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As anyone with young children or pets know, you are constantly  on guard for any toxic chemicals that may be present in  the commercial cleaners you use around the house. But what if you could take the guess work out of cleaners and their  complicated  ingredient lists and make your very own  cleaning products from scratch? And what if you could also make them from  household items sitting in your pantry and kitchen right now? Too good to be true?  Well, read on for some powerful and environmentally friendly  alternatives to commercial cleaners (and you don’t have to leave your house for any them!)

Air freshener – Many retail air fresheners don’t remove  odors, but instead cover the smell with another harsh  artificial scent.  Before you automatically reach for the chemical spray to  cover that odour, why not consider making your very own lemon based e air freshner. This tip is used  in the business of  real estate. Squeeze lemon juice into a container and add two teaspoons of baking soda and leave in the room an open dish. If you don’t have lemon, you can also use tea tree oil as it is anti-bacterial.

For green window cleaner –  Vinegar is a great all round natural cleaning agent – it shines, removes smells and mildew as well as disinfects. Get an empty spray bottle and fill with one tablespoon of white vinegar, a half cup of rubbing alcohol, a few squirts of lemon juice  and as much water as required.

Toilet – For a green toilet cleaner, use  one cup of baking soda and one cup of vinegar. Clean the toilet as you would normally with a toilet brush and flush.

Carpet stains –  Yes, you can even go green with carpet stains. After initially removing the excess residual stain by blotting with a cloth or paper towel,  mix together one teaspoon of dish soap with one teaspoon of vinegar and dissolve in two and a half cups of warm water.  Apply this mixture to the carpet stain and rub gently.  Follow by rinsing with warm water and finally finish by blot drying.

Smelly sneakers – As tempting as it may be to throw your smelly sneakers into the washing machine, it is perhaps not in the best interest of your washing machine (nor your shoes for that matter) to do this.  Instead, put a couple of teaspoons of baking soda in a sandwich bag or cotton sock and leave inside the offending shoes overnight. The following morning, you will be surprised by the noticeable lack of smell.

Sally Thomson is a green expert and environmental enthusiast, who always makes sure she has energy-efficient technologies in her home. She loves LED lights to save both money and energy, and relies on companies like Energy Smart Finance for advice and tips.