Vinegar is a great all-purpose cleaner, disinfectant and deodorizer. Mix one part vinegar with one part water in a spray bottle and use to clean countertops, appliances, glass, fixtures, mirrors and tile. You can also use 1/2 cup of vinegar as fabric softener (great for sensitive skin). For more vinegar uses go to: http://www.vinegartips.com/
Baking soda makes an excellent deodorizer. Sprinkle it on the carpet and let it sit for at least 20 minutes before vacuuming. Place an opened box in the refrigerator and freezer to absorb odors. Baking soda can also be used as a scouring powder and laundry booster. Keep a box near the stove to help put out a grease or electrical fire. For more ideas, check out Jill’s Secret Solutions at the Arm & Hammer site: http://www.armhammer.com/
Lemon juice is another good deodorizer and disinfectant. Add 3-4 teaspoons to the humidifier to get rid of unwelcome odors. Add a whole lemon peel to the garbage disposal to freshen up the drain and make the kitchen smell nice. Lemon juice can also be used to dissolve hard water deposits and soap scum. Combine lemon juice with vinegar or baking soda to form a cleaning paste for fixtures.
To polish furniture, mix two parts olive oil with one part lemon juice. Apply with a soft cloth and wipe dry. To remove water spots from wood furniture dab white toothpaste on the stain. Wipe and buff with a soft cloth after paste has dried.
To clean porcelain surfaces, sprinkle Cream of Tartar on a damp cloth and gently rub clean.
Use coarse salt to clean copper pots and pans. For tough stains rub in the salt with the cut half of a lemon.
Also, please be sure to check out my article "Going Green in the Workplace," featured at MSNBC.com!