The Basic Ingredients
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)
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.
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.
Sprinkle toilet bowl with 1/4 cup baking soda. Drizzle with 1/4 cup vinegar, then scour with a toilet brush.
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.
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; shaklee.com.
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.
A nonchlorine oxygen bleach cleanser tackles stains on grout, sinks, bath tubs, and toilets. Jason Heather's Oxygen Bleach Cleanser, 14 oz., $2.39; vitacost.com.
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 www.hunterink.com.
Recipes from Green Clean, by Linda Mason Hunter and Mikki Halpin (Melcher Media, 2005; $16.95).