food store.

By ordering them thru the Bird-Haven website you will be giving us the opportunity to earn a small % to help the Haven. If you go directly to the Vita-Cost website without clicking thru the Bird-Haven website we aren't given the % kickback for your order. Please take the time to purchase thru our site… cost is the same for you- yet makes a big difference to the birds at the Haven. Every penny helps.

By the way--- isn't the only store you can buy from to allow us to get that % kick-back. There are hundreds of others. Please take a few minutes to see what other stores you shop that we could benefit from as well.









DEODORANTS--- There are many different ones to try. I've used Tom's of Maine, Aubrey, Jason's, Burt's Bees, and others. I'm not going to lie--- this is one item that doesn't work as well as the antiperspirant you've been using. However, if you really stop and consider what an antiperspirant is actually doing to you (clogging your pores) you would agree that the deodorant (even if you have to apply it more than once a day) is worth the health risks. Did you know that antiperspirants have been linked to causing cancer as well as Alzheimer Disease???

SHAMPOO---Many different types-but I use the Aubrey Organics for dry brittle hair. It never leaves a residue on my hair and my hair always feels clean and soft. More than one beautician has commented on how soft my hair feels. I contribute it to the fact that I use only natural organic products.

CONDITIONER--- Again, many different types- but I use the Aubrey Organics for dry hair. The fragrance is mild… honeysuckle rose- but nothing that is overpowering… even a guy can use this and not worry about the smell.

BATH SOAP--- There are many different types of bath soap products on the Vita-Cost website. All are good- and healthy for you and your family. I prefer to use Dr. Bronner's liquid Castile soap. It comes in several different fragrances.. tea tree, almond, lavender, original, peppermint, hemp almond, citrus, baby soap, rose, hemp eucalyptus… and others. I use the Earth Therapeutic" body sponge as my cleaning rag and boy does this soap really later up well on this sponge. You'll love it. My personal favorite is hemp almond.

HAIRSPRAY--- I personally never use hairspray, but Jason's and Aubrey both make one that is very good… take your pick.

MOUSSE/GEL---On the occasion that I do wish for a little extra hold- I choose Giovanni Natural Mousse. Air-turbo charged, it comes out like foam--- so it is easy to get just a tad rubbed into your hair instead of too much. There are many others- but this is the one I choose when I need a mousse.

MAKE-UP--- BASE/FOUNDATION--- any mineral make-up is non-toxic. Well, although I don't use a lot of makeup, there is one product that I do love when I do need to get dressed up and look nice. It is called Tinted Facial Moisturizer. The one I've always used is by Burt's Bee's, however they have recently stopped carrying this product. I'm currently waiting for an order for a different Tinted Moisturizer. The moisturizer works like a make-up base to cover up imperfections in the skin- but yet is a moisturizer allowing your skin to breath naturally. The one make-up type product I won't be without.

LIP-STICK--- I also love the Burt's Bees lip shimmer. It comes in many different colors and feels silky, not sticky on your lips.

MASCARA--- I typically buy Ecco Bella Mascara from Vita-Cost. There are other brands there that work just as well.

POWDER, BLUSH AND EYESHADOW--- For my other make-up products I buy only mineral based powdered. I purchase several years ago from a company called Sweet Scents. They can be found at Be sure to check out their clearance section. You can find almost any color of eye shadow you want at ½ the original cost. Plus, a little goes a long way. Find a friend to split the product with because if you buy as I did (1 oz packages) you can probably have enough for an entire lifetime of that same color. Just be sure to purchase the little "sifter pot" containers as well. You will need 1 for each color of shadow. You can also order eyeliner, powders, blushes, etc. from this same company at a fraction of the cost of other mineral based companies.


DETERGENT--- I always prefer a liquid. I usually either use Seventh Generation or Earth Friendly Ultra Eco brand.

SPOT REMOVER--- I have tried both Seventh Generation and Mrs. Meyer's brands. Both work great.

FABRIC SOFTENER--- I've used Seventh Generation and Earth Friendly. There is also a fabric softener sheet if you prefer this. It is by Sun and Earth.

BLEACH--- Seventh Generation and many others make a non-chlorine fabric bleach that is much safer and less toxic than the chlorinated type.



DISH-WASHING LIQUID--- FOR HAND-WASHING--- I USE THE SAME Dr. Bronner's Castile that I use for showering. I use this same item for many different things around the house.

