Alternative to Chemical Cleaners
Use common kitchen ingredients for a quick recipe for housecleaning.
Instead of using the chemical-laden products below, replace
them with household products such as baking soda, lemon juice
or vinegar. A little imagination and some help from this chart
can make chores such as polishing furniture and cleaning floors
a nontoxic and environmentally friendly event.
Instead of floor cleaners:
For vinyl tile or linoleum,
mix 1 cup white vinegar in 2 gallons of water.
For wood floors, mix 1 teaspoon washing soda in 1 gallon hot
Instead of air fresheners:
Place a dish of warm vinegar on the counter.
Simmer cloves and cinnamon in water.
Set out an open box of baking soda, or bottle of vanilla extract.
Instead of mothballs:
Mix 1/2 lb. mint, 1/4 lb. thyme and 2 tablespoons cloves and
hang in cheesecloth bags.
Mix cedar chips, rosemary, mint, dried tobacco and whole peppercorns
with cedar oil. Store in cedar chest.
Instead of glass cleaner:
Mix 1/2 cup vinegar and 1 quart water.
Mix 2 tablespoons lemon juice in 1 quart water or use baking
soda on a wet rag.
Instead of oven cleaner:
Use aluminum foil or trays to protect racks.
Put salt on area before the oven cools, then clean with baking
soda and water.
Instead of chemical disinfectants:
Use washing soda and warm water.
Instead of laundry detergent:
Add borax to your laundry.
Sprinkle washing soda over your clothes.
Instead of furniture polish:
Make a lemon wax by mixing 1 teaspoon lemon oil with 1 pint
of mineral oil.
Scrub surfaces with shaving soap.
Clean with borax and warm water.
Instead of insecticide for plants:
Put soapy water on leaves.
Excerpted from Drinking Water Hazards (Envirographics) by
John Cary Stewart. Caution: Children should be kept away from
many of these products, including borax and boric acid.