Bedding and Pillows | Body Care (Personal Care) Products | Home Care Products | Home Filtration of Air and Water (Also for Cars) | Home Renovation, Decorating, and Construction | Indoor Plants as Air Filters | Nourishment: Food and Cooking | Reading Resources (Bibliography)
Use of toxic, synthetic cleaning products is a major source of chemical pollution in the home. Toxic chemicals can have long-term harmful effects on the body and may cause cancer and other diseases, especially chronic illness.

Everybody who is chemically sensitive or wants to avoid becoming chemically sensitive should keep contact with synthetic chemicals to a minimum. Exposure to chemicals frequently causes adverse symptoms which can be avoided by limiting exposure.  Limiting chemical exposure in the home can increase the ability of the human body to handle the onslaught of chemicals outside the home.

There are safer alternatives for household cleaning products. When choosing any cleaning agent, test it to determine whether it is safe for you. In addition to the information provided below, here are some Internet sites which may be helpful:

Gaiam Inc,, 877 989-6321 (toll free), organic sheets, organic clothing, water filters, air purifiers.
Health Goods,, organic sheets, organic towels, organic clothing, water filters, air purifiers, soap, shampoo, cleaners, home test kits, indoor gardening.
National Allergy, 800 522-1448,, bedding and air filtration.
NEEDS, 800 634-1380,, personal care, air purifiers, water purifiers, Seed-A-Sept (grapefruit seed extract) which is also available at COEM, supplements and vitamins.
Shop Natural, 520 884-0745,, grocery, health & beauty aids, vitamins and supplements, gluten-free products.
Please note that we do not claim to have tried or specifically recommend all the products listed on these websites.
Dishwasher Compunds for Automatic Dishwashers

Ecover Dishwashing Tablets - 5-15 %: oxygen chlorine free bleach. Other ingredients: salts, silicate, citrate, polypeptides, plant based bleach activator, plant based fragrance.
Neutral Eco Tab Dishwasher – Dishwasher tablets that are free from phosphates, chlorine, and genetic engineering.
Seventh Generation – makes a lbiodegradable but scented product.
Sodium hexametaphosphate
Dishwashing Detergents for Hand Washing Dishes
Green Mountain Liquid Soap,
Seventh Generation makes a biodegradable but scented product.
Borax - 1 ½  cup to 1 gallon of water.
Seed-A-Sept or other forms of grapefruit seed extract.  Use 10 drops per gallon of warm water. This product is available at COEM.
Furniture Polish
NOTE: In the South, oils may attract oil-eating ants.
Cooking oils available at Health Food Stores: Olive Oil, Nut Oils (almond, walnut, pecan, etc.), Mayonnaise
Earth-Rite Furniture Cleaner
Heavy Duty Cleaners (All Purpose)
Trisodium phosphate (TSP) is available at hardware stores.
Rugged Red
Laundry Bleach
- oxygen (non-chlorine) bleaches:
Clorox II or Snowy Bleach contain hydrogen peroxide, but do have a fragrance.
Oxyclean powder has no odor but requires very hot water. You may have to use this color safe oxygen bleach twice. Do not use Oxyclean liquid (in blue spray bottle) which has a strong fragrance.
Laundry Chemical and Mold Neutralizers
Baking Soda - add ½  - 1 cup to wash load.
Grapefruit Seed Extract (Seed-A-Sept) - add 10 – 20 drops of per wash load to kill mold and bacteria. Dilute by adding drops to water in washer prior to adding clothing since this undiluted extract will stain clothing. This product is available at COEM.
Grapefruit Seed Extract (Seed-A-Sept) as a spray - 5 drops per pint of water in a spray bottle is effective in killing mold and bacteria when sprayed on socks and shirt underarms. Allow saturated clothing to soak for 1 – 2 hours before starting washer. This product is available at COEM.
Instant Milk - add ½  - 1 cup per wash load.
20 Mule Team Borax - add 1/3 – ½ cup per wash load (be careful with dark fabrics as this is a mild bleach).
White Vinegar - add 1 cup – 1 qt. to wash load.
Laundry Detergents
Arm & Hammer Free with no dyes or perfume.
Seventh Generation Free & Clear Laundry Liquid  We use this detergent and white vinegar in our detox center.
Laundry Fabric Softeners
White Vinegar - add ½ cup to rinse water
Laundry Stain Removers
Any liquid dishwashing detergent applied directly on stain.
Hydrogen Peroxide
Lemon Juice
Sea Salt
Laundry Whiteners
Sodium hexametaphosphate – Available from NEEDS.
20 Mule Team Borax
Room Deodorizers

