Homemade Alternatives

Below is a list of recipes that substitute for many of the hazardous products in your household. These recipes provide you with safe alternatives.

Cleaning Substitutes

All-Purpose Cleaner

  • Vinegar and salt: Mix together for a good surface cleaner.
  • Baking soda: Dissolve 4 tablespoons of baking soda in 1 quart of warm water. Putting baking soda on a damp sponge will also work.


  • SoaRegular cleaning with plain soap and hot water will kill some bacteria.
  • Dry Areas: Mold, mildew, and bacteria cannot live without damp conditions.
  • Borax: Mix ½ cup of Borax into 1 gallon of hot water. You can clean with this solution.

Drain Cleaner

  • Prevention: To avoid clogging you drain, use a drain strainer to trap food particles and hair. Collect grease in cans instead of pouring it down your drain. Pour a kettle of boiling water down the drain weekly to melt fat buildup in your drain.
  • Baking soda and vinegar: Put ½ cup of baking soda and ½ cup of white vinegar down your drain and cover the drain. Let it set for a few minutes, then pour boiling water down the drain to flush it.

Furniture Polish

  • Olive oil and vinegar: Mix 3 parts olive oil to 1 part vinegar. Apply and polish with a clean, soft cloth.
  • Olive oil and lemon juice: Mix 2 parts oil and 1 part lemon juice. Apply and polish with a soft cloth.
  • Water spots: To remove water marks from furniture, rub gently with toothpaste on a damp cloth

Lime and Mineral Deposit Remover

  • Vinegar: Hard lime deposits around faucets can be softened for easy removal by covering the deposits with vinegar soaked paper towels. Leave the paper towels on for approximately one hour before cleaning. To remove deposits which may be clogging metal showerheads, combine ½ cup of white vinegar to 1 quart of water. Completely submerge the showerhead and boil for 15 minutes. If you own a plastic showerhead, combine 1 pint of white vinegar and 1 pint of hot water. Completely submerge the showerhead and soak for an hour.

Pest Removal



  • Flour and borax: Mix 1 cup flour and 2 cups Borax in a quart jar. Punch holes in the jar lid and sprinkle contents around the house foundation.
  • Pennyroyal, spearmint, southernwood and tansy: Growing these plants around the border of your home will deter ants and aphids.


  • Vinegar: A ratio of 1 teaspoon vinegar to 1 quart of water (per 40 lbs of pet weight) in their drinking water helps keep you pet free of fleas and ticks. This does not mean that you should stop giving your dogs flea and heartworm medication prevention from your local veterinarian.


  • Borax and flour: Mix ½ cup Borax and ¼ cup of flour and fill jar. Punch holes in jar lid and sprinkle contents where needed.