Use white vinegar to dissolve dirt and soap scum. For an everyday surface cleaner, mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle, and for cleaning the toilet bowl and unblocking shower heads, use the vinegar undiluted. It is acidic enough to remove dirt, but mild enough to use on, for example, wood flooring.
Apply baking soda on a sponge to scour kitchen surfaces and grimy bathroom taps. The baking soda acts as a mild abrasive and is naturally deodorizing. For really tough stains, make a paste from the baking soda with a little water, apply to the stain and leave for five to 10 minutes before washing off.
Mix 1 cup of rubbing alcohol, 1 cup of water and 1 tablespoon of vinegar together as an alternative to expensive window and glass cleaners. This mixture also works well for getting extra shine on chrome fixtures.
Mix 1/2 cup olive oil with 1/2 cup lemon juice, and pour into a spray bottle to use as a more natural furniture polish. Lemon juice dissolves dirt and stains, while the olive oil shines the wood as well as protects it.
Make your own fresh-smelling carpet cleaner by mixing together just over 1/2 cup of baking soda with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and a 1/4 cup of perfumed talcum powder. Sprinkle this mixture onto the carpet, and leave for 15 minutes before vacuuming.
Use ammonia as a cheap and effective oven cleaner by placing a bowl half filled with ammonia in the oven and then simply leaving it overnight. Wash the following day with warm soapy water, and then repeat if necessary for tough stains. You can also use ammonia as an everyday cleaner by mixing 1 teaspoon of ammonia with 1 teaspoon of laundry powder and 16 ounces of water.