Green cleaning can be easy and inexpensive if you have the right tools and information.

The cleaning products that you and I typically use contain harsh chemicals that get into the air, our food and often our bodies. "Green cleaning" is using environmentally friendly ingredients that are better for human health than the chemicals. Green cleaning is often thought of as difficult and expensive, but it does not have to be. There are five items that you probably have in your kitchen that are effective cleaning agents. 1. Vinegar is antifungal and is highly acidic. It disinfects surfaces efficiently for many different surfaces. If you run an empty dishwasher cycle with half a cup of vinegar you can get rid of built up soap and smells. Quickly clean out built up grime in the microwave by mixing one part vinegar with one part water in a microwave safe bowl. Heat the solution to a rolling boil in the microwave then wipe out each side with a damp cloth. Counters and scum in the bathroom can be cleaned with a cloth soaked in undiluted vinegar then rinsing with water. Bring your toilet to a sparkle by leaving a cup or more of vinegar in the bowl overnight then scrub it clean. 2. Baking soda is a slightly coarse that works great as a scrub. It is also porous, which helps remove odors. Safely clean baby toys by dissolving four tablespoons of baking soda in one quart of water. Eipe down the toys, then rinse and let dry. Add two heaping tablespoons of baking soda to your regular dish detergent to clean off grease and stuck on food from dishes. Get the musty smell out of sponges by soaking them in a mix of four tablespoons of baking soda and one quart warm water. Make a paste of baking soda and water for an oven cleaner. Spread the mixture inside the oven, let sit overnight then scrub it down with a wet rag. 3. Hydrogen peroxide is natural chemical that is a nontoxic bleach that can remove stains and act as a disinfectant. Bacteria can often be leftover after wiping down counters and cutting boards with water. Keep a dark spray bottle with hydrogen peroxide on hand to give your sufaces extra protection. Spray down the toilet and counters with a 50-50 solution of hydrogen peroxide and water to remove odors and sterilize. Toothbrushes accumulate bacteria over time, and hydrogen peroxide can prevent the build up of this bacteria. Just pour a capful of hydrogen peroxide on the bristles daily. Blood stains can be tough to get out. Remove them with hydrogen peroxide, but be cautious as it can bleach fabrics. Apply the peroxide to the stain then reapply after it stops fizzing. Use a cloth to wipe up the foam and repeat as necessary. 4. Lemon's high acidity and fresh smell makes this fruit a great cleaning agent. Tile grout typically gets missed by mops. Clean it out with a little lemon juice and an old toothbrush. Garbage disposals collect enough old food and bacteria that they often start to smell. Throw some lemon peels in and run the garbage disposal to give it a citrus smell. Plus, it cleans the blades. Take care of those stubborn window and mirror marks by putting a few tablespoons of lemon juice with water in a spray bottle then wipe it down with some paper towels. The acidity of lemon juice is no match for stubborn soap scum. Spray the juice on the scum then scrub it off with an abrasive sponge. 5. Salt is acutally cube-shaped, which makes it a great scrubbing agent. Plus, it kills bacteria so it is a natural disinfectant. Treat carpet stains by making a paste of 1/4 cup salt and two tablespoons vinegar then rubbing the mixture into the stain. Once it dries vacuum over the area. Bring stainless steel surfaces to a shine with a mixture of salt and lemon juice. Rub the solution on the metal, rinse and let dry. Stuck on grease in pans can be removed by rubbing salt on it with a dry cloth. For general cleaning, mix a cup of warm water, a teaspoon of salt and a cup of white vinegar or lemon juice. Shake the solution until the salt dissolves. This mixture is good as a disinfectent, removing grease and oil, cleaning glass surfaces and other general cleaning needs.%3Cimg%20src%3D%22http%3A//beacon.deseretconnect.com/beacon.gif%3Fcid%3D140007%26pid%3D46%22%20/%3E