Many homes in Tarrant County contain some type of household chemical product - drain cleaner, motor oil, oven cleaner, weed killer and bleach - just to name a few. In an effort to make our lives easier, we often turn to these products when it comes time to do our daily chores. However, when they are not used up, these household chemicals become household hazardous waste. Household hazardous waste that is disposed of improperly can contaminate our drinking water supplies.
Recipes for a Cleaner Environment
One way to avoid the disposal problems associated with household chemicals is to use non-hazardous or less-hazardous substitutes whenever possible. Using some of these alternatives may require more effort and a little more "elbow grease" than their commercial counterparts. Others may not work quite as well or as quickly as the commercial product. But, by using less hazardous products, you'll be helping to protect our local environment and save money at the same time!
Take 2 tablespoons of mild dish detergent 2 gallons warm water. Wash the car on the lawn or other porous surface, rather than letting rinse water enter a storm drain.
Apply baking soda with a damp sponge. Rinse well.
Combine mild dish detergent and baking soda. Scrub with a brush, rinse well.
Windows, windshields, headlights
Combine 1/4 cup white vinegar or 2 tablespoons lemon juice with 1 quart warm water in a spray bottle Use as you would any window cleaner.
Choose citrus-based degreasers over solvent types.
Baking soda and water paste. After reconnecting the terminals, wipe with petroleum jelly to prevent further corrosion.
Garage floor grease spots
Sprinkle kitty litter or cornmeal on the spot. Allow to sit several hours, sweep up, and dispose of in the garbage.
Mix 1/4 cup white vinegar to 1 quart warm water.
Vinyl floor cleaner
Mix 1/2 cup vinegar to 1 gallon warm water.
Use baking soda and scrub with a scrubbing pad. Or, sprinkle baking soda on a wet sponge and add vinegar on top.
Wood floor cleaner
Damp mop with a mild vegetable oil soap.
Toilet bowl cleaner
Sprinkle baking soda into toilet and scrub.
Mix 1 tablespoon of liquid soap, 1 tablespoon of borax, 1/4 cup vinegar (or squeeze of lemon), 1 quart warm water mixed together. Use for many cleaning jobs like countertops, floors, walls, rugs and upholstery.
Pumice sticks contain no harsh detergents or other chemicals, can be purchased at many hardware stores, and effectively cleans ovens, racks, barbeques and grills, removes rust from toilet bowls, and handles many other tough cleaning jobs.
Mix 1 cup of borax and 2 cups oatmeal. To neutralize odors, sprinkle mixture on carpet, let stand one hour, and then vacuum. Baking soda works also.
Apply olive oil or almond oil and rub in. Allow to stand several hours, and then polish with a soft, dry cloth. Note that varnished surfaces don't need to be oiled. Clean and dust with a damp cloth.
Tarrant County Public Health does not make any warranty, expressed or implied, or assume any responsibility for the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any of the suggestions listed above.
County Telephone Operator 817-884-1111
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