Alternative Household Products

You can reduce the amount of hazardous materials you purchase by using alternative methods or products without hazardous ingredients. Here are alternatives to some common household items.

Household Cleaner
Drain cleanerUse a plunger or plumber's snake.
Oven cleanerClean spills as soon as the oven cools using steel wool and baking soda; for tough stains add salt (do not use this method in self-cleaning or continuous-cleaning ovens).
Glass cleanerMix 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice in 1 quart of water. Spray on and use newspaper to wipe dry.
Toilet bowl cleanerUse a toilet brush and baking soda or vinegar. (This will clean but not disinfect.)
Furniture polishMix 1 teaspoon of lemon juice in 1 pint of mineral or vegetable oil, and wipe furniture.
Rug deodorizerDeodorize dry carpets by sprinkling liberally with baking soda. Wait at least 15 minutes and vacuum. Repeat if necessary.
Silver polishBoil 2 to 3 inches of water in a shallow pan with 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and a sheet of aluminum foil. Totally submerge silver and boil for 2 to 3 more minutes. Wipe away tarnish. Repeat if necessary. (Do not use this method on antique silver knives. The blade will separate from the handle.) Another alternative is to use nonabrasive toothpaste.
Plant spraysWipe leaves with mild soap and water; rinse.
MothballsUse cedar chips, lavender flowers, rosemary, mint, or white peppercorns.
Flea and tick productsPut brewer's yeast or garlic in your pet's food; sprinkle fennel, rue, rosemary or eucalyptus seeds or leaves around animal sleeping areas.