Vinegar gets all the press for those interested in natural cleaning products. I myself have touted its use, primarily in its usefulness in cleaning carpet stains. Vinegar aside, there are other common ingredients that can be put to work for green cleaning; baking soda does a great job, as does salt.
Yep, common salt can clean up messes, even get that red wine out of your carpet. The SaltInstitute (not surprisingly) has many unusual uses for salt in the home. Cleaning up burned food in the oven, freshening thermoses, cleaning out stained coffee cups, freshening coffee makers, getting rid of mildew, even removing water rings on furniture are all within this mineral’s power, so they say. I haven’t tried all these methods (yet) but I can certainly vouch for salt’s ability to clean cast iron pans. Supposedly, you can also get rid of your pet’s fleas by cleaning her bed with salt water; salt repels those nasty bugs. (I find a bowl of water under a night light really does the trick.)
Salt started out as such a precious commodity; heck, Roman soldiers may have been paid in the stuff. (The word “salary” comes from the Latin salarium, paid in salt. Thank you wikipedia.) Now, we can get a carton at the dollar store and use it for all sorts of purposes. So give old salt a try and see if it can do the job for you. It might give Vinegar a run for its money.