The variety of household cleaning products on the market today
is overwhelming. There are products on the shelves for every possible
need, and we are encouraged through advertising to buy them all.
We might be better off if we avoided using these cleansers. Many
contain hazardous chemicals that can cause everything from skin
irritations to reproductive disorders, aggravation of respiratory
diseases, and maybe even cancer. Many cleansers are also flammable,
caustic and reactive with other materials.
Many cleaning products also pollute the environment. Even small
amounts of detergents, solvents, aerosol propellants, dyes, perfumes
and fillers add up to a large load of pollutants for our air and
There are alternatives to these hazardous household cleaning products,
alternatives that are simpler, safer and more economical.
Less toxic household cleansers can be made right at home with
a few simple ingredients. You may already have many of them in
your kitchen cupboard. Recipes for these "miracle" cleaning
formulas appear below.
1 quart warm water
1 tsp. Liquid soap
Squeeze of lemon or a splash of vinegar
*This solution can be used for a multitude of cleaning
jobs including countertops, floors, walls, rugs, and upholstery.
½ cup baking soda
Leave open boxes of baking soda in refrigerators,
closets and bathrooms.
Open doors and windows for good ventilation.
Use stove fan when cooking.
Use flowers, herbs, and spices to add subtle
fragrances to indoor air.
1 cup vinegar
*Dissolve baking soda and vinegar in boiling water,
and pour the solution down the drain. Continue to flush with hot
tap water until the clog breaks.
Use a water-based cleaner in place of kerosene, turpentine,
and commercial engine degreaser.
Use a nonchlorinated scouring powder with abrasive
scouring pad or fine steel wool.
Use ½ cup borax with 1 gallon water. To inhibit
mildew, do not rinse off borax solution.
1 pint mineral oil with a few drops of lemon juice
Vinyl floors: ½ cup vinegar or ¼ cup
borax with 1 gallon water. Polish with club soda.
- Wood floors: damp mop with mild vegetable oil soap
¼ cup vinegar in 1 quart warm water. Do not
use this as a windshield wiper solution as it may damage the pump-use
Scrub with baking soda or borax; for extended mold
inhibition, do not rinse off.
Use the All-Purpose Household Cleanser.
Scrub with 2 tbsp. or more of baking soda or
borax in 1 gallon of water, using a very fine steel wool (0000).
Wear gloves. For very baked-on spots, try scrubbing with pumice
(available at hardware stores).
As a last resort, use a pump oven cleaner that
says, "No caustic fumes" and "No lye."
Use baking soda or a nonchlorinated commercial scouring
Scrub with baking soda or mild detergent.
All-Purpose: ¼ borax in 2 cups cold water,
soak the stain prior to washing as usual.
Blood: Pour 3% hydrogen peroxide solution directly
on the stain, rinse with water and wash as usual.
Ink: Apply a past of lemon juice an cream of
tartar; allow it to dry, then wash as usual.
Use scouring powder or baking soda.