If you look under your kitchen sink and find some of the most caustic, poisonous, and corrosive cleaning products on the market, don't be too surprised. The media has convinced us that if you need something really clean, you must have that particular product, never mind the environment. The companies that make these products would hate for you to discover that there are cleaning products that are at least as effective as anything they have to offer, don't require pollution-belching factories to produce, and are not only inexpensive; their basic components may already be in your home.
You might be surprised at what household basics can double as effective natural cleaning products. Some may seem obvious, like toothpaste (great for acrylic accessories and chrome plumbing fixtures), and baking soda (garden tools and barbecue grills will sparkle). Other items aren't so intuitive; ketchup, table salt, and even white bread can be used as household cleaners if you know how!
The idea isn't just to get things clean around the house; the idea is to get them clean while being gentle on the environment, leaving as small a footprint as possible, and do it while saving money. Previous generations knew how to make the most of every item they had on hand, and that included making their own natural cleaning products. Keep reading below for more tips and recipes from our contributors.