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Natural Recipes for Home and Garden

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A Guide of Helpful Hints to Make Your Home & Garden Environmentally Friendly.  Homemade Remedies Which May be Alternatives to Household Hazardous Products.  Return to Household Hazardous Waste page.

Household Recipes

As with other products used in your home, try these in small and inconspicuous areas first, and always follow manufacturers' cleaning recommendations on furniture, fixtures and carpets.

  • All Purpose Cleaner: Mix one quarter cup of vinegar with one gallon of hot water.  Keep on hand in spray bottle.

  • Abrasive Cleanser: Mix equal parts of salt and baking soda.  Scrub with mixture and wet sponge.  Rinse with all purpose cleaner and then with warm water.

  • Ant Repellents: Place chili powder, talcum powder or powdered chalk at points of entry.

  • Bathroom Cleanser: Scrub area with baking soda and wet sponge.  Rinse with all purpose cleaner.

  • Brass or Copper Polish: Mix one teaspoon salt, one tablespoon flour and enough vinegar to make a thick paste.  Rub paste on surface and let dry completely.  Rinse in warm soapy water, buff with clean soft cloth.

  • Drain Cleaner: Pour one quarter cup of baking soda down the drain: follow with one-half cup of vinegar.  After "fizzing" stops, flush with boiling water.

  • Floor Cleaner: Mix one-half cup of white vinegar with one-half gallon of warm water.

  • Furniture Polish: Mix together one-half cup of lemon juice with one cup of mineral oil.  Rub on wood furniture with soft cloth.  A mixture of 3 cups olive oil and 2 cups vinegar can also be an effective polish, just rub on wood with a soft cloth.

  • Pet Stain Cleaner: Mix together one quarter cup of white vinegar and one quarter cup of liquid soap.  Rub into stain and then blot.  Rinse with warm water.

  • Silver Polish: Put a sheet of aluminum foil in the bottom of the sink and fill with two to three inches of warm water.  Add one tablespoon each of salt and baking soda.  Place silver in water, touching foil.  Soak for one hour.  Rinse in soapy water.  Buff with soft, dry cloth.

  • Window Cleaner: Mix together three tablespoons of vinegar and one quart of hot water.  Put in spray bottle.  Spray on windows and glass.  Wipe off with crumpled newspaper or a squeegee.

  • Oven Cleaner: Scour with baking soda and water.  To prevent grease buildup, always clean spills as soon as the oven cools down.

  • Laundry Detergent: Try borax or baking soda.  Add a few drops of vinegar to keep colors bright.

Natural Recipes for a Pest-Free Garden

A beautiful and healthy garden is possible without the use of expensive and often hazardous chemicals.

All-purpose insect spray: 

  • 1 garlic bulb
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp liquid soap (hand soap only).

Chop or grind garlic and onion, add cayenne and mix with water.  Let stand 1 hour, then add liquid soap.  Store in a covered jar in the refrigerator up to one week.  Use as a spray wherever insects are causing a problem.

Animal Repellent Sprays

Use a spray on the plants and yard area where these animals are causing problems.

Cats:

  • 2 parts cayenne powder
  • 1 garlic
  • 3 parts dry mustard powder
  • 5 parts flour
  • Add sufficient water

Dogs:

  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 tsp Tabasco sauce

Squirrels:

  • 1/2 oz. Tabasco sauce
  • 1 tsp chile powder
  • 1 pint water
  • Dash of dish soap