Looking for alternatives to hazardous household chemicals? You can mix your own. As with commercial preparations, use your homemade cleaners with care and be patient. Many may not work as quickly as commercial products. The benefit to you is less hassle disposing of leftovers and containers combined with a healthier environment for you and your family.
Household Chemical Alternatives: Mix Your Own
Glass cleaner: Mix 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice in 1 quart water.
Bleach: Substitute borax, lemon juice or hydrogen peroxide.
Furniture/floor polish: Mix 1 teaspoon lemon oil with 1 pint mineral, olive or vegetable oil.
Wall cleaner: Mix 1/2 cup borax, 2 teaspoons dishwashing liquid, and 1 gallon warm water. May add dash of lemon juice or vinegar.
Rug shampoo: Mix 1 quart white vinegar and 3 quarts boiling water.
Rug deodorizer: Apply baking soda liberally and leave for 15 minutes before vacuuming.
Disinfectants: Use rubbing alcohol or 1/2 cup borax combined with 1 gallon hot water.
Roach killers: Mix baking soda with powdered sugar.
Ant killers: Discourage entry with chili powder.
Drain cleaners: Use plunger, then flush with mixture of boiling water, 1/4 cup baking soda, 1/4 cup vinegar.
Silver polish: Soak in boiling water with baking soda, salt, and a piece of aluminum.
Abrasive cleaners: Rub with cut lemon dipped in borax, then rinse.
SOURCE: The Terrene Institute in Dulles, Virginia
Clean Living, Without the Side Effects
Fasten your apron strings and mix up a brew of these Bay-friendly cleaning concoctions. They work, they cost only pennies per gallon, and they won't harm you or the environment.