Conventional household cleaners have a dirty little secret. Many of the ingredients used to cut grease, deodorize carpets and make toilet bowls shine, including ammonia, 2-butoxyethanol and silica, are also associated with lung and liver damage, endocrine disruption, and even cancer. Luckily, consumers are wising up to the fact that what’s tough on dirt, usually is also tough on the body—and that’s why many are now turning to safer, more natural alternatives. Sales of natural household cleaners exploded between 2008 and 2009, when the category hit mainstream consumers, says Carla Ooyen, director of market research at Nutrition Business Journal. Even as the economy sputtered, shoppers put dollars toward natural options. NBJ estimates that 2010 sales of natural cleaners grew 1.4 percent to $790 million. To entice more conventional shoppers to the category, manufacturers are playing up the efficacy of essential oil ingredients such as eucalyptus, peppermint and geranium, which in addition to antibacterial and antifungal properties boast aromatherapy benefits.