‘Tis the season to clean out all the junk that has been piling up over the past year.

Many of the most common cleaners contain bleach, formaldehyde, and lye which are known to cause nausea, vomiting, inflammation of the skin. Some may even cause a burning sensation in the eyes and throat.

In case you’re on a strict budget and you can’t afford to shell out the extra money for effective cleaning products, here are a few homemade solutions you could whip up in your very own kitchen. (Not only are they cheap, they are also good for the environment too).

  1. Vinegar – Vinegar acts as a powerful disinfectant and deodorizer, and is a great product for cleaning glass, windows, tiles, or even counter tops.
  2. Salt – Salt can be used to clean pots and pans, and it is also great at removing red wine and mud stains in carpets. Combine with vinegar to get out mildew.
  3. Baking soda – When mixed with water this mixture essentially becomes an “all-purpose cleaner.” You can use it to scrub sinks, ovens, and tubs, or you can even use it on your carpets to act as a deodorizer, (sprinkle it over carpets and let it sit for 15 to 30 minutes before vacuuming).
  4. Olive oil – When mixed with vinegar this solution is great for polishing furniture or wooden floors.
  5. Lemon juice – Try using lemon juice instead of bleach to clean your laundry. You can also use it on kitchen surfaces as well because it’s great at absorbing soap scum and/or hard water deposits. You could even throw a lemon peel into your garbage to disguise any rotting scent. Sliced lemons are also good for cleaning brass, copper, aluminum, and bronze.
  6. Club soda – This is another effective glass cleaner, and it also good at getting out coffee stains when mixed with water.
  7. Toothpaste – Use toothpaste to clean chrome surfaces.

You could also try combining some or all of these ingredients together to create different types of cleaners for specific items in your house: Here are a few “cleaning” recipes you could mix together to create one powerful cleaning solution.

1. “All-purpose” cleaner (windows, chrome, and bath fixtures)

  • 2 cups of rubbing alcohol
  • 1 tablespoon of liquid dishwasher detergent
  • 1 tablespoon of non-sudsing household ammonia
  • 1 tablespoon of white vinegar

Mix all of these ingredients together in a bucket or jug, fill it up with warm water and shake. Then, put the solution in a spray bottle

2. Toilet bowl cleaner

  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar

Sprinkle the baking soda in your toilet and then scrub it with a toilet brush. Then, add some white vinegar and let it set for a few minutes. Clean thoroughly with the rush and then flush.

3. Drain cleaner

  • 125 ml of baking soda
  • 1 cup of vinegar
  • Boiling water
  • Salt

Pour the baking soda down the sink and then add one cup of vinegar. Put the cover on the drain, wait a few minutes, and then rinse the mixture out with boiling water and salt.

4. Carpet cleaner

  • ¼ cup of salt
  • ¼ cup of vinegar
  • ¼ cup of borax

Mix together these three ingredients to create a “heavy-duty carpet cleaner,” and then rub it into your carpet. Let it try before vacuuming.

5. Oven cleaner

  • Baking soda
  • Liquid dish detergent
  • Water

Spray down the oven with water using a spray bottle, and then sprinkle baking soda over the water. Let it sit for one night, and then the next day wipe off all of the grime. Then, soak a sponge in hot water, and scrub the oven with the dish detergent before wiping off.

6. Dish cleaner

  • 1/3 Baking soda
  • 1/3 Borax
  • 1/3 Water
  • 1 drop of lemon/orange essential oil

Mix together all of these ingredients, and use approximately two three tablespoons per load. If your dishes are still cloudy after washing them then try cutting down on the amount of soap used, or use vinegar during the rinse cycle.

7. Laundry detergent

  • 2 gallons of hot water
  • 1 bar of grated soap
  • 2 cups of baking soda

Melt grated soap in a saucepan and add enough hot water to cover it. Then, cook on medium-low heat and stir until all the soap is melted. Pour two gallons of hot water in a large pain, add the melted soap, and star. Add the baking soda. (Use approximately half a cup per full load).

Bio: Maria Rainier is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident blogger at First in Education where she writes about education, online universities, and student life issues. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.