Daily when we are cleaning we come in contact with all kinds of chemicals. Many of them have labels like "citrus" , "clean linen", "pine fresh". Working in a veterinary hospital, there are no shortage of messes and we have to use specific cleaners to prevent the spread of disease. I've become accustomed to the sanitary and sterile smells that come from strong cleaning products.
I don't think the perception of clean should necessarily be tied to the strong perfumed smells of cleaners. I'd love to capture the freshness that comes off of the laundry line. A friend recommended a basic all purpose cleaning mixture that I've begun using and I like. She had derived her recipe from this book and I look forward to finding what other tips it has. There are many areas where making greener choices also is much less expensive. These cleaners are made with household items that we have anyway (with the exception of the essential oils used for their germ killing qualities, but once purchased will last for a long time).
Over the years at home, I've tried a couple of homemade cleaners, but never been happy with the results. One reason is, when you start using a homemade cleaner, you have to be patient and use it for a period of time. The cleaners that we purchase at the store leave a film on the surfaces and it takes some time to break that down. The vinegar in homemade cleaners is a tremendous help in cutting through the old "clean". Another great investment for our household has been a bissell steam floor cleaner. The multitude of mopping items I have tried never failed to leave a visible film on my maple floors. Once I started using the hot steam cleaner, the film went away and I had an all natural (can't get more natural than water) cleaner that has made a huge difference.
I have learned, and am learning, that changing our cleaning habits is better for our home, health, and pocketbook!