Natural born cleaners. (Photo by Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan.)

Things I know, but wish I didn’t: Cake frosting is full of trans fat. Too many martinis can give you cancer [PDF]. Zillions of mites make their homes in our eyebrows. And, of particular concern during spring-cleaning season, common household cleaning products contain a host of nasty stuff.

What a buzzkill. Just as I can’t in good conscience eat spoonfuls of cake frosting straight from the jar, neither can I simply squirt easy-to-find, grime-zapping conventional cleaners all over the counters and be done with it. Up ‘til now, I’ve addressed this problem with nontoxic (if still store-bought) products from the likes of Seventh Generation and Method. But this year, I’ve decided to take the natural cleaning thing the next logical step, which explains why I spent the other night rubbing half a lemon into the shower tiles.