Avoid synthetic and/or scented deodorizers because they just mask odors.
Activated charcoal absorbs odors in closets, basements, and refrigerators.
Baking Soda - in open container, or sprinkled around room.
Borax – sprinkle around room. A natural deodorant and anti-mold agent.
Hygenaire With Grapefruit Seed Extract – This battery operated device has a fan that blows evaporated grapefruit seed extract into a room’s air. Effective in eliminating odors from mold and bacteria because it kills them. Available at COEM.
Vinegar in shallow containers.
Baking Soda on sponge.
Bon Ami
20 Mule Team Borax
Baking Soda in Panty Hose – Take an old pair of panty hose and cut them so that they are as long as crew socks. Put about a cup of baking soda into one ‘sock’ and tie it off at the top. Take this ‘sock’ and put it inside the other ‘sock’ and tie it so that you have two layers of panty hose around the baking soda. This tip is best used for synthetic chemical odors such as outgassing plastics and fungicides from athletic shoes with man-made materials.
Hygenaire With Grapefruit Seed Extract – Available at COEM. Designed as a room deodorizer, this battery-operated device has a fan that can blow evaporated grapefruit seed extract inside your shoes. Position the front slots of the Hygenaire next to the opening of the shoe laying on its side on a flat surface. Use paper or aluminum foil to direct the Hygenaire’s air into your shoe. Treat each shoe for 3 days. Effective in eliminating odors from mold and bacteria because it kills them.
White Vinegar - 1 tablespoon to 1 quart of water.
To Determine if you have a Mold Problem:
Mold Plates – The plates and instructions on how to use them are available at COEM. Place mold plates on counter tops or furniture surfaces to determine if you have a mold problem in that room. Mold plates do not eliminate mold, they test for its presence.
To treat Mold Problems:
Baking Soda mixed in a ratio of 3 teaspoons per gallon of water, is an effective fungicide on flowers and shrubbery.
Grapefruit Seed Extract Liquid (Seed-A-Sept) – diluted 4-6 drops per gallon of water and mixed thoroughly is an excellent anti-fungal agent. Use this mixture to clean any surface in your home. Available at COEM.
Hygenaire With Grapefruit Seed Extract – This battery-operated device has a fan that blows evaporated grapefruit seed extract into a room’s air. Effective in eliminating odors from mold and bacteria because it kills them. Available at COEM.
Hydrogen Peroxide is a highly effective mold killer. Pour into a spray bottle and thoroughly spray the affected areas. Avoid spraying on colored fabric.
Place White Vinegar in shallow containers inside your cabinets to reduce musty odors. Apply to moldy areas with a sponge or sprayer. Let stand a few minutes then rinse off. Also add vinegar (1/2 cup) to your wash load.
Sprinkle Borax Powder in mold-prone areas, like the bottom of the garbage can. Borax is a natural, effective anti-mold agent. Add to water (1 tbsp to 2 cups warm water) to clean moldy areas. Also add ½ cup to your wash load in addition to your laundry detergent.
TSP (Trisodium Phosphate – a heavy duty cleaner available at paint stores). Mix 1 cup TSP, 1 quart Clorox, and 3 quarts water.  Spray for mold control under the house. A professional or somebody who is not chemically sensitive should apply.
Zephiran acts as a fungicide and germicide. Use 1 part Zephiran concentrate to 10 parts water. Available over the counter from pharmacies.
Activated Charcoal – use to absorb mycotoxin odors.
To prevent Mold Problems, use these simple measures:
Avoid Wallpaper which is a haven for mold, especially in the bathroom. It also contains insecticides.
Change Cat Litter daily to reduce mold growth.
Check Your Rainspouts. Extend the downspouting to carry the rainwater further away from the house.
Circulate The Air. Use small electric fans or ceiling fans to reduce mold growth.
Clean Refrigerator Rubber Door Gasket.
Do Not Over-water Houseplants. Soil and plants may be sprayed with a solution of 3 teaspoons baking soda, OR 6 drops of grapefruit seed extract mixed with one gallon of water. Pau D’Arco tea leaves may be added to soil to retard mold growth.
Get Rid Of Dampness. Use a dehumidifier, keeping the drain pan meticulously clean. The ground under the house should be dry.  Use fans or lights under the house to discourage mold, or have the ground under the house lined with plastic.
Keep Things Clean. Never hang clothes in the closet after they have been worn. Mold grows on them. At least allow them to air a few hours before hanging in closet (or wash them). Keep closets, dresser drawer, bathrooms, and refrigerator as clean and dry as possible.
Minimize Mold Growth In Your Bathroom – squeegee the shower walls after showering or wipe down the walls with a towel or sponge.
Replace Old Mattresses as they are a source of mold. Regularly air newer mattresses to discourage musty odors.
Spread Out The Shower Curtain. Use a small fan to quickly dry the shower or tub area, drastically reducing mold growth. Leave light on in shower to discourage mold, too.
Take Wet Towels And Washcloths immediately to the laundry area. Hang outside to dry if you have to postpone laundering.
Throw Out All Those Damp Piles Of Odds And Ends you have been hoarding, such as newspapers, books, magazines, old carpets, cast off furniture, dingy pillows, etc.
Turn On The Lights. Light impedes mold growth. Use nightlights, even in the bathroom.
Use Only Light, Washable Throw Rugs instead of heavy carpeting. Carpet is a lush haven for mold growth.
Use of insecticides and pesticides represents a frequent source of chemical pollution in the home and office. Poisonous chemicals CAN have long-term harmful effects on the body and may cause cancer and other diseases, especially chronic illnesses. Thus, it is most IMPORTANT that EVERYBODY keep contact to a MINIMUM. Chemicals get into the body whether swallowed, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin – and with the same harmful effects. The following are some safe alternatives for insect control.
Borax Powder or Boric Acid Powder added to attractive bait such as powdered sugar, flour, cocoa. Need 10% to 50% concentrate for toxicity. Keep away from children and pets.
Boric Acid Powder mixed with mashed potato or honey.
Chili Pepper, Paprika, Dried Peppermint, Or Damp Coffee Grounds sprinkled where ants are coming in.
Cleanliness No crumbs. Tightly sealed food containers. Clean sink. Minimize sources of food and water.
Nutrasweet – poke a hole in an anthill with a stick and pour Nutrasweet into hole.
Palmolive Liquid Dishwashing Detergent - smear or dilute and spray.
Tansey, an herb, can be made into a tea and sprayed around the house.
Bathe pets regularly. While fleas are still waterlogged and slow, use tweezers to pick off fleas and mash. Use specialized flea comb. You may want to regularly vacuum your pets using special pet grooming attachments.
Wash pet’s bedding regularly.
Vacuum floor and furniture frequently and throw away vacuum bag to prevent hatching in house.
Brewers Yeast - feed to pets. The vitamin B1 in the yeast produces an odor that repels fleas.
Diatomaceous Earth (non heat-treated) – Spread carefully. Must use face mask when applying (obstructs breathing). Available at swimming pool supply store.
Natural Flea Collars for pets are available at health food stores. These collars use herbs to repel fleas.
Only Natural Pet Store – has products containing some of the natural ingredients recommended above at 888 937-6677,
Pennyroyal, Sassafras, Camellia, Or Eucalyptus Oils mixed with water can be used in cracks and crevices where fleas lay eggs.
Pennyroyal Oil Or Eucalyptus Oil soaked rope or nylon collar placed on pet’s neck.
Non-Chemical Fly Ribbons – hang low from tables and door frames.
To Drown Fleas

