From The Green Gal:

10 ways to take chemicals out of your home

1. Ditch the bottle of limescale remover and use white wine vinegar instead. Use it neat on tough stains or mix an equal amount of vinegar and water in a spray bottle. The vinegar smell disappears once dry but you can add a squeeze of lemon juice to disguise the smell as you clean.
2. Instead of using kitchen and bathroom cleaner, try baking soda (also knows as bicarbonate of soda or sodium bicarbonate). Sprinkle it on the surface or on the cloth, whichever is easiest for you, and wipe as usual.
3. Try pouring vinegar neat into the toilet and swill around the bowl instead of toilet bleach and scrub away.
4. Don’t spend your money on fabric softener, simply add a splash of vinegar to the rinse cycle instead. This is particularly good for people with sensitive skin.
5. If your dishwasher is getting clogged up, rather than buy a bottle of dishwasher cleaning chemicals, put a cup of baking soda into the machine and run it on a rinse cycle.
6. If you’re the house-proud type who likes their wooden furniture to shine, it’s really easy to make your own furniture polish. Mix one cup of olive oil and half a cup of lemon juice in a spray bottle. Spray a small amount on a cloth, you don’t need much, and polish. Use another cloth to polish the surface dry.
7. Keep your shoes smelling sweet with a baking soda bag. Fill the toe of an old sock (check for holes!) and tie up. Sit the bag in the shoe overnight and it will absorb the smell.
8. To descale a kettle, pour in a mug of water, a mug of vinegar and three tablespoons of salt. Boil the kettle and leave overnight. Rinse out several times before using it to make your morning cup of tea.
9. For super shiny stainless steel, rub on a teeny amount of olive oil.
10. Shake and vac the easy way by sprinkling baking soda on your carpet. Leave for a couple of hours and then vacuum.

Commercial cleaning products, while incredibly popular and easy to use, can be harmful to our bodies, homes and the environment. A more healthy — and less expensive — option is to make your own.

This website has many uses for vinegar, from cleaning the kitchen and bathroom to using it in your garden to kill weeds.

Another website is devoted to natural “recipes” for cleaning products, which call for ingredients such as borax, glycerin, and essential oils. Although these cleaning solutions are natural, some ingredients, such as tea tree oil, which can be used as an antiseptic, can still be harmful if ingested.

Even though it’s easier to buy commercial cleaning products, aren’t the long term effects more important? How long could it possibly take to mix up a batch of all-purpose cleaner with vinegar, water, and a few drops of a good smelling essential oil? ☮