Glossary

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Cleaning Products

Practical Tips

list
  • Baking Soda: cleans, deodorizes, softens water, scours. It can absorb odors in the air or carpet and, with a damp cloth, works as a gentle cleanser for kitchen counter tops, bathtubs, and ovens. care2
  • Soap: unscented soap in liquid form, flakes, powders or bars is biodegradable and will clean just about anything. Add 2 or 3 tablespoons of vinegar to warm, soapy water on tough dishwashing jobs. Avoid using soaps which contain petroleum distillates.
  • Borax: (sodium borate) cleans, deodorizes, disinfects, softens water, cleans wallpaper and painted walls and floors.
  • White Vinegar: cuts grease, removes mildew, odors, and also some stains and wax build-up. Hot vinegar is generally more effective for cleaning purposes.
  • Washing Soda: or SAL Soda, cuts grease, removes stains, softens water, cleans wall, tiles, sinks and tubs. Use care, as washing soda can irritate mucous membranes. Don’t use on aluminum, fiberglass, or waxed floors (wax will come off). care2
  • Isopropyl Alcohol: is an excellent disinfectant. (It has been suggested to replace this with ethanol or 100 proof alcohol in solution with water. There is some indication that isopropyl alcohol buildup contributes to illness in the body. See http://drclark.ch/g)
  • Cornstarch: can be used to clean windows, polish furniture, shampoo carpets and rugs.
  • Citrus Solvent: cleans paintbrushes, oil and grease, and some stains. (Citrus solvent may cause skin, lung or eye irritations for people with multiple chemical sensitivities.)
  • Trisodium phosphate (TSP): a mixture of soda ash and phosphoric acid. TSP is toxic if swallowed, but it can be used on many jobs, such as cleaning drains or removing old paint, that would normally require much more caustic and poisonous chemicals, and it does not create any fumes.