There are many ways to reduce the amount of household hazardous chemical/waste generated in your home. Buying the correct quantity of a product (underestimate your needs instead of overestimating) required for a project and using the entire product reduces the amount of unused portions. Passing unused products onto someone (i.e. donate leftover paints to charities for rebuilding projects or to local governments for graffiti abatement programs) who may use them is a viable option to disposal and may be done safely if the products are kept in their original containers with the original labels. Recycling is another economical and environmentally sound way to handle some types of household hazardous chemicals/wastes, such as used batteries and motor oil. Most auto parts stores and service stations accept these material and recycle them.

Another way to reduce the potential concerns associated with household hazardous chemicals/wastes is to take actions that use nonhazardous or less hazardous components to accomplish the task at hand. You can do this by reducing the amount and/or toxicity of products you choose. The following is a list of safer alteratives to products that cause household hazardous chemicals/waste:

Chemical Products Safer Alternatives

Silver Polishes: Soak in boiling water with baking soda salt and a piece of aluminum.

Oven Cleaners: Use baking soda and water.

Toilet Cleaners: Use toilet brush and baking soda or a mild detergent.

Disinfectants: Use 1/2 cup Borax in one gallon of water.

Drain Cleaners: Use plunger or flush with boiling water, 1/4 cup baking soda and two oz vinegar.

Rug and Upholstery Cleaner: Sprinkle dry cornstarch on material then vacuum.

Floor and Furniture Polish: Use one part lemon juice and two parts olive or vegetable oil.

Bleach Cleaners: In the laundry, use 1/2 cup sodium hexametaphosphate per five gallons of water.

Mothballs: Use cedar chips, newspapers, lavender flowers.

Pool Chemicals: Ozone or ultra violet light systems.

Ammonia-based Chemicals: Vinegar, salt and water mixture for surfaces. Baking soda and water for bathroom.

Abrasive Cleaners or Powders: Rub area with 1/2 lemon dipped in Borax, rinse then dry.

Fungicides: Do not over water, keep areas clean and dry.

House Plant Insecticide: Mixture of bar soap and water or old dishwater. Spray on leaves and then rinse.

Arsenicals: Use live traps and remove food supplies.

Botanicals: Use insecticidal soap or import predators (i.e. ladybugs, ground beetles, preying mantis)

Carbamates: Keep garden weed free; import predators; insecticidal soap.

Chlorinated Hydrocarbons: Keep garden weed free; import predators; insecticidal soap.

Organophosphates: Remove plant debris and wood from garden; insecticidal soap.

Flea Collars and Sprays: Herbal collar or ointment, citronella, or brewer's yeast in the pet's diet.

Roach Killers: Traps or baking soda and powder sugar mixture.

Ant Killers: Use chili powder or cream of tartar to hinder entry.

Rat and Mouse Poisons: Use live traps and remove food supply.

Herbicides: Strong hoeing with weeding and keep grass short.

Enamel or Oil Based Paints: Use latex or water based paint.

Furniture Strippers: Use sandpaper or heat gun.

Wood Polishes: Use one tsp lemon oil to one pint mineral oil.