Kill germs with vinegar
Household vinegar contains acetic acid, a powerful antimicrobial that kills salmonella and E. coli bacteria. Readily available and cheap to boot, vinegar solutions in the proper proportions are a safe and effective alternative to harsh commercial cleaners.
Whip up your own non-toxic cleaner
To make your own non-toxic kitchen countertop cleaner, combine equal parts vinegar and tap water. To boost its cleaning power, warm it in a glass bowl in the microwave. A 64-ounce bottle of food-grade vinegar costs about $4, so a 32-ounce batch of homemade kitchen countertop cleaner will only set you back a buck.
In contrast, a 32-ounce bottle of commercial green cleaner like Seventh Generation costs about $5, while the same size conventional cleaner costs about $4.50.
Avoid these products
Some commercial anti-microbial wipes and sprays contain sodium hypochlorite (bleach) or ammonium chlorides, chemicals the EPA lists as hazardous to our (and our pets’) health. When mixed with other cleaning products, some of those chemicals can even release toxic gases.