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Naturally Clean

Ready to call in reinforcements to help with your spring cleaning? Consider hiring a green maid service that eschews harsh chemicals in favor of nontoxic, biodegradable products. That'll help relieve any guilt about paying someone to scrub your toilet. Do-it-yourselfers can whip up their own green cleaners with simple ingredients such as baking soda, borax, lemon juice, liquid soap, and white vinegar.

For recipes, check out the Environmental Health Association of Nova Scotia's "Guide to Less-Toxic Products," which details store-bought and homemade alternatives for everything from air freshener to window cleaner.

If you're looking for a green maid service, you can start your search with this semi-national directory put together by natural-cleaning advocate Nancy McKenney. (San Francisco Bay Area residents can find more options in the Ecology Center's online listings.) There's also Green Clean in the Baltimore/DC area, Zen Home Cleaning and Slate in New York City, and @ Your Service, Inc. in Philadelphia, just to name a few.

Concocted a great DIY cleaner or tried a fantastic cleaning service? Tell us about them in the comments section!

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