The Trick to Cleaning Faster

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

View Video

Pro Cleaning Secrets

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.

See More

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.

View Video

Habits to Stop Now

It is possible to clean incorrectly. Here are some common cleaning habits you'd be better off breaking.

See More

How to Clean Stainless Steel

Make the stainless steel appliances in your kitchen sparkle with these tips for cleaning and eliminating smudges and fingerprints.

View Video

Clothing Care 101

From cotton to silk, the fabrics in your wardrobe need specific care. With these fabric care tips for washing, drying, and treating stains, you can keep your clothing looking fabulous.

See More
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.

The Recipes (from top to bottom)

Soft Scrub
Add enough soap to 1/8 cup baking soda to make a creamy mixture. Apply with sponge to clean; rinse the surface well. Use and discard.

Appliance Cleaner
Dry baking soda shines up small appliances and even removes bread wrappers burned onto the toaster. Try rubbing a teaspoon onto your grubby blender or food processor with a clean flannel cloth.

Toilet Cleaner/Deodorizer
Sprinkle toilet bowl with 1/4 cup baking soda. Drizzle with 1/4 cup vinegar, then scour with a toilet brush.

Oven Cleaner
Sprinkle oven with 1/2 cup baking soda (more if needed) and spray with water. Let sit for several hours or overnight before scraping up stains and spills. Rinse thoroughly with water.

Hardwood Floor Cleaner
In a pail or bucket, mix 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar in one gallon warm water. Mop wood or linoleum floors, then rinse with water, making sure not to leave large pools to dry.

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).

Clean Your Mattress
Find out how to clean your mattress with  just 2 ingredients.

Clean Your Walls
Keep your painted walls looking new with these tips for cleaning your walls.


Loading... Please wait...