DEEP: Environmental Alternatives for the Bedroom

Household Alternatives - In The Bedroom

{Images of beds, child waking, plants and hangers}

Product Non-Toxic Alternatives
Air Fresheners

If you want to scent the air, use herbal or floral bouquets and potpourri, or essential oil (scent of your choice) on a cotton ball.

Put common houseplants in your bedroom to improve air quality. According to a NASA study, plants such as English Ivy (Hedera helix) and Heartleaf philodendron (Philodendron oxycardium, syn. Philodendron cordatum) can filter the air and absorb some toxic chemicals. Read more.

Related info:

Spray Dusting Products
Microfiber cleaning cloths are a good alternative to commercial dusting products and are superior to that old t-shirt you may be using for dusting. Dust clings to the microfibers without chemicals. They can be put in the laundry and used over and over. Be sure to buy a good quality product.
Furniture Polish

Mix 2 teaspoons olive oil, 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar, and 20 drops of pure essential lemon oil in a 16 ounce spray bottle. Fill the rest of the bottle with water and shake well. Spray onto furniture and wipe dry immediately with a soft cloth. See Additional Resources.

Window and Glass Cleaner Mix 1/4 cup white vinegar in about gallon of warm water in a bucket. Then add 1/8 teaspoon liquid soap (or dishwashing liquid), and a pinch of cornstarch to the bucket. Wipe down the glass with this mixture and dry with a lint-free cloth. For spray bottle - pour 2 tablespoons of vinegar and 2 cups of water into a spray bottle. Add 2 drops of liquid soap and shake to mix. Spray on glass and wipe with lint-free cloth. Club soda (not seltzer) in a spray bottle can be used for touch-ups.
All Purpose Cleaner

Pour 3 tablespoons of vinegar, 1 teaspoon borax, and 2 cups of water into a spray bottle. Shake to dissolve. Then add 1 teaspoon liquid soap (or dishwashing liquid) to the bottle and shake it again. Spray on surface and then wipe clean. For tough dirt, leave cleaner on for a few minutes and then wipe off.

Carpets and Rugs

See Living Room Alternatives.

Moth Repellents See Laundry Alternatives.
Additional Resources 
  • Care2 has many ideas for cleaning without toxic products, including other recipes for furniture polish. 
  • If you don't want to make your own cleaning products, purchase ones that are healthier for you and better for the environment. Look for ones that are certified by Green Seal or Design for the Environment (DfE).
  • Do you want more ideas for greening your bedrooms? Check out National Geographic's Green Guide: Cleaning Dry Rooms.

Disclaimer: The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) maintains the content on this web page to enhance public access to information and facilitate understanding of environmental issues. The  DEEP is not recommending these resources over any others and recognizes these represent only a partial listing of resources on this subject.

Household Alternatives

Content Last Updated November 2011