You can reduce the amount of hazardous materials you purchase by using alternative methods or products without hazardous ingredients. Here are alternatives to some common household items.
Use a plunger or plumber's snake.
Clean spills as soon as the oven cools using steel wool and baking soda; for tough stains add salt (do not use this method in self-cleaning or continuous-cleaning ovens).
Mix 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice in 1 quart of water. Spray on and use newspaper to wipe dry.
Toilet bowl cleaner
Use a toilet brush and baking soda or vinegar. (This will clean but not disinfect.)
Mix 1 teaspoon of lemon juice in 1 pint of mineral or vegetable oil, and wipe furniture.
Deodorize dry carpets by sprinkling liberally with baking soda. Wait at least 15 minutes and vacuum. Repeat if necessary.
Boil 2 to 3 inches of water in a shallow pan with 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and a sheet of aluminum foil. Totally submerge silver and boil for 2 to 3 more minutes. Wipe away tarnish. Repeat if necessary. (Do not use this method on antique silver knives. The blade will separate from the handle.) Another alternative is to use nonabrasive toothpaste.
Wipe leaves with mild soap and water; rinse.
Use cedar chips, lavender flowers, rosemary, mint, or white peppercorns.
Flea and tick products
Put brewer's yeast or garlic in your pet's food; sprinkle fennel, rue, rosemary or eucalyptus seeds or leaves around animal sleeping areas.