Learn About the Chemicals in Your Daily Life
There are some common sense alternatives to store-bought chemical products and the recipes below can be used to make them, along with some suggestions for their best use.
All-purpose household cleaner:
- 2 quarts water
- ½ cup household ammonia
- ½ cup white vinegar
- ¼ cup baking soda
This can be used to clean countertops, windows, walls, appliance faces, sinks and many other surfaces.
½ cup of borax per load of laundry will whiten and remove spots. If you need to use a bleach, use an “oxygen bleach” like sodium perborate instead of chlorine bleach (sodium hypochlorite or sodium dichloroisocyanurate). You can find these names in the ingredient list on the label.
Pour the following down the drain:
- First add ½ cup of baking soda
- Follow with ½ cup vinegar
- Cover and let sit for 15 minutes, then rinse with 2 quarts boiling water. Treating drains once a week with the recipe above will prevent problems and keep your drains smelling fresh. For a bad clog, remove the trap and clean out the obstruction with a plunger or a plumber’s snake.
- 2 tablespoons of borax or baking soda
- 1 gallon of water
Wear gloves and scrub with very fine steel wool. For difficult bakedon spots, try scrubbing with pumice (available at hardware stores.) As a last resort, use an aerosol oven cleaner that includes the statement “No caustic fumes” on the label.
Purchased home maintenance products
If you need to use products containing any of the substances on the list in the blue box to the near left, read the label carefully and use the product precisely as directed, wear appropriate protective clothing and always have good ventilation in the space where you are using the product.
Important consideration: these products should never go down the drain or be thrown out in the trash. Dispose of them at a hazardous waste site.