Three Chemicals You Can Ditch and Their Natural Counterparts

At Houldsworth Russo & Co. we do our best to not only give back to our community, but we strive to give back to our planet. Our firm is nearly paperless, and we recycle everything we can, we want to offer you some tips on how you can make a few changes in your home so that together we can make a collaborative effort to give back to the planet that gives so much to us.

  1. Chlorine Bleach and Ammonia

Growing up in a Latino household, if your mom tasked you to clean the house, you better make sure the first thing she smells as she walks through that door is bleach. If it doesn’t smell like “cloro,” you will be accused of a job poorly done. I dreaded cleaning, as the toxic fumes that come from chemicals like chlorine bleach and ammonia, are extremely harmful to the human body and the environment. Don’t you dare mix the two together as with their powers combined they produce gases called chloramines, exposure to such gases can cause a variety of symptoms; coughing, nausea, chest pain, wheezing, to name a few.

To make a good all-natural bleach alternative you will need; 1.5 cups 3% hydrogen peroxide, .5 cup lemon juice (or 20 drops of lemon essential oil), and 12 cups distilled water. Combine the ingredients in a gallon-size bottle to use on all your household disinfecting, and laundry needs.

  1. Air Fresheners

Everyone enjoys walking in to a fresh smelling home after a long day away. Don’t be fooled by the air fresheners’ ads, most air fresheners interfere with your olfactory system. Commercial air fresheners contain formaldehyde, which is a highly toxic carcinogen that has been linked to cancer. Utilizing an air purifier is a great way to neutralize odors in your home and get rid of any additional pollutants in the air. For a sweet/fresh scent addition you can use a diffuser along with your favorite essential oil (EO) available at any health food store. If an air purifier/diffuser is out of your budget, you can use small bowls with about a cup of rice along with 10-15 drops of EO and place around your home as needed.

Pro tip: Mix essential oils to create your own special blend.

  1. Pesticides

Pesticides may contain more than one ingredient, and each may have a different toxicity level. There are several ways to estimate to the toxicity of a pesticide. One easy way is to look at the signal word, which is an indicator of the toxicity of the product. Every registered pesticide will have the words CAUTION, WARNING, or DANGER on the label, and that word reflects the level of toxicity of the product. Products that say CAUTION are the lowest in toxicity, WARNING indicates medium toxicity products, and DANGER is found on the most toxic products. If you want to know the toxicity of a specific pesticide, call National Pesticide Information Center 1-800-858-7378 or visit their website If you want to avoid toxic chemicals altogether, you can recourse to utilizing Diatomaceous Earth (often referred to as “DE”) is an off-white talc-like powder that is the fossilized remains of marine phytoplankton. When sprinkled on a bug that has an exoskeleton (such as bed bugs, ants or fleas) it compromises their waxy coating so that their innards turn into teeny tiny bug jerky. But it doesn’t hurt mammals; our human babies, and fur babies alike are safe!


Hope these brief tips help you provide a safer place for you and your family, while riding our planet of one toxic chemical fume at a time.

Houldsworth, Russo & Company, P.C. is a public accounting firm providing assurance, tax, and consulting services to non-profit and government organizations, individuals and businesses.  Since 1996 HRC has provided quality service to the Las Vegas and surrounding communities through the active involvement of experienced, committed professionals. 

Material discussed in this blog is meant to provide general information and should not be acted upon without first obtaining professional advice appropriately tailored to your individual circumstances.