For the past 5 years I have used the least number of chemicals possible in my household and I haven’t died, haven’t gotten septic, haven’t caught AIDS from my toilet, and have been healthier than ever before. In this post I’ll talk about my chemical free household which will be good for the environment, great for your health, and save you shitload of money.
Chemical Free Household
My basic household chemicals are:
- baking soda
- white vinegar (slightly more effective than apple cider vinegar)
- Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap
- coconut oil
- Jason toothpaste
What I don’t use:
- dishwashing detergent
- dishwashing soap
- laundry detergent
- mineral oil
- hand soap
- leather treatments
- razor oil
- wood surface cleaner
- bathroom cleaner
- disinfectant hand-gel
I clean the bathroom floor, shower, and sink with diluted vinegar. This hasn’t made any impact on my grout or porcelain surfaces. It does a great job of cleaning and the smell disappears within a few hours without leaving a trace.
The downside is that you aren’t going to get the bleaching effects of bleach. White≠Clean so I don’t see the need to use bleach. That said, my bathtub and sink surfaces and even the white tiles look slightly less bright-white than a bleached bathroom might.
I don’t use anything for water stains. It’s easier to prevent water stains by using a towel or a squeegee than using those harsh chemicals regularly in your bathroom.
Apparently you can use hydrogen peroxide for whitening and it’s better for the environment. I tried it – meh, don’t need it and it didn’t work all that well.
I still use floss but I buy vegan floss that’s non-coated. I talked to several dentists and all agree that the best floss is one with a lot of surface area (the ones that fray). This means that reusing the floss over and over is a bad idea due to the higher bacterial load.
For a while I was brushing with only baking soda but it was a little harsh on my enamel and left my teeth slightly more sensitive.
I have since switched to Jason toothpaste which is fluoride-free. I didn’t tell my dentist that I switched and she assumed that I was using fluoride all 4 years. I finally told her and she said “Oh no, you must immediately start back on fluoride” even though I didn’t develop any new cavities in this time.
I dunno – maybe she’s right. I’ll let you guys know if my teeth fall out 10 years from now. I live in Oregon and the water isn’t fluoridated so it’s a double whammy.
Because I don’t have a traditional work schedule any longer, I have the luxury of having time to dry-brush after each meal and try to dry-brush with a little baking soda after wine or coffee consumption which might help stave off cavities.
I use toilet paper but much less than before because I installed a bidet on my toilet and now use cotton wipes to dry my butthole. Gross? Maybe but doesn’t seem to have impacted my health.
You’re not wiping actual shit away with the cotton cloth so it’s not as gross as you think. Unless you ate something really greasy and your poop is sticking to your ass like a chocolate donut on your face, you’ve likely washed most of it away with the bidet and you’re only using the cotton wipes to dry your precious anus.
A friend of mine is a woman and she has done the same and says she hasn’t gotten any UTI’s from doing so.
I stopped using Q-tips and switched to using cotton handkerchiefs. Though I don’t like this as much. The feeling of fucking your ear canal with a legit Q-tip is unparalleled so I am looking for an alternative and found this little guy which I’ll buy soon:
The closest shave I’ve gotten has been with an actual razor blade. These can be loaded in the metal razor handles and they are incredibly effective and a lot less wasteful than disposable razors.
You’ll learn that you have to be very gentle when using these or else you’ll get more nicks but the shave is closer. My trick is that I use coconut oil instead of soap to shave – it gives me a better shave and it helps my razors last a lot longer.
If you do decide to use water and soap then I recommend rubbing coconut oil on your razor before putting it away which makes the razor last 3-4x as long.
I trim my head, beard, armpits, and my balls – so I need an electric razor. The one I use is not battery operated and is made by Wahl. It’s made in the US and has lasted me several years.
The instructions say to use the oil that’s provided which I don’t trust so I’ve been using coconut oil on the blades and it has worked perfectly since. I apply the oil right before using it and right after using it.
I use a mixture of coconut oil and baking soda as my deodorant. I mix it together in a little glass jar, finger a little under my armpit, and rub it in.
I sometimes just rub some dry baking soda under my arms right after the shower and I don’t smell like sweat for most of the day. The coconut oil however makes it easier to apply the deodorant and helps me smelling less shitty longer.
I tried an online recipe of coconut oil, shea butter, olive oil, baking soda, and a little water – felt like that was away excessive.
For a splash of luxury I add some lavender extract and lime extra (both are food-grade) into the coconut and baking soda mixture and I smell great.
I use Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap for my body and what hair is left on my head. It does a great job.
Just this past year I have finally realized how little soap I actually need to use on my body to be truly clean. The same holds true for toothpaste.
I haven’t tried making my own soap yet but that’s one of my upcoming projects. Not sure if there would be much of a cost-savings there but it might be a fun experiment and I’d know what’s going into my soap.
I don’t use animal products in the house and don’t use much oil for cooking so cleanup is really simple.
I don’t have any soap in the kitchen which might seem weird but if there isn’t any oil to scrub out or meat juices to get rid of then what would be the purpose of soap?
If I need to get cooking oil off of a pan or dish then I use dry baking soda which leaves an impeccable surface behind that’s shiny and oil-free. Never seen this mentioned anywhere but it works really well for me. The trick is to use a little more powder than you think you need and to put it on the oily surface dry, then rub it in really good, then wash it off.
I also don’t use any disposable scrub pads. I use a metal scrub pad which I have been using now for 3 years – the same one. It came in a pack of 3 and the other 2 are still under my sink. Once a year I leave it in a container filled with vinegar overnight and all the grime melts off as it starts bubbling the oils and proteins off the metal.
Bonus: If you want to clean your bike chain then take it off the derailleur, fold it up, place it in a vinegar bath for 2 days ideally in direct sunlight, and you’ll get a shiny clean chain out of it.
This is a no-brainer. There is absolutely no need for paper towels in a kitchen. I use 8″x8″cotton towels.
I use the same ones I bought 11 years ago. I got rid of the white ones because they stain really easily and look like I threw up on them after a few uses. The reds and blues seem to take on the least amount of stain.
Even when I have guests over they get the same cotton towels as napkins. I keep a few paper napkins stashed under the sink that I might get from a take-out place for my pickier guests.
I’m hesitant to get too creative here because I don’t want to break my washing machine or clog it up. However, the past 4 years I have been using diluted Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap – the same one I use to shower with – and it has done a fantastic job.
My white cotton towels look like shit – I’ll have to warn you not to buy any white towels if you’re going to go this hobo-route.
Because I don’t use harsh chemicals I also try to be careful not to let my dirty wet clothes pile up on each other – for some reason that musty wet clothing smell is hard to get out unless you use industrial strength cleaners.
If you want your dryer to make your clothes smell all fancy like what you get with a dryer sheet then put some lavender and lime extract in a glass spray bottle with water and mist it directly into your dryer before turning it on.
If you are using dryer sheets to prevent static you can achieve the same by turning down the heat setting and not drying your clothes all the way – leave them a touch damp and you’ll prevent static.
You might think that the financial savings are the biggest advantage of a chemical free household. In fact, it’s having to buy less shit, store less shit, and having a much easier time with cleanup which I think is the biggest advantage.
I don’t have to pick up or order online gallons of cleaners or boxes of paper towels and toilet paper.
As for time savings, I don’t have to spend hours a month price shopping for a cheaper chemical. I buy baking soda, vinegar, and coconut oil and I am good to go.