Pour 1/2 cup baking soda into a bowl. Add just enough liquid soap to make a creamy paste. Spread mixture on the flat side of 1/2 of a lemon and scrub. The lemon acts as a sponge and leaves a natural citrus scent. Use a damp rag or sponge to wipe away any residue. You'll find the paste will stay moist for a few hours.
For basic nontoxic stain removal, mix up a little grandmother knowledge and apply it liberally. The principles behind creating stain removers -- or nearly all household cleaners -- are relatively simple. Some kinds of stains respond to alkaline minerals such as borax and soap, others to acids like vinegars.
Vinegar is a great all-purpose cleaner; use it straight for tough jobs, or dilute it with water. Tea-tree oil is a natural fungicide and can help disinfect surfaces -- mix 2 teaspoons with 2 cups water. To whiten stained tiles or grout, use a mixture of 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide to 1 cup water. All of these solutions can be sprayed onto a surface, allowed to dry, then wiped with a damp cloth.
Scented Natural Blue Eucalyptus Lavender Detergent by Seventh Generation. Your laundry will smell fresh, not cloying, with Scented Natural Blue Eucalyptus Lavender Detergent by Seventh Generation (seventhgeneration.com.) And Unscented Free Clear Liquid Laundry Determent by Ecos. gets the job done without scent. ecos.com.
Vinegar works well on soap scum and mineral deposits, but rinse thoroughly, as it can corrode some fixtures and etch glaze on tiles. You can also try tea tree oil -- 2 drops tea tree oil with 1 cup water -- in a spray bottle. A natural antiseptic and fungicide, tea tree oil costs more than vinegar but will kill most types of mold and help prevent growth; as with all concentrated oils, it should be used with caution, as it can trigger allergic reactions if it comes into contact with skin.
Pour a small amount of soda water onto a fresh carpet spill, and blot with a towel. Don't rub, as you may mat the fibers. If the stain is set, try hydrogen peroxide: Pour some onto a clean, white cloth, then press cloth to carpet. Wait about 15 minutes, blot with a clean cloth. There should be no need to rinse.