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New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services
PUBLIC GOVERNMENT BUSINESS A to Z LIST

Alternative Household Products
Part of pollution prevention is "product substitution," that is, using a less toxic or non-toxic product to create a less toxic or non-toxic waste. The following is a partial list of substitutions to consider as alternatives to the toxic products you may be presently using.
  • Ant Control
    Mix 2 tbls. boric acid, 2 tbls. sugar and 1 cup water. Soak paper towels, place on dishes, and set out for ants. Pour a line of cream of tartar where ants enter.
    Put a light coating of petroleum jelly around the base of your pet’s feeding dish to keep ants out.
  • Air Freshener
    Simmer cloves and cinnamon in boiling water.
    Leave opened box of baking soda in room.
    Set out a dish of vinegar.
  • Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner
    Clean stains immediately with club soda.
    Sprinkle cornstarch on rug and vacuum.
    Use soap-based, non-aerosol rug shampoo.
  • Chrome Cleaner
    Use baking soda and a dry cloth.
  • Drain Opener
    Use a plunger or mechanical snake.
    Pour 1/2 cup washing soda into drain, then pour 2 cups boiling water into drain. Flush drain weekly with boiling water.
  • Flea & Tick Repellent
    Scatter pine needles, fennel, rue or rosemary on pet’s bed. Feed pet brewer's yeast, vitamin B or garlic tablets.
  • Furniture Polish
    Mix 2 parts vegetable oil and 1 part lemon juice. Apply, rub in, wipe clean.
  • Insect Spray for Plants
    Blend 6 cloves crushed garlic, 1 minced onion, 1 tbls. dried hot pepper and 1 tbls. pure soap in 1-gallon hot water. Let sit 1 to 2 days; strain and use.
  • Laundry Presoak
    Make paste of baking soda and water; apply to dirty spots.
  • Metal Cleaner
    Make paste of salt, vinegar and flour. Start with a half-cup of salt, add enough vinegar to dissolve, add flour to create a damp paste.
  • Mothballs
    Sew dried lavender or cedar chips into small cloth bags and place with clothes.
  • Multi-Purpose Cleaner
    Mix 1/2 cup ammonia, 1/3 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup baking soda in 1 gallon of warm water.
  • Silver Polish
    Soak silver in a quart warm water containing 1 tsp. baking soda, 1 tsp. salt and a piece of aluminum foil.
  • Porcelain Cleaner
    Make paste from baking soda and water; apply to stain, let set, rub clean, rinse.
  • Septic System Cleaner
    Use professional service every 2 to 3 years.
    Chemical treatments don’t work; some can actually harm your system.
  • Window Cleaner
    Use 1/2 cup vinegar in 1 gallon of warm water.
    Use lemon juice and dry soft cloth.
    Use newspaper to dry glass.



NH Department of Environmental Services | 29 Hazen Drive | PO Box 95 | Concord, NH 03302-0095
(603) 271-3503 | TDD Access: Relay NH 1-800-735-2964 | Hours: M-F, 8am-4pm

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