I am ashamed to say that I don’t clean that much. I should. I want to. I don’t like being filthy but remembering to do basic chores has never been my strong suit, even before allergy life. I kept an okay house during my calmer times but any time I got in the least bit busy, the the dishes and laundry would pile up apallingly high before I did anything about them. Then my food allergies went out of control and I started having to spend a ton of time cooking, researching, and sourcing safe food on top of my full-time-and-then-some job. So yeah, lately I don’t clean too much. Fortunately my wonderful boyfriend puts up with it and (usually) good-naturedly does way more than his fair share. Then every few months I go crazy cleaning All The Things to make up for my general slovenliness. Well, maybe it’s been more than a few by this point.
But here are the products that get used when cleaning happens.
Almost all of them are homemade. Part of this is due to the difficulty of finding completely allergy-safe non-toxic cleaning products, and part of this is thrift. I spend so much money on freaking food that I don’t want to spend a lot on household products. Fortunately all of these are super duper easy to make and are so far are working just as well for me as the chemical stuff.
For a list of brands of products I am using including vinegar and essential oils, see my safe-for-me food and products list.
All Purpose Surface Cleaner
- 1 part water
- 1 part vinegar
- essential oils of my choosing, or none at all
Add to spray bottle. Shake before using.
- ¼ cup isopropyl alcohol
- ¼ cup vinegar (any safe vinegar is fine- i use homemade kombucha vinegar)
- 1 tbsp arrowroot (I use Mountain Rose Herbs brand)
- 2c warm water
Yes, arrowroot. I don’t know why, but that addition really makes a difference between okay glass cleaner and really good glass cleaner. The original recipe calls for cornstarch but arrowroot seems to make a fine sub. It definitely works better than the mix without the arrowroot. Add to spray bottle, shake, and make sure to label. Isopropyl alcohol is not safe to ingest so don’t use it on anything you’ll be eating from. Shake well before use as the arrowroot will settle to the bottom and could clog the spray tube.
- 1/2c baking soda
- 1 cup vinegar (I use kombucha vinegar)
Sprinkle baking soda in the toilet and use a scrub brush to scrub.
Dump in 1 cup of vinegar. Let sit. Scrub more if needed. Flush.
Tub & Tile Cleaner
- 2 2/3 cups baking soda
- 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp liquid soap/li>
- 3 tbsp water
Add to a container and mix together completely, use like soft scrub. I like mixing this up in a quart mason jar and keeping it that way under the cupboard. If you want to make your own custom quantity, the proprotions are 12 parts baking soda, 4 parts castille soap, 1 part water.
Automatic Dishwasher Detergent
Floor Cleaner (Wood & Linoleum/Tile)
- 1/2cup vinegar
- 1 gallon of water.
Use like regular floor cleaner. (Don’t get wood floors too wet, dip mop & squeeze until nearly dry.)
Pre-treatment for Very Dirty Linoleum/Tile
- 2 tbsp washing soda (this is NOT the same as baking soda)
- 2 cups water
Mix and use to mop. Rinse with water.
- 3 tbsp baking soda
- 1 gallon water
Put your veggies or fruit in a large bowl, dish, or salad spinner and fill with enough water to cover. Add baking soda and swirl around. Let soak for a bit if you like. Rinse the veggies. If they are in the salad spinner you can do this by pulling the basket out and dumping the soak water, then refilling the bowl with fresh water to soak again. I usually soak in the baking soda water, then soak a bit more in fresh water, then rinse once more with another full bowl of water. Note that I have never found that this thorough of washing really gets corn off of food that has been sprayed or rinsed with a corny chemical or wax, however it will get incidental cross contamination off and will also drown any slugs or bugs from your super-fresh veggies. If you’ve never pulled a head of lettuce out of your crisper and found a bunch of dormant, chilled slugs in there with them, you really aren’t missing out. Best give ’em a good wash before you put them away, and then probably another good rinse after too.
Liquid Hand Soap
- 1/4 bar Olivella fragrance free bar soap
- 4 cups water
- essential oils to preference
Grate the bar soap over a bowl of the water and allow to absorb overnight. In the morning stir and you have liquid soap. If you want to make a gallon at a time, I use about 1 bar of soap per gallon.
9 thoughts on “Corn Free Household and Cleaning Products”
Thanks for having this blog. I miss your insight on the Corn Allergy Facebook group and am happy that I can still get access to your wisdom. After a reaction yesterday to Windex and/or dust I tried the window cleaning solution today and it worked great. Better yet, I’m not freaked out about the ingredients in my cleaner. Thanks, Corn Allergy Girl!
OMG thank you!!! I have been pulling my hair out for a year trying to find a vinegar I can use in cooking for my whole family, as one son is allergic to citrus, grape (no wine vinegar), and the other one allergic to rice, corn, AND apple. But you reminded me of my kombucha, which I never thought to use as a vinegar sub. Thank you so much:-)
You’re welcome! 🙂 You can also use the juice from your lactoferments if you don’t mind a potential extra flavor if you added spices such as dill or garlic. I do pickled green beans with no spices, just a salt brine, and use the juice instead of vinegar.
For others without citrus allergies, I find that straight lemon or lime juice can sub for vinegar very often in many recipes.
this is good except baking soda and baking powder have corn starch in them, which is made from corn. My corn allergy is so severe I cant’ enter a building that use any kind of powdered gloves because it’s corn starch. Salons, hospitals, doctors offices, tattoo parlors, deli’s, anywhere that uses powdered gloves.
Baking powder can have corn starch in it as a de clumping agent. Hain featherweight uses potato starch instead of corn starch, or many people make their own. None of my cleaning recipes call for baking powder.
Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate, which is a mineral mined from the earth. It is one ingredient in baking powder.
It can be cross contaminated with corn due to processing but does not contain corn as an ingredient. I can’t tolerate arm & hammer brand baking soda to eat but I’m okay to clean with it. I use Karlins finest brand baking soda for recipes I will eat.
That is true. I just reacted to arm and hammer baking soda. Now i just brush my teeth with floss, coconut oil, water, tooth brush and wash cloth. thats it. The soda definitely had corn in it. I called arm and hammer and asked but the woman just had a one track mind and said they used dedicated lines. well yea maybe they aren’t using wheat on it but they are using corn starch on it. lol or baking powder.
Yeah I’m not sure anyone has been able to pin down what they’re doing, and a lot of people have called them. I think it’s the packaging personally but don’t really know.
If you didn’t already find the products page, I’m still fine with Karlins Finest Baking Soda. I even use it for my medication filler in compounds because I can’t ever seem to tolerate the fillers they buy from pharmaceutical companies, even when it shouldn’t contain any corn.
The FDA banned the use of powdered gloves in hospitals as of January 2017. That said there are still latex gloves in medical settings, and powdered gloves may still be used in non medical contexts.
I need to use a carbon filter mask (I use vogmask) or respirator in all hospitals and most doctors offices because of other corn in the environment though. It’s the hand sanitizer with the corn ethanol in it and the antimicrobial cleaners they use. Even if they don’t have an odor they still make my tongue swell up in my mouth.
For more info about surviving hospitals with a corn allergy, start here: https://cornallergygirl.com/2017/02/22/hospital-and-medical-safety-with-a-corn-allergy/