Your sink cabinets are jammed with virtually every foam, spray and spritz cleaner on the market. And yet, you’re not satisfied with the results.

Time to get back to basics.

Wonderfully multipurpose, natural cleaning agents (e.g., baking soda) cost pennies on the dollar compared to brand-name products—and they work just as well (if not better).

There are endless possibilities for a green clean. Here are our five favorites:

1. Dispose of Odors.
Garbage disposal smelling like, well, garbage? Pour a half cup of baking soda, followed by a cup of white vinegar down the drain. Boil a kettle of water and pour boiling water down as well. Then add two cups of ice and one cup of rock salt to the drain. Run through the disposal. Lastly, cut a lime or lemon in half, and run both halves one by one through the disposal.


2. Unclog Drains Naturally.
While they might get the job done, products like Drano are terrible for the environment and dangerous in contact with your skin. A natural alternative: Pour ½ cup baking soda and ½ cup white vinegar down the drain. Let sit for at least 25 minutes. Pour in 2 quarts boiled water. The fizz you hear is the baking soda and vinegar working magic. If the water is still sitting in the sink, plunge it down to reveal your clean-as-a-whistle drain.


3. Nip Those Fleas.
Got pets? Then you know too well the dog days of summer can mean one thing: pesky fleas. Sprinkle 20 Mule Team Borax powder on your rugs/carpets and other areas where fleas may fest, such as a cat climber. Use a stiff brush to work the Borax into the rug/carpet. Let the Borax sit at least six hours (overnight is even better). Vacuum thoroughly. (A ½ cup of Borax powder will give your laundry detergent a power boost, too.)


4. Make That Stainless Steel Sink Sparkle.
Pour undiluted white vinegar—a gentle but powerful disinfectant—into a spray bottle. Rinse sink with water. Sprinkle baking soda over wet surface. Scrub with a soft-to-medium brush. Spray vinegar over remaining residue. That fizzing sound is cleaning in action. Rinse sink thoroughly. For even more shine, buff with a bit of olive oil, using a soft, dry cotton cloth.



5. Polish to Perfection.

Spare your finished wood furnishings that furniture spray buildup with this smart solution: Using a funnel, pour 2 tbsp. olive oil, ¼ cup distilled white vinegar and ¼ tsp. lemon oil (or fresh lemon juice) into a spray bottle. Shake well then spritz onto microfiber cloth and rub in evenly in the direction of the grain. Remove excess polish with a clean, dry cloth and behold the beauty of your like-new furniture.



If you have any green cleaning tips, please share!