6 toxins found in common household cleaners


It’s easy to assume that household or personal cleaning products are clean. However, they are loaded with toxic chemicals that can have negative effects on our health.

There are no federal regulations related the safety standards when it comes to common household cleaning products. This means that manufacturers can put just about anything in these products, without any significant testing. They may claim that trace amounts of these chemicals pose no risk to our health in small doses, but consistent exposure to them over time can definitely have an impact.

At Fillaree, in Durham, we specialize in making organic, natural cleaning products that are safe for ourselves, families, pets, & the planet.

6 common toxins found in standard cleaning products that can be avoided by switching to a handmade alternative are:

·       Ammonia. Found in glass cleaners and furniture/silver polishes, this chemical is a respiratory irritant. Also, when mixed with bleach it produces a poisonous gas. Prolonged exposure can cause cases of chronic bronchitis and asthma.

·       Chlorine. A common ingredient found in scouring powders, toilet cleaners, and laundry detergents. It can cause respiratory issues and thyroid disruptions with long-term exposure.

·       Sodium Hydroxide. Also known as lye, this is found in oven cleaners and drain-unclogging liquids. It’s extremely corrosive and can cause chemical burns on skin, and damage to the mouth and throat if inhaled.

·       2-Butoxyethanol. This is found in kitchen, window and multipurpose cleaners. This is what gives the cleaners that sweet smell and there are no regulations that require this ingredient to be listed. However, when inhaled, it can also cause respiratory problems and even liver or kidney damage.

·       Phthalates. Fragranced cleaners, air fresheners, and even some toilet papers are loaded with these chemicals. Phthalates are a known endocrine disrupter, even causing low sperm counts in men. Most ingestion is inhalation, but fragranced soaps are dangerous as well since the skin absorbs the toxins directly.

·       Triclosan. Found in lots of dish detergents and antibacterial products. Triclosan is an antibacterial agent that can cause the growth of drug-resistant bacteria. Not only is this counterproductive for cleaning, but it’s harmful for our health in the long run.

These are just a select few chemicals found in every day products, hidden in plain sight underneath our kitchen sinks. Instead of posing a risk to our health, let’s start 2017 by making the switch to green cleaning products, made with care right here in Durham. Shop Fillaree to see all the natural options we can offer your family and home!

About Fillaree

Fillaree was founded in the beginning of 2014 with a mission to provide consumers an opportunity to significantly reduce their household plastic waste through refill.  We are a zero waste company (90% diversion of landfill waste) who create and hand make the purest, refillable, liquid soaps & cleaners. We want to make refilling as convenient as it is rewarding!


Fillaree Founder, Alyssa Cherry   

Fillaree Founder, Alyssa Cherry 


Fillaree Founder's Story

     After realizing she had been refilling the same natural cleaning spray bottle for 7 years, owner and founder, Alyssa Cherry realized that throwing the refill bottle in the recycling bin wasn't enough. Images of plastic waste that fill our oceans and the resulting dead and mangled marine life haunted her daily feed of information. During a tour of a local recycling plant, she was surprised to learn that much of the plastic waste we produce cannot be recycled and what can gets shipped back overseas, a messy and carbon costly journey. This knowledge, coupled with her mother's diagnosis of ovarian cancer spurred her to start an educational journey.  She began to learn about the hundreds of known toxins and carcinogens that are used in personal hygiene and cleaning products.  She learned that even "Green" soap and cleaning products contained known carcinogens and she began her quest to learn how to make her own pure products.

    Alyssa is on a mission to bring her vision to life. She taught herself to make liquid soap from scratch and by hand using traditional and time honored techniques which soon lead to other handmade small batch products. All the while providing refill services at local farmer’s markets and setting up two local refill stations in Durham, NC where Fillaree is based.


