6 Affordable, Green Cleaning Solutions that Actually Work

Hard on grime, easy on Mother NatureHard on grime, easy on Mother Nature1. DIY Glass Cleaner: Combine 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice with 1 quart water. Pour into a spray bottle and use with newspapers to clean surfaces.

Related: Get 44 other Uses for Vinegar

2. Earth-friendly Furniture Polish: Add 1 teaspoon lemon juice to 2 cups vegetable oil. Transfer to a squirt bottle and wipe.

3. Green Drain De-clogger: Mix 1 cup hot vinegar with 1 cup baking soda and pour them down (or on) a clogged or slow moving drain. Cover the drain with a washcloth for 15 minutes, then follow with a boiling hot kettle of water. Repeat if necessary.

Related: 30 more ideas for baking soda

4. Chemical-free All-purpose Cleaner: Mix 1/2 cup vinegar with 1/4 cup baking soda (or 2 teaspoons borax) into 1/2 cup of water. This stores well in a spray bottle. For an antiseptic cleaner, mix 2 teaspoons borax, 4 tablespoons vinegar and 3 cups hot water. Add 1/4 teaspoon liquid castile soap to ramp up the cleaning power. Wipe on with a dampened cloth or use a non-aerosol spray bottle.

5. "Herb Garden" Carpet Cleaner: In a jar mix 1 cup crushed dried herbs, 1 teaspoon ground cloves, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 2 teaspoons baking soda. Shake well. Sprinkle a bit on your carpet, let it sit for an hour, then vacuum.

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6. Mold and Mildew Fighter: For simple cleaning, rub in baking soda with a damp sponge and rinse with fresh water. For tougher jobs, wipe surfaces with vinegar first and follow with baking soda as a scouring powder. (Vinegar can break down tile grout, so use sparingly.)