Choosing to use organic and natural cleaners can go a long way in reducing the chemicals in your home environment. You can either shop for products that are made with less toxic ingredients, or get creative and make some very natural cleaners yourself.

As long as you have a decent amount of vinegar and baking soda in your house, you can mix up your own blends of cleansers for nearly any household purpose. The acetic acid in vinegar is excellent for cutting grease and general disinfectant, and baking soda has a fine abrasive to it for scouring. Between the two of them, you should be able to replace most commercial cleaning products and they are completely organic natural materials.

A very handy all-purpose type of cleaning spray is just 1 cup of water and 1 cup of white vinegar (or any 1:1 ratio). Mix this up in a spray bottle and use it on just about any surface for cleaning. Yes, it will smell briefly like vinegar but that fades really quickly so it shouldn’t be a problem. You can use this to clean counters, sinks, stove-tops, tables and even windows.

For more scouring power, that’s when you use the baking soda. Add a little bit of water to baking soda to make a wet paste. With a washcloth, you can use this to scrub sinks, pots, tubs, toilets or anything else that needs that elbow grease. After scrubbing, just rinse it off or wipe down with a damp cloth to remove any remaining grit.

Another way to get your toilet sparkling clean is with undiluted vinegar. Add some baking soda and you should be able to get even stained porcelain to come clean. Take care when mixing vinegar and baking soda though. It will foam pretty good (which is why kids use this in science fair volcanoes). It’s a harmless mixture though.

If you prefer a purchased product, avoid those with phosphates, ammonia or bleach. They are quite toxic and will add chemical fumes to your home’s indoor air. Some more natural alternatives are brands like Dr. Bronner’s, Green Works and Seventh Generation. They make a range of good organic and natural cleaners.