I have asthma. I get so tired of looking for cleaning shortcuts that do not bother my allergies and asthma. Between fumes and "fragrances" it is pretty hard sometimes. This problem is what led me to try the homemade laundry soap, which, by the way, I still love!
Alternative Cleaning Recipes
Many commercial cleaners contain toxic substances that are dangerous to our health and the environment. Nontoxic alternatives are not only as effective and easy to use as their commercial counterparts, but are also safer. Best of all, the nontoxic alternatives are less expensive. Try out these alternative recipes!
Some ingredients you might try instead:
|Baking Soda||Vegetable-based Liquid Soaps||White Vinegar|
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 counter tops, floors, walls, carpets and upholstery.
Sprinkle baking soda, or mix baking soda with water, and scrub with a wet sponge. If the baking soda leaves a residue, rinse with cold water and vinegar. Dry with a cloth. Also, non chlorinated scouring powders are safe to use, ex; Bon Ami.
• Scrub mildew spots with borax/water solution (1/2 C. borax to 1 gallon water) using a nylon scouring pad. To prevent mold or mildew from forming, don’t rinse of the borax.
• Scrub with a vinegar and salt paste.
• If you have major problems, the best solution is heat. Applying heat to an area will kill mold and mildew.
• Use vinegar, lemon or a citrus-based cleaner.
• Also: Mix 1/2 teaspoon washing soda (sodium carbonate, soda ash or sal soda), 2 tablespoons white vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon liquid soap and 2 cups hot water.
• Put 1/4 cup borax in toilet bowl and let sit for a few hours or overnight. Next day, scrub – or scrub with a solution of 1/2 cup borax to 1 gallon of water. A few drops of pine oil can be added for increased disinfecting. (Note: some people are allergic to pine oil.)
• Scrub with baking soda and/or liquid soap. To remove stains, pour 1/4 cup borax and let sit for at least 30 minutes, scrub and flush.
Tub and Tiles
• Scrub surfaces with baking soda slightly moistened with water.
• To remove mineral deposits around faucets, cover deposits with strips of paper towels, soaked in vinegar. Let sit for 1 hour and clean.
• Alternately, soak fabric in 1/4 cup borax and 2 cups cold water.
• Fruit and Wine: Immediately blot stain with a towel and add cold water, continuing to blot.
• Grease: Pour boiling water on stains and follow with dry baking soda.
• Blood: Soak in cold water or remove with hydrogen peroxide. For more stubborn stains, apply a paste of cornstarch, corn meal or talcum powder. Allow to dry, brush away.
• Rust: Saturate with lemon juice and rub with salt. Place in direct sunlight until dry, then wash.
• Mildew: Pour soap and salt on spots and place in sunlight. Keep moist and repeat as often as necessary.
• Perspiration odor: Add one cup vinegar or baking soda per wash load.
1 quart warm water
2 teaspoons borax
2 tablespoons liquid soap
Spray on solution, wait 20 minutes, then clean.
• Alternately: make a thick paste with water and baking soda and scrub with a nylon scrubbing pad. If greasy, add a small amount of liquid soap. To remove spots, use very fine steel wool. A wet cleaning pumice bar can be used to remove the toughest spots.
• 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. Also, pour boiling water down drains on a weekly basis to prevent grime buildup.
• For clogged drains, use a plunger or snake. Before using a plunger, be sure there is water standing over the drain. Push and pull vigorously.
• Prevention: put a strainer or filter in all drains, never pour any type of grease down your drains, use an enzyme based "buildup remover" to break down grease and prevent clogs, plant away from sewer lines.
•Rub object gently with toothpaste (or a baking soda/water paste) on a soft cloth to avoid scratching. Rinse well with water.
•Boil silver 3 minutes in a quart of water containing 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt and a piece of aluminum foil.
• Unvarnished wood: use almond, walnut or olive oil.
• Varnished wood: use a mild vegetable oil soap.
• To remove watermarks from wood furniture: rub toothpaste on spot and polish with a soft cloth.
• Pour vanilla extract on a cotton ball in a saucer.
• Set out a dish of vinegar, or boil 1 tablespoon white vinegar in 1 cup of water to eliminate cooking odors.
• Wrap cloves and cinnamon in cheesecloth and boil in water.
• Cover the bottom of your cat’s litter box with baking soda before adding litter.
• Use baking soda in refrigerators, closets and other enclosed areas to absorb odors.
Take a handful of dry baking soda and rub it vigorously into your wet hair and scalp, rinse thoroughly and dry. Wash your hair at the same intervals as you usually do but only use baking soda and no chemicals whatsoever. At first your hair might look like straw but stick with it. After a few weeks your scalp will begin to generate its natural oils, stop flaking and your hair will get very soft.