Vinegar is one of the most useful alternatives. Diluted with water
and a squeeze of lemon it works very well on windows and
mirrors. Use a piece of newspaper to remove and you've got a streak free shine. Mix a paste of vinegar and baking soda and soap ring is a breeze to remove. Use a soft cloth to apply the mixture and let set for ten to fifteen minutes. Remove with a soft scrubbing sponge and the ring around the tub will come off easily. Vinegar is also a natural deodorizer. Pour vinegar down drains and garbage disposals to keep them fresh. Pour a cup of vinegar into a coffee maker and allow to brew. Cycle several times with water to rinse.
Baking soda can be used as a soft abrasive to remove stains and stuck on food. Add baking soda and water to a pan with burnt on food and allow to boil. The burnt food will rinse right off. Clean a stove top with baking soda and water. It won't leave behind the scratches some store bought abrasives can leave. Add baking soda to the dishwasher and it will help remove tough food stains. Bakingking soda will also absorb tough odors. Sprinkle on carpet before vacuuming to freshen. Add to a litter box to reduce the offensive smells.
Salt is another form of abrasive. When mixed as a paste and used with a soft cloth it will polish silver and brass. Pour salt over oil spills and it will absorb most of the mess. Blott salt over a coffee stain and rub in a circular motion. The stain will be removed witout the need for heavy bleach. Add salt, lemon juice and ice to a coffee pot. Swish the mixture in the pot and your coffee stains have disappeared.
Alochol is a useful stearlizer. Soak combs to remove residue. Swab on ink stains in a circular motion and they will disappear. Wipe alochol on kitchen appliances to remove grease and leave shinney. My favorite of all is toothpaste. Gently brushing toothpaste on a ring or neclace will restore the glimmer of your jewlery.