  1. Place shallow dish of water containing dishwashing detergent on floor. (Remove pets from room.)
  2. Put gooseneck lamp next to dish with light 6” above dish. When you retire for the evening, turn off all other lights. Leave only gooseneck lamp on.
  3. Fleas will leap toward lamp and fall into water. Due to detergent, fleas sink and drown.
  4. Use continuously for at least one month.
We strongly discourage use of Lindane-containing lice killing shampoos.
Coconut Oil Shampoo – Wet hair thoroughly with warm water and apply a coconut based shampoo or shampoo with bar soap (sodium lauryl sulfate is in coconut oil) from your health food store. Work soap into a thick lather. Rinse hair and repeat process.  This time leave lather on hair and tie a towel around head – leave it for 30 minutes. Remove towel and comb the soapy hair with a regular comb to remove tangles, then use nit-removing comb to carefully comb through every inch of hair. After removing the lice, wash hair a third time, rinse and dry.
Warm Coconut Oil – Pour slowly over hair, massaging it in. Cover head with cotton knit cap that ties under chin, keep on overnight. In the morning, wash twice with shampoo, then comb to remove eggs. Repeat weekly until infection is gone.
Treat everybody in the house. Vacuum upholstered furniture daily, launder bedding in hot water, and run pillows through clothes dryer.

