Use Less Toxic Alternatives

Marigolds can repel nematodes.

Using alternative products instead of toxic substances drastically reduces the presence of toxins in stormwater and receiving waters.

What are some eco-friendly alternatives to hazardous waste products?


Purpose Less Toxic Alternative
Air freshener Simmer cinnamon and cloves
Aluminum spot remover 2 tablespoons cream of tartar + 1 quart hot water
Ants Red chili powder at point of entry
Bleach Borax
Brass polish Worcestershire sauce
Car battery corrosion Baking soda + water, carbonated soft drinks
Chrome polish Apple cider vinegar, baby oil to polish
Cleaners: general household Baking soda
Coffee cup stain remover Moist salt
Coffee pot stain Vinegar
Copper cleaner Lemon juice + salt
Decal remover Soak in white vinegar
Dish detergent: grease cutter 1/2 cup baking soda + usual amount of liquid detergent
Drain cleaner Plunger followed by 1/2 cup baking soda + 1/2 cup of vinegar + 2 quarts boiling water
Fertilizer Compost and vermicompost
Fiberglass stain remover Baking soda paste
Fleas on pets Gradually add brewers yeast to pet’s diet
Flies Well-watered pot of basil
Furniture polish 1 tablespoon lemon oil in 1 pint of mineral oil
Garbage disposal deodorizers Used lemons
Grease fire Douse with baking soda
Grease removal Borax on damp cloth
Hand cleaner: paint/grease Baby oil
Ink spot remover Cold water + 1 tablespoon cream of tartar + 1 tablespoon lemon juice
Insects on plants Soapy water on leaves, then rinse
Laundry detergent Basic soap
Linoleum floor cleaner 1 cup white vinegar + 2 gallons water
Mildew remover Equal parts of vinegar and salt
Mosquito repellent Burn citronella candles or citronella oil
Moth repellent Cedar chips enclosed in cotton sachets
Nematode repellent Plant marigolds
Oil stain remover White chalk rubbed into stain before laundering
Oven cleaner 2 tablespoons liquid soap + 2 tablespoons borax with warm water
Paint; oil based/ stain/spray Water-based, non-aerosol paints
Paint brush softener Hot vinegar
Perspiration spot remover Baking soda
Pet odor remover Cider vinegar
Porcelain stain remover Baking soda
Refrigerator deodorizer Open box baking soda
Roach repellent Chopped bay leaves and cucumber skins
Rug/carpet cleaner Club soda
Rust removal (clothing) Lemon juice + salt + sunlight
Rusty bolt/nut removal Carbonated beverage
Scorch mark removal Grated onion
Scouring powder Baking soda
Shaving cream Brush and shaving soap
Shoe polish Banana peel
Silver polish 1 quart warm water + 1 tablespoon baking soda + a piece of aluminum foil + 1 tablespoon salt in a glass dish; soak silver, rinse, dry
Slug and snail repellent Onion and marigold plants
Spot remover Club soda, lemon juice or salt
Stainless steel polish Mineral oil
Toilet bowl cleaner Paste of borax + lemon juice
Tub and tile cleaner 1/4 cup of baking soda + 1/2 cup white vinegar + warm water
Upholstery spot removal Club soda
Water mark removal Toothpaste
Water softener 1/4 cup vinegar
Wine stain remover Salt
Window cleaner 2 tablespoons vinegar in 1 quart warm water
Wood polish 3 parts olive oil + 1 part white vinegar; almond or olive oil (interior unvarnished wood only)
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