Greener Behrend: Environmentally-Friendly Cleaning

Many companies now offer full lines of environmentally-friendly cleaning products

  • Six ingredients can meet most of cleaning needs:
    • Vinegar
    • Soap
    • Baking soda
    • Washing soda
    • Borax
    • Ammonia
  • Furniture or floor polish
    • Lemon oil and beeswax in mineral oil base
  • Laundry detergent
    • Soak in cool water
    • Hand-washing: bar of soap and small amounts of washing soda
    • Washing machines: phosphate-free powders
  • Drain cleaners
    • Never pour liquid grease down a drain
    • Once a week:
      • Mix:
        • 1 cup baking soda
        • 1 cup salt
        • ¼ cup cream of tartar
        • Pour ¼ mixture down drain, follow with a pot of boiling water
    • To remove a clog:
      • Pour: 
        • ¼ cup baking soda, followed by ½ cup vinegar
        • Close drain till fizzing stops, flush with boiling water
  • Control of indoor pests:
    • Ants
      • Sprinkle barriers of:
        • Talcum powder
        • Chalk
        • Bone meal
        • Boric acid
  • Cockroaches
    • Repair cracks
    • Light dusting of borax around fridge, stove and ductwork
    • For a trap:
      • Grease inner neck of bottle and put stale beer or raw potato inside
      • Combine sugar, flour and boric acid into powder
    • Flies
      • Shut windows before the sun hits them
  • Moths
    • Keep woolens and other cloths dry and well aired
    • Store in:
      • Cedar chests or closets
      • Tightly sealed plastic bags
  • Ticks and fleas
    • After washing, apply herbal rinse
    • Herbal rinse:
      • ½ cup fresh or dried rosemary to quart of boiling water
      • Steep twenty minutes
      • Strain
      • Allow to cool
      • Spray or sponge evenly
      • Do not rinse off
    • Prevent entrance of pests
    • Repair holes
    • Reduce moisture
    • Add weather stripping
    • Use low toxicity chemicals
    • Boric acid
    • Silica aerogel
    • Diatomaceous earth
  • Don’t use paradichlorobenze (PDCB) containing deodorizers
  • All-purpose cleaner
    • 1 gallon hot water
    • ¼ cup sudsy ammonia
    • ¼ cup vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon baking soda
    • For stronger cleaner double all ingredients except water
  • Toilet bowl cleaner
    • Strong solution of natural acid (i.e. vinegar)
  • Glass cleaner
    • 2 tablespoons borax or washing soda
    • 3 cups water
  • Air fresheners
    • Open window or use exhaust fan as natural air freshener
    • Simmer small amount of:
      • Cinnamon
      • Orange peel
      • Cloves
    • Potpourri candles
    • Fresh cut flowers
    • Open box of baking soda