Most of the above suggestions are from Debra Lynn Dadd’s Nontoxic, Natural and Earthwise.
E-Trap uses ultraviolet light to attract flying insects and dehydrates them for easy disposal. Unlike most bug zappers, the insects are not vaporized, spreading bacteria and viruses into the air. The unit weighs 4.2 pounds making it semi-portable. Covers up to 4000 square feet.  Costs $110 and is available at, 615 370-0662.
Mexican Vanilla Extract Repellent – Available at COEM. Regular Vanilla extract available at grocery stores does NOT work. Mix 1:1 or 1:2 proportion of Mexican Vanilla Extract Repellant to water in a spray bottle. Empty spray bottles are available wherever hair care products are sold, or try http://ContainerAndPackaging,com, 800 473-4144.
Window Screens – keep in good repair.
Air Clothes In Sun every 2 weeks to 1 month, or you can tumble clothes in clothes dryer about 15 minutes once a month.
Avoid Mothballs, Flakes, Crystals And Other Moth Killing Chemicals. They are among the most toxic items in American homes – producing more injuries than auto accidents.
Brush Clothes Or Shake Vigorously.
Freeze Clothes for 3-7 days.
Natural Moth Cleaning Recipe - Rosemary ½ lb, Mint ½ lb, Thyme ¼ lb, Ginseng ¼ lb. Mix these ingredients. Put in cheesecloth bags or panty hose, as sachets or seal in air tight container with clothes.
Thoroughly Clean Clothing Before Storing. Immediately place in tightly sealed bags or containers.
Bait Small Traps with cheese, bacon, or chocolate to make attractive.
Cleanliness is important. Shut off food supplies. No crumbs.
Live Capture Traps available at local hardware stores. 
Plaster of Paris Homemade Bait Killer using flour, sugar, and coca mixed with 25% to 50% plaster of Paris. Poses little hazard to children or pets.
Steel Wool – locate points of entry and plug them with steel wool.
Warfarin Homemade Bait Killer – prepare do it yourself bait with 10 to 20 parts fresh cornmeal to 1 part Warfarin which causes internal bleeding in high doses. Keep pets away.
Baking Soda Mixed With Powdered Sugar – (roaches can’t belch, so they die).
Boric Acid Powder – sprinkle or mix with water and spray liberally into crevices, corners, moldings, and especially behind stove and refrigerator. You can use pharmacy-grade boric acid or boric acid powder packaged as pesticide such as Roach Prufe usually available in hardware stores. Wear protective mask when applying to avoid inhalation. Keep away from children and pets.
Boric Acid Powder Mixed With Powdered Sugar, Flour, And/Or Cocoa
Diatomaceous Earth (obstructs insects’ breathing apparatus) – available at swimming pool supply stores. Be sure to wear a mask during application.
Harris Roach Tablets (Boric Acid and Bait to attract roaches to eat the tablets) - Keep away from children or pets, by hiding under sinks, in pantry corners, under furniture, high on counters, etc. Available at many grocery stores (such as Piggly Wiggly) and hardware stores. Only 3 tablets per room are necessary. Tablets generally effective for 3 months before need replacing, so one box of tablets can last years.
Meticulous Cleaning – no crumbs on floor or counters.  Food stored in tightly sealed containers. No dirty dishes in sink. Empty garbage cans every night. Sinks, tubs, and showers should be dry to deprive roaches of water.
Plaster Of Paris And Flour – mix 1 to 1. Effective.  Used during World War I.
Roach Candy – mix 16 ounces powdered boric acid, 1 cup flour, ¼ cup sugar, 1 small chopped onion (optional), ½ cup shortening.  Shape into small balls. Place throughout house, but keep away from children and pets.  Discard when dry.
We strongly discourage your use of termiticide chemicals which are broadcast, sprayed under and around the house, or injected into the soil. We highly encourage the safer perimeter-placed traps provided by many pesticide companies and also found at Home Depot for doing it yourself.

