discover the truth behind 7 toxic cleaning hacks

There are so many cleaning hacks out there, touted on social media as the solution to all your home cleaning dilemmas. When you’re looking for safe alternatives to the toxic cleaners readily available on store shelves and considering just making your own cleaners, these hacks can seem like the answer. Unfortunately, those viral cleaning hacks can fall short of your expectations and even be detrimental to your home and health.

The downside of home cleaning hacks include:

  • Weakened clothing
  • Nasty residues
  • Damage to appliances and surfaces
  • Exposure to harmful toxins
  • More time and money spent on fixes

Here’s the truth about some cleaning hacks we’ve seen out there and our much simpler, healthier, and more economical suggestions:

Hack #1: Mix baking soda and vinegar. Sure, you get a fun fizz with this combination and you might think that means it’s working. The truth is, mixing baking soda and vinegar neutralizes each ingredient, leaving you with water and a form of salt called sodium acetate. The cleaning power they each have on their own essentially disappears. Instead: Choose non toxic cleaners that harness the power of baking soda and vinegar separately. Pure Haven glass cleaner contains organic white vinegar and gives glass a sparkling-clean shine. Master blaster ingredients include baking soda to help with odor control.

Hack #2: Use lemon juice as a color-safe bleach. Lemon can brighten whites but when you expose lemon juice-treated fabrics to sunlight, citric acid acts like traditional bleach and you can end up with patchy spots. When used on whites, the results are not always the same and you have an even bigger problem with dark or colorful clothing. Instead: For consistent results, apply master blaster to spot treat stains. You can also add a capful to a load of laundry for an overall refresh. With its plant-based multi-enzyme formula, master blaster works within minutes to break down stains (even red wine!) and eliminate odors.

Hack #3: Clean windows with newspaper. This is a hack as old as time. But today’s newspapers aren’t made like they were way back when. Newspaper quality has gone down over the years to make it more cost effective for printers and it’s become a much less effective cleaning tool. It can leave ink residue and streaks behind that are difficult to remove, so you have an even bigger mess to deal with. Instead: Choose an eco-friendly, reusable microfiber cloth, which has fine fibers that pick up grime, dirt, and liquid without leaving lint or streaks. Use with Pure Haven glass cleaner for crystal-clear results.

Hack #4: Use toilet bowl cleaner on tub and tile. Most toilet bowl cleaners contain potent chemicals that can cause damage to other surfaces. They tend to be highly alkaline or acidic and can dull certain finishes, erode grout over time, break down the integrity of your surfaces, and leave you having to replace or repair them sooner. Instead: Our customers use scrubbing cleanser for their toilet bowls, tub, tile, and other bathroom surfaces. Pure Haven scrubbing cleanser cleans with non toxic ingredients while being gentle on surfaces. It contains soda ash, baking soda, lemon peel oil, and bentonite to help remove tough stains. No corrosive ingredients.

Hack #5: Clean toilet bowls with cola. Due to its acidic nature, cola may be able to tackle lime or rust stains, but it would typically need to sit for hours or overnight to get results. Not exactly time efficient. It will also fall short when it comes to providing a truly clean surface, as it doesn’t actually contain cleaning ingredients. Instead: Stick to using cleaning products to clean. Pure Haven’s non toxic scrubbing cleanser does a great job on tough toilet stains with non toxic cleaning ingredients.

Hack #6: Scrub stainless steel with salt. This hack is generally suggested for removing burnt-on food from stainless steel cookware. However, salt is very abrasive, especially coarse varieties. It can etch or scratch surfaces. When used on more delicate surfaces like countertops or appliances, those scratches take away from the shine of your stainless steel and can create spots for bacteria and grime to build up. Instead: Our scrubbing cleanser is great for cookware and all surfaces. It’s strong enough to remove stuck-on food and tough stains but gentle on you and your surfaces.

Hack #7: Apply bleach to whiten grout. Over time, bleach will weaken grout and may lead to erosion and loose or falling tiles. Bleach can also cause eye, skin, and respiratory irritation. Instead: Choose products with lemon and baking soda. Both natural ingredients are excellent for whitening. Pure Haven scrubbing cleanser is a great choice for cleaning grout and tile with the power of lemon and baking soda.

It’s important to view cleaning hacks on the internet with caution and make sure you’re taking an informed approach to cleaning and preserving your home so that you keep it and the people in it safe for years to come. You’ll likely save time and money by choosing real cleaners made and sold by a trusted manufacturer of non toxic products. Connect with your Pure Haven Consultant for non toxic home care suggestions and favorite products.


Hanson, Ashley. (3 Mar 2024). You’re Better Off Skipping These Popular Household Cleaning Hacks (