Automotive Care – Alternatives


Propylene glycol-based. Use propylene glycol-based antifreeze as it is significantly less toxic than ethylene glycol-based. Ask for it when you buy antifreeze.
Extended-life antifreeze. Conventional antifreeze lasts only two or three years, as the chemicals that slow down antifreeze corrosion are depleted. New extended-life coolants represent a major advancement over conventional coolant technology and greatly reduce the need to purchase new and manage used antifreeze. Different chemicals in the antifreeze made with extended-life coolants allow it to last five years or 150,000 miles. Heavy-duty, extended-life antifreeze lasts between 400,000 and 600,000 miles with the use of a one-time extender.

Dish soap. Use 2 tablespoons of a mild dish soap or 1/4 cup of soap flakes plus 2 gallons of warm water to wash the vehicle. Use the same solution and a brush to scrub the tires.
Vinegar/lemon juice. For glass cleaning combine 2 tablespoons of white vinegar or lemon juice with 3 cups of water; store in a spray bottle and use as needed.

Baking soda and petroleum jelly. Scrub the battery terminals and holder with a strong solution of baking soda water. Then smear them with petroleum jelly.

Re-refined oil. Ask for re-refined oil when you have your oil changed. This will help improve the market for used oil, advance oil recycling efforts, help decrease the reliance on foreign suppliers and slow the rate of resource depletion. For more information visit Re-Refined Oil.

Mineral spirits. To remove oil drippings from concrete: Soak the area with mineral spirits for 30 minutes and then scrub with a stiff brush as you add more mineral spirits. Immediately after the scrubbing absorb the grease with oil towels or newspaper. Allow the concrete to dry, and then wash the area with a solution of laundry detergent, 1 cup borax, and 1 gallon water.
Non-deodorized pure kitty litter, washing soda. Cover the oil spot completely with the kitty litter. Rub it in so that the oil is really absorbed. Sweep it up and cover again until the oil has gone. Whatever residue is left will be eliminated if you wash the area with a solution of laundry detergent, 1 cup borax, and 1 gallon water.

Rubbing alcohol. Combine 1 quart rubbing alcohol, 2 tablespoons liquid detergent and 1 cup water. This formula will not freeze down to 35 degrees below zero.
Vinegar. When you have to leave your car outside overnight in the winter, mix 3 parts vinegar to 1 part water and coat the windows with this solution. This vinegar and water combination will keep windshields ice and frost-free.