Alternatives to Household Hazardous Products

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Hazardous Waste Products

If you don't want to use harsh chemicals in your home or garage, but you don't know what to use instead, read below for some environmentally-friendly alternatives for everyday cleaning products.

All-Purpose Cleaner
Baking Soda: Dissolve 4 tablespoons baking soda in 1 quart warm water for a cleaning solution, or use baking soda sprinkled on a damp sponge. Baking soda will clean all kitchen and bathroom surfaces.

Glass/Window Cleaner
Mix ½ cup vinegar and 1 quart warm water. Wipe with newspaper.

Paint
Use water-based instead of oil-based paint.

Drain Cleaner
Baking Soda and Vinegar: Put 1/2 cup baking soda and then 1/2 cup white vinegar down your drain and cover the drain. Let set for a few minutes. Then pour a kettle of boiling water down the drain to flush it.

Aerosol Sprays
Use pump sprays instead of aerosol sprays.

Furniture Polish
Olive Oil and Lemon Juice: Mix 2 parts oil and 1 part lemon juice. Apply and polish with a soft cloth.

Lime and Mineral Deposit Remover
Vinegar: Hard lime deposits around faucets can be softened for easy removal by covering the deposits with vinegar-soaked rags or paper towels. Leave rags or paper towels on for about 1 hour before cleaning. Cleans and shines chrome. To remove deposits that may be clogging metal shower heads, combine 1/2 cup white vinegar and 1 quart water. Completely submerge the shower head and boil for 15 minutes. If you have a plastic shower head, combine 1 pint white vinegar and 1 pint hot water. Completely submerge the shower head and soak for about 1 hour.

Metal Cleaner & Polish

  • Cream of tartar: To remove stains and discoloration from aluminum cookware, fill cookware with hot water and add 2 tablespoons cream of tartar to each quart of water. Bring solution to a boil and simmer ten minutes.
    Wash as usual and dry.


  • Worcestershire sauce: To clean and polish un-lacquered brass to a shine with a soft cloth dampened with Worcestershire sauce.


  • Toothpaste: To clean tarnish off gold and silver (not silver plate), use toothpaste and a soft toothbrush or cloth. Rinse with clean warm water and polish dry.

Chemical Fertilizers
Compost vegetable scraps and yard waste into a naturally rich soil additive.

Spot Remover
Club soda: Rinse or sponge stains immediately with club soda. Repeat as necessary. Wash as usual. Or, use cream of tartar and lemon juice. To remove ink stains, put cream of tartar on the stain and squeeze a few drops of lemon juice over it. Rub into the stain for a minute, brush off the powder and sponge with warm water or launder.

Ant Control
Cream of Tartar: Sprinkle cream of tartar along ants' path; they won't cross over it.

HHW