Exterminate EDCs by Making Your Own Cleaning Supplies

Pedram Shojai
4 min readApr 29, 2021
The Urban Monk

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) have leached into our homes, our bodies, our bloodstreams, and our endocrine systems.

If you’re unaware, the endocrine system is responsible for producing and regulating the hormones in your body.

The series of glands that make up the endocrine system handle your metabolism, growth and development, sexual and reproductive function, sleep, and mood. It’s where estrogen, testosterone, insulin, and other hormones are produced.

So when we talk about endocrine-disruptors…

We’re talking about chemicals that are throwing a wrench in a vital system, necessary for the regular maintenance of your body.

And EDCs are rampant in our cleaning supplies.

Your detergents, your disinfectants, your air fresheners, your oven cleaners, your pan degreasers, your dish soap, your mirror cleaners…


But the good news? All of those supplies that you overpay for at your local big-box store can be made safely and cheaply at home.

We’re going to explore some of those options here today…

Laundry Detergent

Nonylphenol ethoxylate is commonly found in household laundry detergents. These EDCs mimic estrogen which leads to hormonal imbalances in the body.

What you want to avoid in your laundry detergent is Borax.

If you’re looking for a better plan, try this recipe. You’ll need:

  • 14 cups of very hot water, divided
  • 1 cup baking soda, divided
  • ½ cup salt
  • 1 cup unscented liquid castile soap
  • 30 drops of the essential oil of your choice (scent)
  • Gallon jug

Mix half of the hot water with half of the baking soda and half of the salt. Keep stirring until it’s all dissolved — you’ll know because the mixture will be mostly clear.

Pour that into the gallon jug.

Repeat your first step, and then add that concoction to the jug.

Add your essential oil.

Take ½ cup or more (depending on the size of the load) and toss it in with your clothes in the washing machine, or into the machine’s soap cup.

Wash safely!

Air Fresheners

Most scented air fresheners contain phthalates, which create hormonal imbalances by increasing estrogen production in men.

Fortunately, you’ve got options. All you need for this recipe is baking soda, essential oils, mason jars, cardstock, scissors, and a thumbtack.

Here’s what you do:

Cut the cardstock to match the size of the mason jar lid. Poke holes into the cardstock with the thumbtack.

Fill the jar about a quarter of the way up with baking soda and mix in 5–10 drops of the essential oil of your choice.

Insert the cardstock cutout into the metal bit of the mason jar lid, and shake the jar a little every now and again. (You can even sprinkle some onto a carpet to freshen its scent.)


Glycol ethers cut grease really well. That’s why they’re used in non-stick pans and cleaning products for cookware and countertops.

Here’s an alternative. You’ll need:

  • A 32 ounce spray bottle
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Unscented liquid castile soap
  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • Essential oil for scent

Grab your vinegar, soap, baking soda, and 3 cups of warm water. Pour one cup vinegar, ⅛ teaspoon soap, one tablespoon of baking soda, and the water into the spray bottle.

Add 20 drops of essential oil of your choice to the spray bottle.

Shake the bottle! And you’re finished. Perfect for use on cooktops, countertops, your stove hood, and any cookware with caked-on grease.

And it’s totally EDC-free.

There are tons more alternatives.

Mildew in the shower? Spray white vinegar on it, let it sit for 30 minutes, and sponge it away with warm water.

Need a simple countertop cleaner? Vodka and water spray. Need a simple furniture de-musker? Vodka and water spray.

Drain clogged? Boil 2 cups of water, pour ½ cup of baking soda down the drain, then pour the boiled water in after it. (Add ½ cup vinegar after the baking soda for a particularly resistant clog.)

Can’t think of how to clean something without bleach? Take ½ cup baking soda, 1 teaspoon of castile soap, and ½ teaspoon hydrogen peroxide. Mix them all together and apply the mixture to the affected surface with a cloth.

Trying to clean a window? Spray it down with a mixture of 1 part vinegar to 4 parts water.

You aren’t trapped in the EDC world without options.

Check your pantry…

You’re probably well on your way to living without endocrine-disruptors in your trusted cleaning supplies.

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