Correct All Your Home’s Moisture Problems
Copper Chromate or Cryolite or other non-volatile insecticides.
Diatomaceous Earth (obstructs breathing apparatus.)  Available at swimming pool supply stores. Carefully spread underneath house without inhaling. Use a mask.
Predatory Nematodes can be injected into the soil around the house by professional exterminators. Nematodes seek out and eat the termites, will not harm pets, plants, earthworms, beneficial insects, or people.
Termite Shields – continuous sections of thin bent aluminum or galvanized steel placed on top of foundation wall around entire perimeter of home. Must be correctly installed as house is being built. Not a deterrent, only an inspection aid.
Tim-bor is wood preservative that works as an insecticide and fungicide. The active ingredient is disodium octaborate tetrahydrate, a natural borate compound. Dilute powder with water and spray onto all wood framing. Must be reapplied if washed off by rain. FAQs at along with ordering info.
Tweezers — Use tweezers to gently pull the entire tick straight out of the skin. Do not burn or irritate ticks.
Filter Queen has a HEPA high efficiency filter to catch over 90% of dust and pollens. Available at The Vacuum Center, 877 224-9998.
Rainbow Vacuum Cleaner blows vacuumed air onto water which serves as the filter. Consequently the water in the tank becomes very dirty thus showing you exactly what was vacuumed from your carpet. Simply dispose of the dirty water and clean the water tank when finished. Available at The Vacuum Center, 877 224-9998.
Central Vacuum Systems (each room has a vacuum base hard-installed into the wall) are also an option
Gardens Alive,, 513 354-1482, Mail-order source of a full line of natural, non-toxic products to kill weeds; control insects; fertilize lawns, flowers, home vegetable gardens or orchards; etc.)
Also try your local health food store.

All material provided on the Center for Occupational & Environmental Medicine web site is for educational purposes only. Access to the web site does not create a doctor-patient relationship nor should the information contained on the web site be considered specific medical advice for any person, patient and/or medical condition. Consult a physician regarding the application of any opinions or recommendations from this website, for any symptom or medical condition. Dr. Lieberman specifically disclaims any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, that is or may be incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, resulting from use or application pertaining to any of the information provided on the web site.