Safe and sustainable alternatives to household chemicals

This article cannot compete with the avalanche of millions of dollars of TV advertising that aims to sell household chemicals to the buyer, to make them believe that there is simply no alternative to it. Meanwhile, in the vast majority of cases, all these polluting agents are not needed at all. More precisely, they are needed only by those who earn money on them.

Multi-colored jars and boxes – the heroes of commercials – seem to us much more prestigious and modern than some kind of soda, soap chips, mustard, etc. But Canadian environmentalists offer in a specially released brochure “Recipe for a Clean Planet” good old home remedies – homemade powders and liquids from the simplest harmless substances – as part of a modern – eco-friendly lifestyle. Many alternatives to toxic chemicals are stored in old calendars, home economics books, magazines…

washing dishes

An excellent harmless washing powder is ordinary soda. If you add baking soda to soap residues soaked in hot water, you get a universal washing liquid – not just for washing dishes. To enhance the effect, you can add a small amount of vinegar. It is used in all cases, as “ordinary detergent”.

There are two wonderful abrasive products for cleaning an aluminum saucepan in the country: in summer – horsetail (the secret of its cleaning properties is the presence of silicic acid in the stems; even wooden floors were washed white with it), in winter – wood ash. You can use such an improvised adsorbent as drunk tea to remove fat.

In summer, in the country, you can dissolve greasy soot with a bunch of elderberries squeezed in your hand. It will degrease and disinfect dishes and brewed wormwood – this has been used for many years in an eco-camp near Koktebel …


This washing powder (from the book “Recipe for a Clean Planet”) can be used not only for hand washing, but also in the most expensive and modern washing machine. We give his recipe to allergy sufferers, parents of young children, to everyone who is adversely affected by factory washing powders. And also to everyone who does not want to pollute nature – especially when it comes to country washing next to the garden, or on the river.

So, in order to ensure a successful transition from commercial detergents (reagents) to a safe alternative, you must first get rid of their residues in your clothes. Wash clothes in the hottest water that the fabric can withstand, adding 50 ml of washing soda for each load. This must be done to prevent yellowing.

To prepare an environmentally friendly washing powder, mix 250 ml of grated soap, 125 ml of washing soda, 125 ml of borax (sodium tetraborate). Keep everything in a special box. Before washing, add 125 ml of this mixture to the water in your washing machine. By adding wine vinegar (125-250 ml) to the rinse, you can get rid of all soap residue and soften the fabric.

From the whiteness of the fabric, advertising makes the central problem of life. In parentheses, we note that the fabric, after applying bleach containing chlorine, of course, looks very white, but it is unlikely that the remains of bleach in the fabric, even if they are not visible, are a sign of real cleanliness.

In general, you can bleach without chlorine. For 10 liters of hot water, you can add 2 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide and 1 tablespoon of ammonia.

Check out this advice: “White socks, stockings are better washed if they are pre-soaked for 1-2 hours in water to which 1-2 tablespoons of boric acid are added.” Washing in soft water is easier. Hard water can be softened by adding baking soda or ammonia.

How to make the soaking procedure more efficient? Ensure minimum liquid and maximum foam. For example, put a thing soaked in hot water and soaped in a plastic bag, with little or no water. How to get rid of the stain? You can take reagents from the kitchen shelf or even straight from the dining table. Acid solvents are vinegar, lemon juice, cabbage pickle; adsorbents that absorb dirt and are removed with it – salt, starch, dormant tea … On a fresh stain from berries, wine, coffee, tea, jam, sprinkle thickly the adsorbent that is always at hand – table salt. Salt will immediately begin to absorb liquid, reducing the concentration of contamination in the fibers of the fabric. You can change the salt, pour a new portion. And as soon as the meal is over, wash the stain with hot water. The consequences are minimized. But fresh blood stains are not washed off with hot water – the protein coagulates, firmly binding to the tissue. It is best to soak fabric with both fresh and old blood stains (not just blood! Any protein contamination, such as cocoa, as well as used handkerchiefs) in an elemental solution – a tablespoon of salt per liter of cold water. Protein substances dissolve in such lightly salted water. And then – it is easy to wash the fabric in warm water with ordinary laundry soap. To remove grease stains, you can use dry chalk powder or dry talcum powder. A fresh stain is sprinkled with talc from the face and inside out, covered with clean paper and pressed down with a load, and the next day the thing is carefully knocked out and cleaned.

Even the dry-cleaner will not accept a thing spoiled by chewing gum. Here it is necessary to turn to physics, not to chemistry. Apply a piece of ice to the stained area and hold. Hardened gum marks come off easily.

Do I need “special means” to make terry bathrobes and towels fluffy? After washing, they can be held in, again, salted water and not ironed.


Windows are easy to clean with ammonia or table vinegar diluted with water in a ratio of 1:5. The liquid can be sprayed on the glass, and then the glass can be cleaned with old newspapers. Windows should not be washed in direct sunlight.

Tea will help to clean the carpet and refresh its colors. (First, the carpet is carefully cleaned with a vacuum cleaner). Just sprinkle wet tea on the surface of the carpet, and then sweep it with a piece of foam rubber. And after cleaning the carpet with a swab with sauerkraut, its pile acquires a fresh shine and softness.

Baking soda is perfect for cleaning white enameled surfaces of gas stoves, refrigerators, and stainless steel items. Only dry surfaces should be cleaned with a dry cloth. Often, grayish or yellowish spots form on the walls of the sink or bathtub. These are deposits of mineral salts contained in water. They are very hard – do not scrape off. But they can be easily dealt with by a solvent, which is likely to be found on the shelf. Put a cloth soaked in vinegar on the contaminated place, and after half an hour the deposits will be easily washed off.

Rusty spots on the walls of the sink are rubbed with a thick gruel – a mixture of salt and turpentine. If ammonia is added to a solution of soap residue, you get an excellent tool for washing painted floors, doors, window frames and other surfaces painted with oil paint. Wipe off a small spot from a ballpoint pen on oilcloth, plastic with a match head slightly moistened with water. Drops of wax from candles, frozen on polished furniture, are carefully removed with the tip of a table knife heated in boiling water. The trace can be erased. Leather upholstery of furniture, leather belts, gloves will be refreshed by whipped egg white, if applied with a woolen cloth and rubbed.

Do you buy insecticides? To fight cockroaches, it is not necessary to use toxic poisons, after which you will have to thoroughly rehabilitate the environment in your apartment or house. Many people know about an effective and harmless remedy: mix 1 hard-boiled egg yolk, an equal amount of boiled potatoes and 20 g of dry boric acid. Make small balls, arrange them in the kitchen, behind the stove, etc. and do not remove them as long as possible. Then, within a week or two, sweep out dead cockroaches. And then – forget about their existence.

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