Save money, save your health: Cheap cleaners that are good for you!

In the early 1990's, after my father died, I was stuck with preparing the family house for sale. Almost twenty years of occupancy had left our home in pretty sorry shape, and it took my sisters and I a long time to pack, clean, and otherwise prepare the house for the block. Finally, toward the end of the summer, I decided to tackle the downstairs bathroom.

My father had remodeled the bathroom years earlier and had included a beautiful tile floor, which he had immediately covered up with wall-to-wall blue carpet. By the time I got to clean the room, the carpet was old and ratty, with odd stains and odder smells. After I tore it up, however, I discovered that the floor was even worse, particularly around the tub, steam shower, and toilet, where there were huge tracts of yellowed, mildewey tile. Being a scorched-earth kind of guy, I decided to pull out the big guns; I dumped the better part of a quart of bleach on the floor.