Never waste your money on "antibacterial" cleaners and soaps whose active ingredients have been linked to thyroid damage, water pollution, and the emergence of drug-resistant super bugs like MRSA. Instead, kill germs with this all-purpose vinegar solution. It'll only cost about 20 cents! PHOTOGRAPH BY CHRISTINE GLADE/GETTY
9 parts water
1 part white vinegar
Related: Bleach Versus Vinegar: Which Is A Better Disinfectant?
Mix ingredients in a spray bottle and clean away! For particularly nasty messes, such as a countertop after you've handled raw meat on it, squirt straight white vinegar on the surface, and follow with a squirt of hydrogen peroxide to knock out virtually all germs. (Remember to do a spot test first to make certain the surface doesn't discolor or otherwise react.)
PHOTOGRAPH BY SLOBO/GETTY
Common tile cleaners are laced with dozens of contaminants, including chemicals linked to cancer, reproductive damage, and hormonal harm. A 2009 analysis even detected formaldehyde, toluene, and benzene—components of gasoline—in the popular cleaner Comet. To clean greener, make your own scrubbing paste.
Related: 9 Surprising Uses For Baking Soda
½ cup baking soda
Liquid soap (we like Dr. Bronner's peppermint)
5 to 10 drops of pure essential oil of lavender or rosemary, or tea tree oil (optional)
Place baking soda in a bowl; slowly pour in liquid soap, stirring until it looks like frosting. Add optional essential oils. Scoop onto a sponge, scrub, and rinse. You can also try cutting a lemon in half and using that as a scrubber.
PHOTOGRAPH BY GEORGE HILL/GETTY
Avoid polluting your indoor air with the harsh ingredients that are often found in store-bought oven cleaners. This recipe works just as well.
2 cups hot water
1 tablespoon natural dish liquid (We like Ecover dishwashing liquid)
1 teaspoon borax
Mix the ingredients, spray on a spill, let sit for 20 minutes, and wipe off with a clean cloth. For handling an extra-greasy mess, wipe off as much loose goop as possible with crumpled newspaper first, then use the spray.
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