Whatever your reason for not wanting to use chemical cleaners (they cost too much, you hate the smell of bleach, you're trying to save the environment, etc.) these four products will keep your house spic and span. And three of them taste good in stuff. BONUS!
1. Baking Soda
Cost: $1-$3 for 1 pound
Use: To deodorize your carpet, sprinkle it on the fibers, let it sit for a bit, then vacuum. To scour your oven, pots, pans and counters, make a thick paste out of baking soda and water (adding just a little water at a time). Spread the paste on whatever needs serious scrubbing and let it sit for 20 or 30 minutes. Use a cloth or paper towel to wipe out the gunk you've just dissolved.
Tastes best in: Cookies--pumpkin cookies, to be exact.
2. White Vinegar
Cost: $2-$3 for 1 gallon
Use: Mix 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water in a spray bottle, and use it to clean all your favorite non-porous surfaces: kitchen counters, sinks, showers, bathtubs, mirrors and even toilets. Spray it on, let it sit for a minute or two, and then scrub the way you normally would. The smell will go away relatively quickly.
Tastes best in: Kosher pickles.
3. Lemon Juice
Cost: $0.15-$0.35 per lemon
Use: Use the chopped up rind of a squeezed lemon to make your garbage disposal smell fresh. Just chop, toss and dispose! You can also rub the left over pith and rind over your hands after chopping onion and garlic to get rid of the smell. And it has antibacterial properties. Score!
Tastes best in: Lemonade. C'mon! Try this Israeli recipe for Limonana
4. Hydrogen Peroxide
Cost: $1.50 for 32 ounces
Use: You can use it in laundry instead of bleach to whiten your whites. You can also use it to clean and brighten a porcelain sink or tub. Fill both with a shallow pool of water, add about a cup or so of hydrogen peroxide, let it sit for a few hours, drain and then wipe it down. Also, if you need mouthwash in a pinch, mix equal parts water and hydrogen peroxide. Just make sure not to swallow.
Other awesome uses: If you have blonde hair, spritzing it with hydrogen peroxide and then sitting in the sun (with sunscreen, of course) is a great way to get highlights. Brunettes, be warned--your hair will turn carrot-top orange. I know from experience. No, I will not post a photo.
HOWEVER, I will leave you with this image of a running Basset Hound.