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Natural cleaning products

Lori Wilson is a SheKnows.com Home & Living columnist, as well as a freelance writer in Los Angeles, who after a lifetime of enduring harsh Michigan winters, relishes the warmth year round.

Homemade solutions

Cleaning products are certainly necessary to keep your home spotless, but they can also be toxic to your family's health and the environment. Instead of using commercial, chemical-based products, which can add to problems associated with allergies, asthma, sinusitis and bronchitis, look in your cupboards for simple homemade cleaning solutions instead.

Baking Soda

This common household product not only keeps things fresh in the fridge and adds to your baking needs, it also cleans, deodorizes, softens water and scours.

Lemon

As one of the strongest food acids, this citrus-based fruit is a powerful weapon against household bacteria, soap scum and hard water deposits. It can also be used to clean and shine brass and copper, as well as scrub dishes, surfaces and stains. Mixed with olive oil, it can also serve a as a great hardwood furniture polish.

Vinegar

Mixed with water, vinegar can naturally cut grease, remove mildew, disinfect and deodorize. Effective as a cleanser for surfaces in the bathroom and kitchen, it can also be used as a natural fabric softener.

Cornstarch

This product can effectively clean windows, polish furniture, shampoo carpets and rugs.

Borax

This sodium borate works wonders as an all-purpose cleaner and can also be used as laundry soap. In addition, you can turn to borax when you need to clean wallpaper, painted walls or painted surfaces.

Salt

Everyone has salt in their home, so next time you need to scrub something, mix it with lime juice and use it for such things as removing rust.

Club Soda

You've probably already been instructed to dab a little club soda on your clothes in order to remove a stain, but you might not know that club soda is also good for cleaning glass.

Coca Cola

You may think twice about drinking this as a beverage after reading this, but the popular soft drink is often used by the highway patrol for cleaning blood off the roads. It is also good for removing rust spots from your car, removing stains in your toilet bowl, removing grease spots and cleaning road haze from your windshield.

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