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Spend less time cleaning with these speedy tips from home cleaning expert Donna Smallin Kuper.

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These pros know cleaning. It's their business to take a home from dingy to dazzling as quickly and easily as possible. Check out these tips, direct from the cleaning experts, and you'll feel confident bringing their job home with you.

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Clean With What You Already Have

Get your house in tip-top shape with tools you wouldn't think to use for cleaning. And another perk? You probably already have these secret cleaners in your home.

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Popular in Housekeeping

Green Cleaning Recipes

Help the planet and get a squeaky-clean home with these easy (and inexpensive) formulas for eco-friendly cleaning.

The Basic Ingredients

Baking Soda

This works best on proteins, grease, and animal messes. Because it's slightly abrasive, it can be used for scouring -- and, of course, it's a natural deodorizer.

Distilled White Vinegar

This mild acid works on alkaline substances, dissolving scale, inhibiting mold, and cutting soap scum. It's terrific for stains such as coffee, rust, and tea.

Simple Soap

Try castile soap, made with olive oil, or a vegetable-based soap. Both attach to soil at the molecular level, so you can rinse dirt away with water.

Polish Wood

Choose a vegetable-based soap to polish wood floors and furniture to a glow. Murphy's Oil Soap, 32 fl. oz., about $5; most grocery stores.

Clean Surfaces

An all-purpose, plant-based cleaner removes grime from almost everywhere -- walls, windows, countertops, and appliances. Shaklee Basic H2 Organic Super Cleaning Concentrate, 64 oz., $42.97;

Scour Grime

Biodegradable scouring powder with mineral abrasives cleans countertops, grout, outdoor furniture, grills, microwave ovens, showers, sinks, and stoves. Bon Ami, 14 oz., about $1.50; most grocery stores.

Whiten Surfaces

A nonchlorine oxygen bleach cleanser tackles stains on grout, sinks, bath tubs, and toilets. Jason Heather's Oxygen Bleach Cleanser, 14 oz., $2.39;

About Our Green Cleaning Expert

Linda Mason Hunter is a publishing professional specializing in home ecology, residential design, and the art of living in the 21st century. She is also the co-author of Green Clean. Visit her Web site at

Recipes from Green Clean, by Linda Mason Hunter and Mikki Halpin (Melcher Media, 2005; $16.95).

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