You can pretty much make any cleaning product you might need from these three ingredients: lemons, baking soda and vinegar.
Lemons are acidic and therefore contain antiseptic and anti-bacterial properties, plus they cut grease, dissolve soap scum and hard water deposits and can be mixed with baking soda and vinegar to make a nifty cleaning paste. Lemon juice is also very effective for removing stains from countertops and for cleaning copper and brass, especially if you add a little salt to the mix.
Vinegar is another extremely effective cleaning agent and disinfectant and can be used as an all-purpose cleaner by combining one part vinegar and one part water in a spray bottle. If you don't like the smell, you can mellow it by adding lemon juice.
Then there's baking soda, which appears to be the Universal Cleanser. You can use it in your dishwasher, on your counter tops, on bathroom tile, even in the toilet. You can use it to freshen and unclog drains, as a furniture polish, to clean pots and pans and microwaves and as a deodorizer for the fridge, the garbage, shoes, laundry, the list goes on. And of course, you can brush you teeth with it .
All Purpose Cleaner
Make a solution of 1/4 cup of baking soda, 1/2 cup of vinegar, and 1 gallon of hot water to clean grease and grime as well as eliminate odor.
Unclogging and Freshening Drains
Pour 1 cup of baking soda down the drain followed by 1 cup of hot vinegar. Try heating the vinegar in the microwave before adding it to the drain. Wait 5 minutes before flushing the drain with 2 quarts of hot water. You can repeat this process a few times if it is necessary. If this is the first time you have cleaned your drain in a long time it may be necessary to repeat the baking soda flush a couple of times.
Try pouring 1 Cup of baking soda and 1/2 Cup of salt down the drain. Let this mixture sit in the drain for several hours, overnight is best, before flushing the drain with 2 cups of boiling water.
Clean the microwave
Mix a few tablespoons of baking soda with water in a microwave safe cup. Boil in the microwave for a few minutes. The insides of the microwave will be damp and easy to clean with a paper towel or dishcloth. This has the added benefit of removing odors that may be clinging to your microwave oven.
Making your own cleaning products means less impact from shipping and production and fewer plastic bottles. But we understand that people are busy so do what works for you. Buying ready made, eco-smart products are certainly greener than buying toxic chemicals any day.