SPOT TREATMENT- FOR DISHWASHING--- Haven't found a product that substitutes for this but then again--- don't have a need for this either. You might try just adding a squirt or two of vinegar to the final rinse-that usually works well on spots and streaks.


SHOWERS AND TUBS--- I typically use an all purpose non-toxic cleaner instead of one specific for the showers but they do make several. Seventh Generation I know sells one specific for cleaning the shower.

TOILET BOWLS--- same as above--- Seventh Generation and many other companies make a non-toxic toilet bowl cleaner.

FLOORS--- Earth Friendly Floor Cleaner is good for most hard-surfaced floors such as tile, laminate and wood surfaces.

CARPET CLEANER--- Earth Friendly Carpet Shampoo--- Please remember that when you rent a carpet machine the toxic chemicals might still be in the hoses, etc. Make a thorough cleaning of the equipment before you use the carpet cleaner in your home. As always, even though you are using a seemingly non-toxic product- please make arrangements for your birds and other animals to be out of the house during and for several hours afterward to avoid any respiratory distress.

CARPET SPOT REMOVER--- Seventh Generation makes a good carpet spot remover.

ODOR ELIMINATOR--- When I need to make my house smell nice--- I just put a small handful of cloves on the stove in a pan of boiling water. You can buy cloves by the pound at You can also use Essential oils by the drop (make sure you only buy from or These two companies are very careful about buying and using only the highest quality products when making their oils. Don't settle for second best. You can use things such as orange, lavender or bergamot essential oils dripped into a pan of boiling water as well. You will only need a few drops each time.

If you want something to put on the carpet--- try adding a few drops of good-smelling Essential oils into a shaker both with baking soda. Baking soda is an all-natural odor grabber and when you add the Essential oil to this it makes a great substitute for carpet fresh. Just sprinkle it down and vacuum it up as you would the chemical type such as Carpet Fresh.

You can also throw down a handful of whole cloves and vacuum them up. The cloves will be broken up inside the vacuum cleaner. The scent will then be distributed throughout the room and house.

FURNITURE CLEANER/POLISHER--- I personally don't buy a store-bought furniture polish. I make my own. Here is the recipe.

Pine Fragrance Furniture Polish
1/4 cup of olive oil
2 TBLS lemon oil
20 drops of pine essential oil

This is a scented oil designed for hydrating old dry wood. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and apply with a cleaning cloth.

Lemon Fragrance Furniture Polish
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp olive oil
10 drops of essential lemon oil
This recipe is for cleaning wood. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and apply with a cleaning cloth.

Cedar and Patchouli Furniture Cleaner
1/2 cup liquid Castile soap
3/4 cup water
10 drops of patchouli essential oil
15 drops of cedar essential oil
I use the above recipe about 4-6 times per year--- just to get off any left-over residue that might be left on the furniture with continued use of the polish oils.


WINDOW/GLASS CLEANER--- I typically use vinegar and water with an added essential oil but there are several good cleaners for glass on the Vita-Cost Website. Seventh Generation would be my choice if I had to purchase one, but I prefer the results with the Vinegar/water/EO. Remember that one of the main problems with cleaning glass is the "lint" that accumulates when you are wiping if off. Try using old newspaper for this job and see if you get a more "lint-free" result.

SCOURING CLEANER--- Try using a mixture of baking soda, salt and an essential oil. Baking Soda is a great cleaner and the salt adds the "scrub". If you prefer a store-bought yet chemical free version try Mrs. Meyers Surface Scrub.


Obviously if you are going to do any major renovating in your home it is best to board your feathered friends (as well as your furr babies). It is my belief that even young babies and the elderly need to be removed from the environment during this time because their immune system is compromised. Be sure to air out the home for several hours before bringing them back into the environment. One company that I have used with great success is called Eco Safety Products. They have concrete stains, wood stains, paints, strippers, etc. all that are non-toxic. You can find them on the web at I have also purchased non-toxic paint from Sherwin Williams. The brand I buy is Harmony. It is both non-toxic as well as low VOC. I am just in the beginning stages of working on a shelving product in the Haven using wood stain called BioShield. The website is This stain is non-toxic and has very deep- rich colors. I can't wait to see the finished product.


CAR WASH/WAX--- I've never used it but have read that the product called Ecover Car Wash and Wax is a great product.

If you have any testimonials or suggestion on other products we should add to this list of non-toxic products please send us an email at We would love to include your thought about the different suggested products.

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