Green Cleaning Products

Green Cleaning Products and Safe Alternatives to Commonly Used Household Hazardous Materials

Many household cleaners contain materials that may be harmful to the environment. For instance, phosphates, found in many cleaners, detergents and soaps, when washed into waterways can cause water blooms of algae and bacteria which can kill fish and aquatic plants. Other chemicals found in common household cleaners may include neurotoxins, carcinogens, allergens and heavy metals. Most stores and online retailers sell natural cleaning products that offer environmentally sound, cost-efficient alternatives to the toxic and potentially lethal household cleaning products used in many homes today. When shopping, look at the labels and make the switch to natural products.

You can also detoxify your home by making your own environmentally safe and effective products.

Homemade Alternatives to Toxic Household Products

All purpose cleaners:

  • 1 cup of baking soda in 1 gallon of hot water
  • ¼ cup of borax and 1 tbsp. liquid soap in 1 gallon of hot water

Deodorizers:

  • Baking soda or cornstarch
  • Zeolite is a non-toxic mineral that absorbs odors, bacteria and mold

Disinfectants:

  • Citrus based products
  • Mix ¼ cup borax with ¼ cup white vinegar in hot water

Drain Cleaners:

  • Use ¼ cup baking soda, followed by ½ cup vinegar. Cover until fizzing stops, and then flush with boiling water
  • Use a plunger or drain snake on major clogs

Metal polishes:

  • Brass – Olive oil retards tarnishing
  • Chrome – Polish with baby oil
  • Copper – Use a paste made of lemon juice and cream of tartar, leave on for 5 minutes, wash in warm water

Laundry products:

  • Use borax instead of bleach
  • To remove blood stains, soak in cold water, club soda or hydrogen peroxide

Oven Cleaners:

  • Apply a baking soda paste, let stand for 1 hour to overnight
    Self-cleaning ovens work well and use no cleaners

Scouring powder:

  • Baking soda paste
  • Pumice stick on porcelain surfaces

Toilet bowl cleaners:

  • For rings, mix borax and lemon juice into a paste, cover ring with paste, let sit for 2 hours
  • Pumice stone will remove stains

Tub and tile cleaners:

  • Use ½ cup of borax in hot water
  • Sprinkle with baking soda

Tips on How to be a Responsible Consumer and How to Reduce Hazardous Waste:

Buy Responsibly

  • Compare and read labels
  • Buy only what you need
  • Purchase or make your own environmentally friendly non-toxic cleaning products
  • Use latex paint instead of oil-based paint

Store Responsibly

  • Keep hazardous waste out of the reach of children, animals, and away from food, water and heat sources
  • Store materials in their original containers with labels in tact
  • Separate flammable, corrosive and poisonous products

Dispose Properly

  • Always try to purchase only the amount needed
  • Never place hazardous wastes in recycling receptacles or trashcans
  • Don’t flush hazardous wastes down toilets, household drains or in storm drains
  • Deliver excess household hazardous waste in their original container with label in tact to the Prince George’s County Household Hazardous Waste Acceptance Site. If product label is not legible, use permanent marker to write the chemical name on the container.
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