Many common household cleaning
products have toxic ingredients that can be harmful to
the environment and to human health. Volatile organic
compounds in cleaning products can affect indoor air
quality and also contribute to smog formation in outdoor
Here are some safe alternatives to protect the
environment and your family's health.
- Baking soda softens fabrics, deodorizes, and cleans
and polishes metals and plastics.
- Cornstarch cleans windows and carpets, and polishes
- Lemon juice deodorizes, cleans glass, and removes
- Mineral oil polishes furniture.
- Vinegar removes mildew, grease and wax; deodorizes;
cleans windows, brick and stone.
Natural Cleaning Recipes
- Air freshener: Place
shallow plates of vinegar in rooms to absorb odors.
Springle 1/2 cup borax in the bottom of trash cans
or diaper pails to prevents the growth of bacteria
- All purpose cleaner: Mix 4
tablespoons baking soda in 1 quart warm water and
Disinfectant: Mix 1/2 cup borax into 1 gallon of
- Drain cleaner: Pour 1/2 cup
baking soda down drain, add 1/2 cup white vinegar,
and cover the drain. Wait 15 minutes and then pour 1
gallon of hot water down the drain.
- Metal cleaner and polish:
For stainless steel, use undiluted white vinegar;
for tarnished copper, boil the item in a pot of
water with 1 tablespoon salt and 1 cup white
- Oven cleaner: Moisten oven
surfaces with water and sprinkle baking soda on
them. Scrub with steel wool.
- Toilet bowl cleaner: Mix
1/4 cup baking soda and 1 cup vinegar, pour into
toilet, let set for 5 minutes, then scrub with
- Oven cleaner: Pour salt on
spots as they occur and wipe while your oven is
warm. Use drip pans when cooking food to prevent
- Furniture polish: Mix 1
teaspoon olive oil and 1/2 cup lemon juice. Apply
with a soft cloth, rubbing into the grain. Buff with
a clean rag.
See more green cleaning tips from Metro.
Did You Know?
The average American reportedly uses some 40 pounds of toxic
household cleaning products each year. Ingredients
from household cleaning products make their way into the
environment from being flushed down toilets, poured down
sinks, sprayed into the air, and thrown into the trash. Many
hazardous cleaning products are also landfilled or
incinerated, upon which they release their toxins into the
environment and contribute to depletion of the ozone layer,
pollute groundwater, contaminate the soil, and harm plant
and animal life.