Soap + Suds, liquid soap

Soap + Suds, liquid soap


 Fillaree Products

1.    Soap + Suds     -Hand and Body Wash/Soap.

2.    Everybody Butter    -Moisturizer.

3.    Clean Dream Spray –All Purpose Cleaning Spray.


All Fillaree products are handmade in small batches.  All are vegan, synthetic free, made with organic and essential oils, we never use fragrance oils. We do not and will not use palm oil and our vegetable oils are fair trade certified.  All products and packaging are refillable and are chosen for that purpose! 

Bottles for Clean Dream Spray come in glass, heavy duty refillable plastic, or BPA free aluminum.  Soap + Suds Wash comes in glass or an aluminum, BPA free bottle. The Everybody Butter comes in a glass jar with an aluminum lid. We avoid plastic as much as possible and as we continue to grow we plan to take advantage of new and innovative plastic free packaging options.

We want to make refilling as convenient as it is rewarding; that is our mission! We are grateful for all of your support thus far and want you to know that your dollar is your choice and when you choose Fillaree you are choosing a company that will go above and beyond to reduce waste, and a small business that puts the planet before profits.

Reduce, Reuse, and Refill with Fillaree.


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Fillaree is hiring

Passionate about sustainability, green beauty, or small business?  Want to work for a green start up who's core value and mission is to reduce plastic waste and also puts the planet before profits? Then join our innovative refill company Fillaree.  We want to do big things and we know we need the right team to do it.  All skills are needed; business management, web design, e-commerce, marketing, content creation, accounting, sales (direct & b2b), finance, r & d, venture capital raising, soap making, just to name a few.  The position is part time, hourly, flexible schedule, starting at $10.00 per hour.  As we grow and acquire funding your position, role and salary will grow as well.  We are also looking for investors, partners, or mentors, who see the potential of this new way of purchasing and consuming household products.  Please Email amanda@fillaree.com with cover letter/email, and resume to be considered for the position.  Know someone who might be interested in working with Fillaree?  Please share to spread the word and help up find the right person. 

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Reduce, Rethink, & Reuse Back to School with a visit to the Scrap Exchange.

Why You Should Reuse Last Year's School Supplies

Summertime is coming to an end in the Triangle and the time to prepare for a new school year is upon us! But before heading out to a massive, overpriced chain store with a lengthy list of needed school supplies, consider this option: reuse the supplies that were bought last year.

We know that sounds a little unheard of, especially considering our society is driven by consumerism and a “must have all things new” mentality. However, here at Fillaree in Durham, we believe that sustainable living should extend beyond green cleaning products.

Here are just a few benefits to reusing last year’s school supplies instead of buying entirely new sets.

·       Save Money. Is it just us, or are backpacks and binders getting more expensive with each passing year? The biggest benefit to reusing supplies is the amount of money saved! Things like pencils, pens, crayons and rulers can be easily reused. Also, you more than likely bought a bulk set of those items last year, so there may be some laying around completely unused! For things like backpacks or pencil cases that suffered some wear and tear, consider getting crafty and patch the holes with colorful fabrics or accessories to fix and add new style.

·       Support Local Non-Profits. For items that simply cannot be reused, like paper or craft items, consider visiting a locally-owned shop instead of a big chain. The Scrap Exchange of Durham has provided gently used office supplies, crafts, containers, electronics, and more for 25 years! Their prices are stellar, and their staff is friendly and willing to help find whatever you could need.

·       Teach Children the Value of Green Living. By starting early, you ensure that children will value quality and sustainable practices. At Fillaree, we specialize in handmade soaps and natural household cleaners, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg in terms of going green. There are many ways to embody this mindset, and starting with school supplies is a great way to instill this at an early age.

The new school year doesn’t have to be a stressful time, and since reusing supplies is both sustainable and will save money, it can start with a sigh of relief. If you’re interested in other awesome products like homemade, refillable soaps or cleaners, check us out at Fillaree in Durham today! Also be sure to follow us on facebook, Instagram ,and twitter to stay up to date on what we are doing.