I owe a big thanks to my readers, who came through with flying colors when I asked for tips and advice on this subject. I've read them all and made a list of what I need to buy and some options for different tasks. Thank you all so much!
So here's what I've done so far:
1) I bought a bottle of Seventh Generation all-purpose cleanser to replace the 409. If I like it, great. Problem solved. If not, I have several other alternatives to try.
2) I saved an empty plastic jar of Ovaltine to use for Borax. That's what I'm going to try for sinks, tubs, and anything for which I would have previously used Comet. I already have a box of Borax, in our last apartment I used it for insect control.
3) I put the remains of the 409 and Windex in the basement and asked my husband to use them up down there and in the garage and to save the empty bottles for me.
4) I made a list of all the ingredients I want to try and in what combinations. I have a few different options to replace Windex, and I'll see which I prefer. And there are still several different options I want to try for all-purpose cleaning.
I'll let you know how things progress. I have a feeling this baby steps challenge is going to take a little longer than a month. I'm going to borrow "Clean House, Clean Planet" from my friend and read through all your comments again because there are so many great ideas.
Also, I will be so happy if it's true that I can keep my Oxi Clean and Murphy's Oil Soap. Those are two products I love, so they'll be sticking around if they are indeed environmentally friendly, as some of my readers suggested.
Thanks again for all your brilliant ideas and advice and links. I have enough information to completely transform our home into a non-toxic environment, and that makes me very happy.
Are there any store-bought cleaning products you just can't live without? What's your favorite homemade recipe? Please leave your thoughts in the Comments section.