Anthony Jasenski, Chair of the County Legislature | Kathleen Rooney, County Manager
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Alternatives to Using Hazardous Substances in the Home

HAZARDOUS COMMERCIAL PRODUCT LESS HAZARDOUS ALTERNATIVE
General Cleaner * Vinegar or lemon juice diluted with water
* Three Tbl washing soda in quart of water
* Baking soda with water
Scouring Powder * Baking soda (do not use on aluminum), salt, or
   borax
Drain clogging prevention and declogging * Prevent clogs by using a strainer and keep hair,
   lint, food or coffee grounds out of the drain
* Prevent clogs by pouring 2-4 quarts of
   boiling water down the drain regularly
* Put 1/2 cup baking soda and 1/2 cup vinegar
   down the drain, wait 15 minutes and flush with
    boiling water
* Use a plunger or snake
Room deodorizer/freshener * Burn matches or a candle
* Place vinegar or vanilla in a dish for one hour
* Simmer 1 teaspoon of either pine oil, cloves,
   cinnamon stick or vanilla in 1 cup water for 5
    minutes
* Use herbs potpourri or incense.
Oven Cleaner

* Wipe up spills as soon as possible
* Catch spills under baking pan with
    a baking sheet or foil

Laundry/stain remover * Use a baking soda paste on stains or add dry
   for general laundry
* Use  brush and an abrasive soap
* Rub chalk on grease stains, let set and wash
* For perspiration stains, apply either salt water
   solution, baking soda paste or white vinegar
* Apply butter or shortening to chocolate stains
   as soon as possible, let stand at least  15
   minutes and wash
Toilet bowl cleaner * Use a baking soda or borax and vinegar paste. 
 Let sit two hours, then scrub.
* Flat cola for 1/2-1 hour, then brush and flush.
Porcelain cleaner Use a nylon pad:
* with baking soda paste,
* cream of tartar paste,
* or after rubbing with cut lemon
Grout cleaner Use a toothbrush with one of the following:
*  undiluted vinegar,
*  3  parts baking soda with one part water,
*  toothpaste, or
*  denture cream
Window/glass cleaner *  Wipe with newspaper
*  Use either  1/4 cup vinegar in 1 qt. water or
    2 tsp. borax or washing soda in 3 cups water
Silver polish *  Rub with baking soda paste
*  Soak in sour milk or buttermilk overnight
Chrome polish Rub with:
*  baking soda paste or
*  dry kitchen flour
Gypsy moth pesticide *  Scrape tan moth egg masses into soapy water
*  Tie a burlap strip around tree, then scrape
catepilars off strip
*  Two applications of NPV spray (a viral spray)
*  BT spay (a bacterial dust)
Ant repellent *  Keep environment clean
*  Repel with powdered red chili pepper, paprika, dried peppermint, or borax
*  Caulk or weatherstrip entry points
Cockroach pesticide *  Install screens and seal cracks around pipes and windows
*  Keep kitchen clean and store food, oil, grease
    and soaps in tin boxes or glass bottles or jars.
Insect repellent *  don't wear scented colognes, shaving lotions,
    deodorants, or shampoos when outdoors
*  Use chamomile tea as a lotion
*  Burn citronella, candles, punk, incense, or
    mosquito coils
Windshield cleaner *  Two tbs. vinegar, lemon juice, borax, or
    washing soda in 3 cups water
Wood preservative *  Use woods that are naturally weather and
    insect resistant, such as cedar, cypress,
    redwood,  honey locust or oak
Mothballs *  Keep garments clean, wrap in linen or
    seal in paper packages or cardboard boxes
*  Repel moths with cloves, lavender, tansy,
    whole peppercorns, wormwood,
    dried lemon peel, rosemary & mint, bunches
    of woodruff, or bags of cedar shavings
Source: Household Hazardous Waste, Reduce Your Use (Brochure), New York State DEC

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