Given that our family lives with a septic system, I have become very careful about what we use around the house for cleaning and what might end up down our drains.
My current love is vinegar. I have two particular faves,
White vinegar and apple cider vinegar. I also love Tee Tree Oil, Lavender Oil and Diatomaceous earth
Vinegar and several other easily found common items can do many things for our households.
Dandruff: Apple Cider vinegar rinse. Take 1/4 cup or so and rub it into your hair after you wash it, let it sit a minute and let it soak in, then rinse. It will make your hair shiny, get rid of the shampoo and the smell dissipates very quickly. Some like to take equal amounts and pour into hair, and then allow to dry. The vinegar might sting, especially if you have been scratching, but it also means it is working.
Laundry Aid: White vinegar works wonderfully as a laundry rinse and helps make your clothes smell wonderful. Been using vinegar in my laundry for years.
Cleaner: White vinegar is an excellent cleaner for most things
Deodorizer: A little red wine vinegar in a dish placed in a smoky room does wonders overnight to absorb the smell.
After washing your dog, spray your pet with a mixture of 1 cup of white vinegar and 1 gallon of water. Don't rinse it off, just let him air dry. Fleas hate the smell of vinegar, so it will be easier to comb out and remove dead fleas. As an added bonus, it will give your dog's coat a nice healthy sheen. You can also add 1 tbsp. of apple cider vinegar to your dog's drinking water to help prevent and kill future fleas.
I also like Tee Tree Oil: To soothe hot spots, mix one part melaleuca oil aka Tee Tree Oil and one part water. Put the solution in a spray bottle, and use it whenever your dog is biting or scratching. You can also apply a natural menthol liniment such as Absorbine Jr. a few times a day until the area dries up. Lavender oil is also soothing.
Fleas and bedding:
Diatomaceous earth - This is basically a non-chemical kind of soil designed to kill insects. It doesn't have any chemicals - it relies on tiny, sharp edges on the dirt that do damage to the exoskeleton of a flea or other pests. The fleas will then die of dehydration - they essentially leak water, and they can't replace it fast enough. It's a non-chemical means of flea control, but it can be rather messy to use. It's made mainly of fossils from water plants, so there isn't much risk in using it. It might not mesh well with your current soil though, and you should be careful if you have plants or gardens that it might affect negatively.
However, one of the good things about it is that it's safe to use around your pet's bedding or other areas - you'll have to clean it up later, but it can be much better than setting off a flea bomb or a flea bath. Unfortunately, there's not much this will do about flea eggs, which could remain dormant for awhile.
Got your own home remedy? Please share!