Spring Cleaning: How to Clean Without Aerosols

Recipes for homemade, household cleaners that don't use aerosol, including wax based furniture polish, silver polish, pewter cleaner, window cleaner, oven cleaner, rug and carpet cleaner, and deodorant.

| March/April 1975

From the Norfolk Country Cooperative Extension Services Service of Walpole, Massachusetts by way of Jane Dwinell.   

Here it is, spring cleaning time again ... and if you're an observer of that ritual you'll be breaking out the buckets and sponges and rays and mops and checking over your stock of household aids. Which is an excellent opportunity to weed out any aerosol cans you may have around and set them aside while you consider the following information.

As of October 1974, the federal Consumer Products Safety Commission has banned the sale of household products chiefly paints, solvents, and degreasers—in aerosol cans that contain vinyl chloride (a proven carcinogen) as a propellant. The commission has called on manufacturers, distributors, and retailers to list any such goods they may have sold. Many of them, however, haven't yet done so ... and, since the nature of the propellant isn't noted on the can's label, you have no way of knowing what your brand of oven cleaner, or whatever, gets its squirt from.

Under the circumstances, the safest course is to put all those aerosol cans back on the shelf with their buttons unpressed. (Don't throw them away ... you're entitled to a refund for any product that turns out to contain the forbidden chemical.) Meanwhile, you can always substitute a less dramatic but equally effective cleaner from a plain old can, bottle, or box. Or you can try some of the following formulas for good results with less expense.

Furniture Polish (Wax Based)

1 quart mineral oil
2 tablespoons carnauba wax
Heat the two ingredients in a double boiler until the wax melts.Cool and bottle the mixture.

Furniture Polish

Lemon juice.
Denatured alcohol
Olive oil
Gum turpentine

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