Though many people prefer using chemical cleaners on particularly difficult messes, all-natural substitutions work just as well for daily problems. These eco-friendly cleaners are also much cheaper in the long term and better for children and pets. Here are 7 you can mix up and start using this weekend.

The Basic Ingredients

These nine ingredients make up the bulk of the following recipes. You’ll find them in any major supermarket or wholesale supplier.

  1. Baking Soda
  2. White Vinegar
  3. Hydrogen peroxide
  4. Borax
  5. Essential oils, like tea tree oil, lavender oil, eucalyptus oil, or lemongrass oil
  6. Water

1. All Purpose Cleaner

You can use this cleaner for everything, from streak-free mirrors to wiping out the cat litter box. Keep pre-mixed in an old spray bottle for easy access.

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup hydrogen peroxide
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice

Hydrogen peroxide is inexpensive, non-toxic, and easy to find. You might recognize it from a first aid kit; it’s usually used to treat open wounds. For cleaning, hydrogen peroxide works much like bleach, but without any of the harmful side-effects.

2. Bathroom: Grout Cleaner

  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Essential oil(s) if you want a scented cleaner

Start by making a 1:1 mixture of water and vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray this generously over your work area, and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Scrub the area with a grout brush or toothbrush, and then rinse with warm water.

In a small bowl mix baking soda with water until you have a thick paste. Scrub the paste over the area, and then spray with the vinegar-water solution. The vinegar will react with the backing soda, making it bubble up and work away the scum on the grout. Rinse with warm water.

3. Kitchen: Burnt Pots and Pans

  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda
  • Water
  • A sponge, scourer, or steel wool

Fill the bottom of the pan with a layer of water. Add the vinegar. Bring the pan to a boil on the stove. Remove the pan from the heat and add baking soda. (This will fizz.) When the water cools, empty the pan and scrub it normally.

4. Kitchen: The Family Silver

  • Aluminum foil
  • Water
  • Sea Salt

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and stir in the salt. Add the aluminium foil. Then lower in your pieces of silver, making sure they are touching the foil and fully covered in water. Let them sit for a few minutes, as the aluminum pulls off all the tarnish. Remove from the water, and dry with a soft cloth.

5. Kitchen: Greasy Surfaces

  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda

Pour the undiluted vinegar into a spray bottle, and spray it generously over the greased surface. Let sit for 5-10 minutes, the wipe the surface with a clean dishcloth or sponge. If grease remains, sprinkle the surface in baking soda, and scrub it with a little water. Rinse surface with warm water when done.

6. Living Room: Carpets

  • Salt
  • Borax
  • White vinegar
  • Vacuum cleaner and a carpet steamer if you have one
  • Essential oil(s) if you want a scented cleaner

Vacuum the rug thoroughly. Mix 1/4 cup borax with 1/4 vinegar, and apply this paste to deep stains or soiled sections of the carpet. Let the mixture sit until it dries completely (2-3 hours), then vacuum it away. If you have access to a steam cleaner, run it over the soiled sections of the carpet for a final rinse. Sprinkle with an essential oil if you like. Let the carpet dry completely before moving any furniture back on top. If possible, hang it out outside.

7. Living Room: Upholstery Spills

  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • An all-purpose cleaner

After blotting up as much of the spill as you can, remove the fabric cover if possible. Mix a teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide with the cleaner described in point 1 or with another all-purpose cleaner you use. Blot the mixture on the stain, while holding a dry towel behind the fabric to soak up extra liquid.