My friend Stephanie wrote this short and helpful article on ways we can use less resources, and clean with green household products. Check out her article here at Everyday Environmentalist.
I have been using all natural cleaning products for about 4 years now. At first I thought it was going to be very costly and not really work. However as someone who had a job as a house cleaner for a time in my life, I knew that there were direct consequences of using traditional cleaners, mostly for my body. First was my lungs, anyone who has sprayed Windex or other ammonia based products onto windows, counters, and mirrors, knows that it is not the most pleasant smell, the same goes for anything with chlorine bleach. The problem is that not only is the smell offensive, but the actual particles you are breathing into your lungs are dangerous. Second was how quickly my skin would react to each product. Mostly by becoming dry and cracking. These are 2 very visible ways to see how harsh traditional cleaning products can be.
Natural cleaning products are not expensive, here is a list of what I use:
Baking Soda -- great for getting soap scum and water marks out of the bathroom, great to clean grout in tile, weird spots in sinks
Boiling water -- wooden cutting boards, things that have grown mold (which happens to everything in Florida)
Trader Joe's Cleanliness is Godliness all purpose cleaner ($2.99) -- windows, sinks, counter tops, floors
bartender's friend -- anything metal that has gunk on it
lemons -- can be used as disinfectant
there are a ton of books on the market on this topic and ways to clean all sorts of things. A few brands to look for: Shacklee get clean products, Seventh Generation, Mrs. Meyers
these are just to name a few that I have used and think are just fine. I do love anything that Trader Joe's dishes out.