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Many home cleaning products can be expensive and include harmful chemicals. With just a little extra elbow grease, you can save money by using some natural cleaning products you may already have around the house.

Here are some common and cheap items that are free of artificial ingredients and can make house cleaning simpler:

Baking Soda
Baking soda can be used for many other things than refreshing the smell of a refrigerator.

For a dollar or so, a small box of baking soda can go a long way in cleaning up spills. For a carpet stain, cover it with baking soda and spray it with a mixture of half white vinegar and half water. The baking soda will foam up, then let it set for three hours before scrubbing. Let it dry overnight and vacuum the baking soda up the next day.

Baking soda can also be used to help clean dirty pans; deodorize musty upholstery, pet beds and other things; and remove mildew from bathrooms.

Distilled White Vinegar
This can be used as a nontoxic disinfecting agent. You’ll usually want to mix a half-and-half blend of it with water in a spray bottle. The solution can be used to treat all kinds of stains, and one cup mixed with a gallon of warm water can be enough to clean an entire home’s floors. Just be sure you’re in a well-ventilated area because vinegar can have a strong odor.

Lemons
If you have a lemon tree, or your neighbor does, chances are you have way more lemons than you can use. Put them to good use to clean your house.

A few drops of lemon juice added to dish soap can boost degreasing ability. A dilute solution of water and lemon juice can get rid of food-preparation smells on your hands, and half a lemon in the refrigerator can remove odors.

Furthermore, the acid in lemons is an antibacterial and antiseptic that acts like a natural bleach, and oils in the rinds can help clean and shine items in your home.

Vodka
Not everyone keeps alcohol in the home, but cheap vodka can be used to diffuse smells, de-stink mildewy clothing, disinfect a mattress and clean glass, among other uses. Just keep it out of reach from your children, as you would with most household cleaners, even some of the natural ones.

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