After a long winter, I love to open up the windows, put out the summer linens, and give everything a good scrub. I've learned a lot of tricks on how to get the house sparkling without it smelling like chemicals. You can make your house sparkle with just a few simple supplies, many of which are already in your cupboards.
Mild dishwashing liquid is excellent for removing spills that water won't budge. Make a simple all-purpose cleaner by mixing 2 cups water with 2 tablespoons dishwashing liquid in a spray bottle. Use it on countertops and other hard surfaces.
Baking soda has scrubbing power but won't scratch surfaces. Mix a paste of 3 parts warm water to 1 part baking soda to scrub kitchen stains or clean the oven. Make a bathroom cleanser by mixing dishwashing liquid with baking soda until you have a thick paste.
Distilled white vinegar and lemon juice are both excellent for cleaning, deodorizing, and mild bleaching. They are acidic and can eliminate soap scum. Make a window- and mirror-cleaner by mixing equal parts vinegar and water, which also works well on most polyurethane-finished wood floors. You can also mix 1 tablespoon vinegar with 1 tablespoon dish soap with 2 cups of water for a carpet spot remover.
I also like to invest in some good tools. I try to avoid using paper towels and substitute with rags made from old T-shirts. I use a squeegee to clean windows, and shower doors because it gets them to sparkle without having to wash out rags afterwards. Because I clean my hard surface floors with vinegar and water I use an average mop, no Swiffer. I can unclip the mop head and wash it in warm water and reuse it. I have seen people who modify their Swiffers to have a washable terry cloth head. Which helps save money and the earth.
And if making your own cleaners isn't something you want to do, brands like Method, and Seventh Generation, make good quality household cleaners and products you can invest some peace-of-mind in.