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Monday, August 13, 2007


These alternatives may require a little more "elbow grease", however the benefits are worth it - improved air quality, decreased exposure to chemicals, fewer waste disposal concerns, convenience and lower costs.

Product Alternative for:

Commercial Air Fresheners

Open windows, use baking soda to absorb odors, boil cinnamon & cloves in a pan on the stove, plants also help to remove odors from the air.

[You may also opt for peels from oranges or slices of lemon. I use this most of the time - ZAMejias]

All Purpose Cleaner

125 ml (½ cup) pure soap +
4 L (1 gal) hot water OR 60 ml (¼ cup) baking soda/borax
+ 1 L (4 cups) hot water, to cut grease add 60 ml (¼ cup) lemon juice.

Automatic Dishwasher or Detergent / Dish Soap

Hand-washing with soap flakes dissolved in hot water (add vinegar to cut grease).

Bathroom Cleaners

Clean regularly with soap & hot water. For tub & tile, use baking soda with a firm bristled brush OR 125 ml (½ cup) pure soap, 4 L (1 gal) hot water with baking soda.

For mould/grout, use vinegar.

[I always use baking soda, sometimes with vinegar, in warm water -ZAMejias]


125 ml (½ cup) borax with 1 L (4 cups) hot water.

Drain Cleaner

Cover drains with a screen to keep out debris. Use a plumber’s snake or plunger to clear drain. Pour 125 ml (½ cup) vinegar & 125 ml (½ cup) baking soda into drain. Cover tightly 1 min. then flush. Next use 125 ml (½ cup) salt + 125 ml (½ cup) baking soda + 1.5 L (6 cups) boiling water. Let sit several hours then flush with water.

[Pouring warm to hot water before doing the cleaning can also help drains that need minor de-clogging work. Very effective to cut grease - ZAMejias]

Furniture Polish

Dissolve 5 ml (1 tsp.) lemon oil in 250 ml (1 cup) vegetable, linseed or mineral oil, apply with a clean rag.

Glass Cleaner

Add 65 ml (4 tbsp.) vinegar or 15 ml (1 tbsp.) lemon juice to a spray bottle filled with warm water, polish.

[After cleaning the glass with this solution, wipe glass with old newspaper. I cannot explain this but newspaper works better than rag or cloth. Absorbs better. -ZAMejias]

Metal Polish Copper

Equal parts lemon juice & hot vinegar and a little salt, apply with dry rag.

  • Chrome - white flour on dry rage OR apple cider vinegar.
  • Brass - equal parts salt + flour with vinegar OR Worcestershire sauce.
  • Silver - paste of wood ash & water.

Oven Cleaner Scrub

Scrub with baking soda & steel wool OR 250 ml (1 cup) pure soap, 125 ml (½ cup) pure soap, 120 ml lemon juice or borax and 4 L (1 gal) hot water.

For baked on grease: mix paste of baking soda + salt + water.

Scouring Cleaner

Baking soda or paste of baking soda + soap.


80 ml (1/3 cup) of washing soda as machine fills, put in clothes + 375 ml (1½ cups) soap. For heavy soils presoak with 125 ml (½ cup) washing soda and warm water (30 min), rub soiled area with liquid soap.


Use washing soda, borax, OR hydrogen peroxide bleach.

[Soda water and white vinegar can also remove stains. ZAMejias]

These alternatives are lifted from
Photo from worldofstock

post signature


grace said...

I use baking soda all the time, even for my face! :-)
Great exfoliant and pore cleanser!

Silvia said...

It's great to see all these ideas in one place! Thanks!

tegdirb92 said...

what an excellent post! I will definitely be saving this post.

Stephanie said...

Great list. I love trying different homemade cleaners!

kwrenb said...

Because I have lung disease I know the importance of avoiding chemicals in the home. Thank you for this list - I will be sharing your link with others.

Anonymous said...

awesome tips, thanks so much

Cindy said...

Great ideas here on alternative cleaning products. I just finish making some automatic dish washing soap from another on-line recipe. It calls for 3 cups borax, 3 cups baking soda, and 1 cup of the cheapest dollar store type automatic dish washing soap. You mix it all together and the recipe says you only need to use 2 tablespoons per load! I just got it mixed up today so I hope it works as good as they say.