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Car Care Tips

Here are tips for cleaning and maintaining your car using healthier and environmentally preferable alternatives.

Safer Antifreeze

There is a less toxic antifreeze available made of propylene glycol instead of the more common ethylene glycol. Propylene glycol is safe enough to be a food additive; ethylene glycol is toxic enough to be considered household hazardous waste. Quite a difference. Propylene glycol antifreeze is available from automotive supply stores.


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Caution: Ethylene glycol antifreeze has a sweet smell that is attractive to animals but will poison them if they ingest it. Do not pour it down the drain if you have a septic system. If you are on municipal water, dilute the antifreeze with large quantities of water before pouring it down the drain. Some service stations recycle antifreeze; try to find one. Otherwise, save it for your community's household hazardous waste pickup day.

Windshields - Glycerin Windshield Fluid

A solution of 10 percent glycerin and 90 percent water has a freezing point of 28°F. If the glycerin percentage is increased to 58 percent, the solution's freezing point drops to -10°F. A solution of 5 percent denatured alcohol has a freezing point of 25 degrees F, if the percentage of alcohol is upped to 35 percent, the freezing point drops to -16°F. Combining glycerin and denatured alcohol in a 20 percent solution each with 60 percent water has a freezing point of -23° F.

Bugs Off

This formula can be used on painted surfaces and chrome.

  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • Enough liquid soap to make a paste

Combine the ingredients in a bowl. Scoop onto a sponge and scrub over splattered bugs until they are loosened. Rinse well. Makes 1/2 cup.


Preparation Time: A few minutes
Shelf Life: Make only enough to use at a time; it will dry out



Oil Away Bird Droppings - Dab some vegetable oil on a rag and wipe off the droppings. Wash with soapy water, then rinse.


Excerpted from:

Better Basics for the Home: Simple Solutions for Less Toxic Living
Copyright 1999 by Annie B. Bond. Published by Three Rivers Press.
Reprinted with permission of the author.

(Note: The views expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent those of The Healthy House Institute, LLC.)



HHI Error Correction Policy

HHI is committed to accuracy of content and correcting information that is incomplete or inaccurate. With our broad scope of coverage of healthful indoor environments, and desire to rapidly publish info to benefit the community, mistakes are inevitable. HHI has established an error correction policy to welcome corrections or enhancements to our information. Please help us improve the quality of our content by contacting with corrections or suggestions for improvement. Each contact will receive a respectful reply.

The Healthy House Institute (HHI), a for-profit educational LLC, provides the information on as a free service to the public. The intent is to disseminate accurate, verified and science-based information on creating healthy home environments.


While an effort is made to ensure the quality of the content and credibility of sources listed on this site, HHI provides no warranty - expressed or implied - and assumes no legal liability for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, product or process disclosed on or in conjunction with the site. The views and opinions of the authors or originators expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of HHI: its principals, executives, Board members, advisors or affiliates.

Car Care Tips:  Created on November 26th, 2008.  Last Modified on March 17th, 2010


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About Annie B. Bond

Annie B. Bond

Annie B. Bond has more than 20 years of experience as a leading authority, writer and editor about the connections between the environment, personal health and well-being.


Annie has authored four books, including: Home Enlightenment (Rodale Press, 2005), Better Basics for the Home (Three Rivers Press, 1999), Clean & Green (Ceres Press, 1990), and The Green Kitchen Handbook (with Mothers & Others; foreword by Meryl Streep) (HarperCollins, 1997).


Annie is the official green living expert for Maid Brigade and its Green Clean Certified system.





Information provided by The Healthy House Institute is designed to support, not to replace the relationship between patient/physician or other qualified healthcare provider.

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