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Make Your Own Safer Solutions Cleaning Kit PDF Print E-mail

vinegar & bicarbonate of sodaA safer solution to cleaning is to make you own household cleaning kit... it  avoids the risks of some commercial products, especially if you or your children suffer from asthma, skin or other allergies.

Caution: Eucalyptus and tea tree oil cause allergic skin reactions in susceptible people. They should not be used on plastics. 

These products can be bought from specialist shops stocking environmentally and health-safe products, from corner stores and supermarkets. Find more information on the products on the A-Z of Chemicals in the Home page on this website.

From each category, select safe products for your cleaning needs.

Tips for choosing safe cleaners

  • safer products frequently use plant-based substances in their formulation 
  • avoid products containing synthetic fragrances
  • avoid products containing petrochemical substances.

General cleaners | Spot and antiseptic cleaners | Other cleaners and materials

General cleaners

Bicarbonate of Soda

Bicarbonate of soda


  • cleaning, scrubbing, scouring
  • body deodorant - use like talcum powder
  • flea deterrent - sprinkle
  • toothpaste substitute - make a paste with water and apply to toothbrush
  • refrigerator deodorant - leave in bowl or open box in refrigerator
  • drain unblocker - a handful of bicarbonate of soda emptied into the drain and followed  by a half a cup of white vinegar
  • coffee stain, crayon, marker pen remover -sprinkle on microfibre cloth and rub; wipe with clean cloth.

What is bicarbonate of soda?

Bicarbonate of soda is also known as sodium bicarbonate or baking soda. It is a white, powdery substance used in cooking as well as in cleaning. Do not confuse baking soda with baking flour.


A-Z of Chemicals in the Home
Read the online book: Ingenious and Resourceful Uses of Baking Soda -

VinegarWhite vinegar


  • cleaning stained stainless steel cookware - add a few tablespoons of white vinegar to a few tablespoons of salt; also useful for cleaning copper cookware
  • window cleaner - four portions water to one of white vinegar; also cleans some timber floor surfaces (test on small area first) and ceramic tile
  • unblocking drains - see above > bicarbonate of soda
  • fabric softener - add 100ml to rinse cycle
  • cleaning dishwashers - 200ml in an empty dishwasher - put through wash cycle
  • removes residue of adhesive on glass and surfaces - dab adhesive with rag or tissue sprinkled with vinegar and scrub; dry surface.

What is white vinegar?

Vinegar is a sour-tasting liquid made by oxidising wine, fruit juice or cider. It is very acidic, with commercial vinegar having an acidity (pH) of around 2.5. Acetic acid gives vinegar its characteristic taste. Vinegar is used in food preparation.


A-Z of Chemicals in the Home

Castile soap


  • washing plates and kitchen utensils
  • grease remover.

What is castile soap?

A liquid soap made entirely from vegetable substances - contains no animal product.

SoapPure soap and shaker


Pure soap housed in a shaker and shaken in a sink of warm water is an old and safe solution to washing up.

What is pure soap?

Pure soap contains no 'extra' additives such as colorants and fragrances.

Detergent - low phosphate, low nitrogen


General cleaning; cleaning kitchen plates and utensils.

What is detergent?

A synthetic product designed for a multitude of household applications - see label.

Low-phosphate and low-nitrogen detergents release fewer nutrients into the environment.

Lemon juiceLemon juice


  • stain remover on laminated surfaces and porcelain
  • removes perspiration and other stains from clothing
  • grease remover
  • dissolves gunky buildup, tarnishes and dirt.

What is lemon juice?

The acidic juice of the citrus fruit, lemon, of which citric acid comprises about 2.5 per cent and gives lemon its characteristic sour taste.

Spot & antiseptic cleaners 

Eucalyptus oil


  • stain remover for clothing
  • antibacterial cleaner
  • disinfectant
  • deororiser
  • cleaner
  • solvent
  • anticeptic.

What is eucalyptus oil?

A clear, aromatic liquid distilled from the foliage of eucalyptus trees.


Poison. Keep out of reach of children. Some people suffer allergic skin reaction from eucalyptus oil. Avoid use on plastics.


A-Z of Chemicals in the Home
Bosisto's Botanicals

Tea tree oil


  • antibacterial cleaner - add a few drops to water
  • disinfectant
  • antiseptic
  • cleaning floors, bathrooms, kitchen and bathroom surfaces - one capful to bucket of water
  • disinfect and freshen clothing by adding fine drops to rinse cycle of washing machine (source: Bosisto's Botanicals )
  • mould, mildew cleaner -15 drops in 750ml water in spray bottle; shake; spray on; do not rinse.

What is tea tree oil?

Tea tree oil is a colourless, aromatic liquid distilled from foliage of a species of Australian  paperbark - Malaleuca alternifolia.


Some people suffer allergic skin reaction from eucalyptus oil. Do not use on plastics.


A-Z of Chemicals in the Home

Other cleaners and materials 

Microfibre cloth


For cleaning surfaces, video and computer screens, cleaning car interiors and exteriors.

The online encyclopedia Wikipedia ( advises:

Care should be exercised when using Microfiber for cleaning of sensitive surfaces. Microfiber by nature accumulates dust/debris/particles inside its cloth. Sensitive surfaces can easily be damaged by Microfiber cloths. A solution is to wash and dry Microfiber cloth after each use, care should be taken to use prescribed washing and drying methods to ensure proper handling. Microfiber cloths which are not washed and dried carefully and strictly according to washing instructions will lose their effectiveness and become more dangerous in cleaning sensitive surfaces (such as all high tech coated surfaces eg. TFT/LCD /TV monitor/plasma/laptop screens).

What is microfibre?

A synthetic cloth of petrochemical origin made of fine fibre.


A-Z of Chemicals in the Home.

Steel wool


Scourer for plates, kitchen utensils etc.

What is steel wool?

Very fine steel filament formed into a pad for ease of use when cleaning.



  • deodouriser
  • stain remover
  • improves cleaning power of soap
  • bait to control infestations of ants, cockroaches - sprinkle where seen.

What is borax?

A chemical or mineral compound known as Sodium borate or Sodium tetraborate. The term may also describe Borax decahydrate, Anhydrous borax or Borax pentahydrate.

In nature, borax is a an evaporation product of seasonal lakes.

As a synthetic product, borax is made from boron compounds.


A-Z of Chemicals in the Home
Wikipedia -

Safer Solutions does not warrant any product or substance on this website. Different people and materials may react differently to any substance. Safer Solutions advises a spot test before full use of any substance or product. Read the label before use and observe any precautions advised.

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