20 ways to get your home clean without harsh chemicals

These DIY solutions will get your home sparkling.

Alina Bradford
1 of 21 Alina Bradford/CNET

Whether you want to be as all-natural as possible or just want to save some money on cleaning products, these DIY solutions have you covered.

2 of 21 Alina Bradford/CNET

100 percent all-natural

There's one cleaner that you don't need to mix up and it's 100 percent all-natural: lemons. Cut a lemon in half and use it to scrub stained laminate counter tops clean. 

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Clean a cutting board

Sprinkle some salt on a cutting board and use a lemon half to scrub away odors and gunk. Rinse the board and dry it with a clean dish cloth to finish up.

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Freshen a disposal

Toss half a lemon in the garbage disposal with warm water to clean and deodorize. 

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Make your microwave sparkle

Microwaves are notorious for being hard to clean. Just soak a kitchen sponge in lemon water and place it in the microwave for 1 minute. Let the steam from the sponge penetrate the stuck-on grime for 5 minutes, then wipe the inside of the microwave clean. Done!

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Another citrus wonder

Lemons aren't the only cleaning queens. Save your fresh orange peel after a snack and use the orange side to polish your stainless steel. The citrus oils will remove fingerprints, while leaving behind a nice shine. Just make sure you rub with the grain of the stainless steel.

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Orange peel cleaning solution

Orange peels can also be used to make a multi-purpose natural cleanser. Put peels from three large oranges in a quart jar and fill the jar with white vinegar. Let the mixture soak for two weeks, then strain it into a spray bottle. You can use the cleanser for fridges, stovetops, microwaves and more.

8 of 21 Taylor Martin/CNET

Vinegar for windows and mirrors

To clean windows and mirrors quickly, spray them with a little distilled vinegar mixed, half-and-half, with water. Then just wipe them down with a clean cloth. This cleaning solution prevents fogginess, so it's great for bathroom mirrors and car windows. 

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Vinegar gets rid of static

Pour 1/4 cup of white vinegar into the fabric softener slot in your washing machine to prevent static cling and to get rid of lint. Here are a bunch of other great ways to clean with vinegar

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Make a power scrubber

There's no need for harsh chemicals when you have power on your side. This DIY power scrubber is easy to make and blasts through grime. Here are the instructions

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Get grease out of carpet

Don't let grease stains on your carpet stress you out. Rubbing one part salt and four parts rubbing alcohol into the stain. Then pat it with a damp cloth. 

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Stains on clothes

Salt also works great to get rid of protein stains on clothes. Dip a clean cloth in a solution of saltwater and dab the stain. Finish up by rinsing the item with cold water. Here are more ingenious uses for salt.

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Got mold?

If you've got mold, you can clean non-porous materials (like windows) with a solution of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide and water, according to Michael Dooley, the Vice President of the New Mexico chapter the American Society of Home Inspectors. A paste made of borax and water also works.

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Scrubbing with baking soda and salt

If your pans are looking a little gunky on the bottom, there's a simple solution. Sprinkle a layer of baking soda on the pan, then a layer of sea salt, then spritz on a layer of vinegar. Let it soak for about 10 minutes and scrub with a sponge. The gunk will lift right off. Here are some more pan cleaning techniques. 

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Freshen and clean a matress

To make your mattress look and smell like new, spray down your mattress with a light mist of water from a spray bottle, then dust the entire mattress with baking soda. Use a clean cloth to rub the baking soda into any stains. Let the baking soda dry, then use the upholstery attachment on your vacuum to suck up the baking soda.

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Freshen your carpets

You can never be sure what's in store-bought carpet fresheners. Luckily, you can make your own all-natural version. Mix one cup of baking soda with three tablespoons of ground cinnamon. Sprinkle the mixture over your carpets and let it sit for 30 minutes. Then just vacuum like normal.

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Baking soda scrub

Baking soda can also be used to get rid of tough soap scum in the bathroom. Just spritz the surface with water, then dust it with baking soda. Use a sponge or cleaning cloth to rub the baking soda over the soiled area and rinse.

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Polish wood

This all-natural wood polish will make your table gleam. Mix a tablespoon of warm coconut oil with half a teaspoon of lemon juice. Buff the mixture onto the wood with a cotton cloth. 

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Coconut oil cleans floors, too

Here's another use for coconut oil. A mixture of one part coconut oil and one part baking soda gets scuffs off of most types of floors.

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And paint

The mixture can remove dried paint from linoleum, too. Just rub it in and wipe away.

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Remove crayon

A dab of coconut oil will also remove crayon and candle wax from walls.

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