Hazardous Waste Alternatives

Here are some good alternatives to the use of toxic products in and around the home.

Aerosols
Air Fresheners, Deodorizers
Hair Sprays and Gels
Cleaning Agents
General All-Purpose
Glass Cleaners
Drain Cleaners
Oven Cleaners
Toilet Bowl Cleaners
Polishes
Brass
Chrome
Copper
Silver
Spot Removers
Aluminum
Blood
Rust
Grease
Ink
Mildew
Coffee/Tea
Perspiration
Scorch
Stainless Steel
Wine

Alternatives to Aerosols

Air Fresheners/Deodorizers

  • To clean garbage disposals, grind used lemon in the disposal or pour in baking soda.
  • Leave opened box of baking soda in room or refrigerator. For a more expensive touch, a small saucer of pure vanilla in the refrigerator will mask odors. To prevent spillage, pour it on a cotton ball. It’s also good for removing odors (even skunk oders) from cars.
  • Wrap cloves and cinnamon in cheese-cloth and boil in water, or leave herbal bouquets standing in open dishes for a fragrant smell.
  • 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.
  • Light a scented candle (mMay be a problem for hyper-sensitive persons).
  • Cover the bottom of your cat’s litter box with baking soda before adding litter. It eliminates odors for days.
Hair Sprays and Gels
  • Produce an effective hair gel by dissolving 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of unflavored gelatin in 1 cup warm water. Keep refrigerated, and use as you would purchased gel.
  • For hair spray, chop 1 lemon (or orange for dry hair). Place in a pot and cover with 2 cups of hot water. Boil until only half remains. Cool and strain. Add more water if needed. Refrigerate in a spray bottle.

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Alternative Cleaning Agents

General All-Purpose Cleaners
  • Mix vinegar with salt water for a good surface cleaner.
  • Dissolve baking soda in water for a general cleaner.
Glass Cleaners
  • Dilute 1/4 to 1/2 cup white vinegar in a quart of warm water for a good window cleaner.
  • Use a solution of 1 to 2 tablespoons of lemon juice in a quart of water for the same purpose.
  • Dip a wet sponge in baking soda to clean a glass oven door.
Drain Cleaners
  • To unclog a drain, pour 1/4 cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by 1/2 cup of white vinegar.
  • Let set for a few minutes, then pour a kettle of boiling water down the drain to flush.
  • Pour 1/4 cup of salt down the drain, followed by boiling water, to help keep drains unclogged.
  • Use a mechanical snake or plunger to unclog the drain.
Oven Cleaners
  • Sprinkle water followed by layers of baking soda. Rub gently with very fine (000) steel wool pads for tough spots.
  • Sprinkle salt on spills when they are warm, then scrub.
Toilet Bowl Cleaners
  • Use a solution of baking soda and water, or sprinkle baking soda around rim.
  • Scrub with toilet brush as needed.

 

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Polishes

Brass
  • Polish with Worcestershire sauce, or pour ketchup, let sit, wipe dry.
  • Use water in which onions have been boiled.
Chrome
  • Shine chrome fixtures by rubbing with newspaper after fixtures have been wet; or try rubbing with baby oil and a soft cloth. Also try aluminum foil, shiny side out.
Copper
  • Pour vinegar and salt over copper and rub.
Silver
  • Rub with toothpaste and soft cloth. Rinse and polish dry. Another alternative involves rubbing with dry baking soda.
  • For silver rings, soak in solution of 1/2 cup white vinegar and 2 tablespoons baking soda for 2 hours. Rub with towel to dry.
  • An excellent silver polish involves placing cut-up aluminum strips in a jar of water. Add about 1 tablespoon of salt and mix. Place the article in the solution for about 5 minutes. Remove and polish with a soft cloth.

 

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Spot Removers

Aluminum
  • Remove mineral deposits in kettles or pans by using a solution of 1/2 cup of white vinegar and 1 quart of water. Bring to a boil and let sit overnight. Equal parts of vinegar and water can also be used.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar to a quart of hot water to remove discoloration from aluminum pans. Bring to boil and simmer 10 minutes.
Blood
  • Sponge with cold water and dry with towel. Repeat as necessary.
  • Rub with a paste of cornstarch and water or cornmeal and water. Let dry (preferably in sun) and brush off.
Rust
  • To remove rust from clothing, moisten with lemon juice, sprinkle with salt and expose to sunlight.
  • To remove from white washables, cover the stains with cream of tartar, gather up the ends of the article so that powder stays on the spot. Dip whole thing into hot water for about 5 minutes. Ordinary laundering will complete the job.
  • Briskly scrub rust spots on car bumpers with a piece of aluminum foil crumpled up. Also works great on the chrome shafts of golf clubs.
Grease
  • Apply paste of cornstarch and water. Let dry and brush off.
  • Cover with baking soda or cornmeal. Let dry and brush off.
  • Sponge spot on suede with a cloth dipped in white vinegar. Dry and brush off.
Ink
  • If stain has set on white fabric, wet with cold water and apply paste of cream of tartar and lemon juice. Let sit one hour and wash as usual.
  • Mix 1/3 cup white vinegar and 2/3 cup of warm water. Apply a small amount to the stain and blot until no more stain can be removed.
  • If stain has not set, absorb liquid ink with table salt.
  • Soak in homogenized Vitamin D milk. Stubborn stains may take a few hours.
Mildew
  • Wash shower curtains in 1/2 cup soap and 1/2 cup baking soda, adding 1 cup white vinegar to the rinse cycle.
  • Scrub mildew spots with baking soda, or sponge with white vinegar.
Coffee/Tea
  • To remove coffee or tea stains from china cups, rub with moist salt.
  • For stains on fabric, stretch it over a basin and pour boiling water over the stain. Wash as usual.
  • For coffee stains, mix egg yolk with lukewarm water and rub on stain.
Perspiration
  • Sponge stain with a weak solution of white vinegar and water, or lemon juice and water.
Scorch
  • To remove a scorch mark from white linen, cut a raw onion and rub the scorched area with its flat side until onion juice is absorbed by the cloth. Let set, then soak in cold water for a few hours.
Stainless Steel
  • Remove streaks or heat stains by rubbing with any of the following: olive oil, club soda or white vinegar.
Wine
  • To remove red wine spilled on a rug, dab out excess moisture with an absorbent cloth and sprinkle lots of salt on the wine “stains.” Let sit for several hours. When dry, vacuum.
  • Clean stain immediately with club soda.
  • Immediately pour salt or hot water on stain and soak in milk before washing. Also works on fruit stains.

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