About Home Chemicals
A toxic substance means any chemical or mixture that may be harmful to the environment and to human health if inhaled, swallowed or absorbed through the skin. There are naturally occurring toxins, poisonous substances coming from living organisms, found in certain plants such as poinsettias and even some wild mushrooms and berries.
Even personal medications can be toxic to the environment, and proper disposal of pharmaceuticals is a growing concern in across the nation.
Proper Handling of Home Chemicals
The City of Irving facilitates the proper handling of home chemicals in two ways:
Proper Disposal of Medication
Medicines play an important role in treating many conditions and diseases, but when they are no longer needed, it’s important to dispose of them properly to avoid harm to others. Learn how you can help keep your community and your neighbors safe at the Pharmaceuticals Disposal page.
Alternatives to Home Chemicals
There are alternatives to home cleaners, which do not have chemicals. Here are some simple recipes, which can be made at home.
A word of caution on making homemade cleaners: Never mix bleach with any type of acid such as ammonia or vinegar. It will cause toxic fumes that are very dangerous.
- Window Cleaner
- Cleaning with Vinegar
- More Vinegar Uses
- Soft Scrubbing-Type Cleaners
- Rug Deodorizer
- Cleaning with Baking Soda
- Furniture Polish
- All-Purpose Cleaner
Alvin Corn Homemade Glass Cleaner:
1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 cup warm water
Combine everything in a new spray bottle, and shake well. Note: Always mix rubbing alcohol in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling vapors.
(Source: Crunchy Betty)
Mix equal parts of water with vinegar. Pour into a spray bottle.
½ teaspoon of mild dish detergent
3 tablespoons of vinegar
2 cups of water
Pour into a spray bottle.
Benefits of Cleaning with Vinegar
Vinegar is made from corn alcohol, nutrients and water. During fermentation, the corn alcohol is changed into vinegar. The resultant product contains no preservatives, additives or chemicals that pose concern in relation to health.
Householders who clean with vinegar can have peace of mind, knowing that no chemical fumes are inhaled and no residues remain on household surfaces.
Because of its acidity, vinegar is an effective agent for killing most mold and bacteria and even germs. As reported by author Vicki Lanski in her Nov. 25, 2003 Book, Vinegar: Over 400 Various, Versatile and Very Good Uses You've Probably Never thought Of for Vinegar (Book Peddlers), "its acetic quality enables it to kill bacteria, mold and germs while being safe enough not to harm the body or the environment."
Other cleaning uses for vinegar
Vinegar has multiple uses in home. It can be used to tackle everyday household cleaning projects.
- A tea kettle covered on the inside with lime deposits can be treated with an application of vinegar. Undiluted vinegar can be poured into the kettle and left to sit overnight. For stubborn deposits, the kettle can be boiled using vinegar in place of water.
- Vinegar mixed into a pail of hot water is still one of the best window cleaners around. Windows wiped with newspapers afterward will turn out lint and streak-free.
- Vinegar makes a good grease cutter. A cloth dampened with vinegar can be wiped over household areas where grease accumulates, such as ceiling fan blades, exhaust fan grids or glass oven doors.
- Mattress stains caused by small children or pets can be treated with vinegar and water.
- No-wax floors can be mopped with a solution of warm water and vinegar.
- A natural air freshener can be made from 1/2 cup of vinegar, 2 cloves, and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. These ingredients should be mixed in a jar and microwaved for 1 minute. This mixture absorbs odors instead of masking them.
- A solution of equal amounts of vinegar and hot water is effective for cleaning venetian blinds.
- Mildew can be removed with a full-strength solution of vinegar.
- Doorknobs are breeding grounds for germs. Knobs and surrounding areas can be sprayed with undiluted vinegar.
- Bathroom areas can be sprayed with full-strength vinegar to kill germs.
There are no measurements necessary.
Simply put a small amount of baking soda in a bowl and add a small amount of liquid dish detergent until you have a smooth paste or frosting-like substance.
This cleaner works well on countertops, toilet bowls and tubs, sinks, floors and ovens ... on any surface that you would normally use a commercial soft scrub cleaner.
Lightly sprinkle baking soda on dry rugs and carpets.
Let sit, then vacuum.
Baking soda neutralizes acids and breaks down proteins. It is especially effective for cutting through dried-on grease and for combating stains. Bicarbonate of soda neutralizes acidic scent molecules, which makes it an effective deodorizer.
- Baking soda has a fine gritty texture so it can be used for scouring while still being a gentle cleaner.
- It has antiseptic and disinfectant properties.
- It is fragrance-free, suitable for those sensitive to perfumes.
- Great to use on carpets as a deodorizer.
- It is environmentally friendly.
- Sodium bicarbonate is safe to use on most surfaces.
- Baking soda is inexpensive.
Use one part lemon juice to two parts olive or vegetable oil.
Apply with a cotton cloth.
Store in a spray bottle for easy application.
All-Purpose Cleaner (bucket volume)
½ cup ammonia
¼ cup vinegar
¼ cup baking soda
Mix these ingredients with 1 gallon of warm water and use for basic cleaning jobs around the home.
Double the above ingredients for cleaning shower walls or other extra heavy-duty areas.