Household Products (Part 2)

Last week I wrote about harmful products used indoors that can be harmful to pets and humans. Many cause indoor pollution of the air. This week I am writing about “pet friendly” and “people friendly” products that can be used to clean and are considered safe and DO NOT cause indoor pollution, BUT, they are not to be licked, swallowed, inhaled or applied topically to pets. Baking soda cleans, deodorizes, scours, and softens water. It is noncorrosive, slightly abrasive and is effective for light cleaning. Borax cleans, deodorizes, disinfects, and softens water. It is also effective for light cleaning, for soiled laundry in the washing machine, and for preventing mold growth.  It is a natural alternative to color safe bleach, toilet bowl cleaner, drain deodorizer, surface cleaner, oven cleaner, tile cleaner, degreaser etc. Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is effective in removing mold stains from nonporous surfaces. Purchase a 10 %  food-grade solution. (The solution most commonly sold off the shelf is only 3 %.)  Use protective gloves to apply. A 10 % solution will bleach many types of surfaces. A 35%  food-grade peroxide  is available through many health food stores, but must be used with caution and the container must be refrigerated and kept clean. The 35% solution will burn skin and must be carefully diluted before it can be safely used. ONLY the 3% Peroxide sol. can be given orally to induce vomiting in pets, AND only with a veterinarians guidance. Soap (as opposed to detergents) biodegrades safely and completely. It is an effective and gentle cleaner with many uses. For hands, dishes, laundry, and light cleaning, use the pure bar or soap flakes without perfume additives. TSP (trisodium phosphate) can be used according to the manufacturer?s instructions for grease removal. TSP is available in hardware stores. Surfaces cleaned with TSP should be neutralized with baking soda prior to the application of finishes. Fluids containing TSP should not be disposed of in septic systems or sewer systems because of their high phosphate content. Vodka is effective for dissolving alcohol-soluble finishes.  Use a high-proof (high alcohol content) product. Washing soda (sodium carbonate) cuts grease, removes stains, disinfects, and softens water. It is effective for washing heavily soiled laundry and for general cleaning. White vinegar cuts grease and removes lime deposits. A safe and useful all-purpose cleaning solution can be made from distilled white vinegar and plain water in a 50:50 ratio. Vinegar has been used to clean and control mold growth.  It is also very helpful in eliminating urine and feces odor from pet accidents. For window cleaning, add five tablespoons of white vinegar to two cups of water. The solution should be placed in a glass spray bottle.  Glass is preferred because plastics are known to release hormone-disrupting chemicals into bottle contents. Please note: your drinking water should also be in glass bottles.