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Cleaners

Some cleaning products contain hazardous chemicals and should never be poured down the drain or thrown in the garbage.  

Disposal Options:

​Special Instructions:

Alternatives:

  • The Good Guide provides safe, healthy, green, & ethical product reviews of household cleaners and other products that are based on scientific ratings.
  • The Clean Water Program has fact sheets and tips for cleaning your home with least toxic methods. 
  • The EPA's Safer Choice Label can help you find cleaning and other products that are safer for your family and the environment.

Homemade Recipes:

Browse through our collection of homemade alternatives to toxic cleaning products: 

 

All-Purpose Cleaner

  • 1 quart warm water 
  • 1 teaspoon liquid soap 
  • 1 teaspoon borax 
  • 1/4 cup undiluted white vinegar 

Mix ingredients and store in a spray bottle. Use for cleaning countertops, floors, walls, carpets and upholstery. 

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Glass Cleaner 

  • 1 quart warm water 
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar (or 2 tablespoons lemon juice) 
  • Mix ingredients and store in a spray bottle. To clean a glass oven door, dip a wet sponge in baking soda. 

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Stain Remover 

  • 1 part glycerin 
  • 1 part liquid dish washing detergent 
  • 8 parts water 

Mix ingredients and store in a plastic spray bottle. Shake well before each use.Test on unexposed area of fabric before applying. Apply to stain as soon as possible and blot with cloth. 

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Oven Cleaner 

  • 1 quart warm water 
  • 2 teaspoons borax 
  • 2 tablespoons liquid soap 

Mix ingredients and store in a plastic spray bottle. Spray on stove, wait 20 minutes, then wipe clean. You can also pour salt on spills as they occur and wipe while your oven is warm. 

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Drains 

  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 2 ounces of vinegar
  • 2 quarts boiling water

Pour 1/4 cup baking soda down the drain, followed by 2 ounces of vinegar. Cover the drain and let sit for 15 minutes. Rinse with 2 quarts of boiling water. Use this treatment regularly to prevent clogged drains and keep them smelling fresh. Also, pour boiling water down drains on a weekly basis to prevent grime buildup. 

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Tub and Tiles 

  • Baking soda
  • Scrub surfaces with baking soda slightly moistened with water. 

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Toilet Bowls 

  • 1/4 cup borax
  • Put 1/4 cup borax in toilet bowl and let set overnight. In the morning, scrub clean. 

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Polishes  

  • Silver: Rub object gently with toothpaste on a soft cloth to avoid scratching. Rinse well with water. 
  • Copper: Pour vinegar and salt over copper and rub.
  • Brass: Polish with Worcestershire sauce; or pour on ketchup, let sit,then wipe dry.
  • Chrome: Shine wet chrome fixtures by rubbing with newspaper; or rub with baby oil and a soft cloth. 

Test first on an inconspicuous area. 

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Disinfectant 

  • 1/2 cup borax
  • 1 gallon hot water

Mix ingredients and store in a plastic spray bottle. To prevent mold or mildew from forming, don’t rinse off the borax solution after applying. 

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Vinyl Floors 
  • 1 gallon warm water 
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar or 1/4 cup borax

Mix ingredients in a bucket and clean floors with a mop. 

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Wood Floors 
For unvarnished floors, damp mop with mild vegetable oil soap.   
For no-wax floors (such as polyurethane or Swedish finishes), clean with 1 part vinegar to 10 parts water. 

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Alternative Air Fresheners 
Pour vanilla extract on a cotton ball in a saucer, use in your car, home or refrigerator. 
Set out a dish of vinegar, or boil 1 tablespoon white vinegar in 1 cup of water to eliminate unpleasant cooking odors. 

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Spice Up Your Home 
Wrap cloves and cinnamon in cheesecloth and boil in water; or leave herbal bouquets standing in open dishes for a fragrant smell. 

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Removing Onion Odors 
Add a few drops of vinegar to soapy water to remove onion odors from utensils, chopping blocks, or hands. Rubbing hands with the cut end of a celery stalk will also remove odor. 

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Cat Smells
Cover the bottom of your cat’s litter box with baking soda before adding litter, it eliminates odors for days. 

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Freshen Up Your Garbage Disposal 
To clean garbage disposals, grind used lemons in the disposal or pour in baking soda. 

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