Since the kitchen is where food is prepared, stored, and enjoyed it requires frequent cleaning. But as you learned in my previous post, there are many dangers associated with common cleaning products. Thankfully, it is so easy and inexpensive to make your own non-toxic cleaning solutions using common products you may already have. Today I am going to share some green cleaning recipes for your oven, countertops, sink, stainless steel appliances, floors, and more!
About These Ingredients
Once you know what these ingredients can do, you can start to see all the ways they can be used around the house:
- Baking soda: Cleans, deodorizes, softens water, scours. We buy it in bulk at Costco.
- White vinegar: Cuts grease, removes mildew, odors, some stains, and wax build-up. The acid in vinegar can kill 99 percent of bacteria, 82 percent of mold, and 80 percent of germs in one application.
- Hydrogen peroxide: Disinfectant, safer to use than chlorine bleach for disinfecting and whitening.
- Liquid castile soaps: Found in health food stores and are safer than commercial liquid cleaning products. If you can’t find any in your area, you can always find some on Amazon.com. We have used the Dr. Bronner’s brand.
Disclaimer: These natural cleaning ideas and solutions are offered as a way to minimize the use of toxic substances in your home and reduce environmental harm. Results may vary and are not guaranteed. Always test in small, hidden areas before applying any cleaning solution. Always use caution and keep the products and homemade solutions well-labeled and out of the reach of children.
Oven cleaner is one of the most toxic cleaning products. Thankfully, there is a super simple, inexpensive way to make your own natural oven cleaner. Just sprinkle a cup or more of baking soda over the bottom of your oven and spray with enough water to make a paste. For dirt on the sides of the oven, create a baking soda and water paste and then apply. Let the mixture set overnight, spraying it a few times to keep it wet. Then just wipe it up. When you have cleaned up the worst of the mess, dab a bit of liquid castile soap on a cloth or sponge to wash the remaining residue from the oven. The first time I tried this I was amazed at how well it worked! Watch the following video I made and see for yourself how easy it is! (Just please don’t judge me for my dirty oven!)
Vinegar is the best all-purpose household cleaner and can clean almost anything. For a natural countertop cleaner, add water and vinegar to a spray bottle (in a 1:1 ratio) and spray on countertops, windows, and walls. If you don’t like the smell of vinegar, you can add a few drops of either liquid castile soap, essential oil, or lemon juice to the mix as well.
Another option, especially for those with granite or concrete countertops, is to sprinkle baking soda on the surfaces and scrub. You can add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to this. Lavender and tea tree oil have anti-bacterial qualities. I will say that this method does tend to leave a residue that requires more and more rounds of wiping the counter down.
Another option for stone or concrete countertops is to mix five parts water and one part liquid castile soap. This is what I do; I like keeping it simple and using just soap and water!
- Do not use vinegar on marble, granite, or other stone countertops as it may etch the stone surface.
- Never use undiluted vinegar on grout.
- Essential oils are NOT the same as fragrance oils, which are artificially created and often contain synthetic chemicals. Make sure the essential oil you use is of the highest quality and 100 percent pure.
Disinfectant and Sanitizer
Vinegar and hydrogen peroxide are great for disinfecting and sanitizing. For a natural disinfectant and natural sanitizer, put undiluted vinegar in one spray bottle and three percent hydrogen peroxide in another spray bottle. DO NOT MIX THEM TOGETHER IN ONE BOTTLE! Disinfect surfaces with alternating sprays of each. (It does not matter which is first.) Research shows this method kills virtually all bacteria like E. coli and Salmonella.
Another option for a disinfectant and all-purpose cleaner is to mix a few drops of liquid castile soap, 2 cups water, and 15 drops each of tea tree and lavender essential oil (or just one oil, but 30 drops). You can spray this on all surfaces, like cutting boards, counters, toilets, walls. It will streak glass, though.
Remember to disinfect countertops, cutting boards, sinks, faucets, and refrigerator handles regularly.
For a natural stainless steel cleaner to clean fingerprints and other streaky stains on appliances, simply put some olive oil on a clean, soft cloth and wipe. Olive oil also works on sink stains, too.
To get rid of water spots on stainless steel utensils and cutlery, dip a cloth in vinegar and rub on the utensils. It’s a great way to polish and sanitize them.
Club soda works well for removing stains from stainless steel cookware.
Remember, never use abrasives or steel wool on stainless steel.
To get rid of foul smells, add vinegar to water and make ice cubes. Let a few of them get chopped by your disposal. You can also grind up lemon or orange peel.
As a natural drain cleaner, put 1/2 cup to 1 cup baking soda down the disposal and then add apple cider vinegar. Let it bubble for 15 minutes and then rinse with hot water.
A simple and natural sink cleaner is to scrub with baking soda and water.
Another option is to combine three drops of essential oil, 1/4 cup baking soda, and 1/2 cup white vinegar. Mix until well blended and then scrub over all sink surfaces. Rinse with hot water.
For a natural dishwasher detergent, mix 1 cup borax, 1 cup baking soda, and 1/4 cup citric acid (found at nutrition store). Mix and then grind to fine powder. (Recipe found here.) Transfer to an airtight container to store. (Recycled glass jars work well.) Use 1 tablespoon of mixture per load. Use vinegar as a rinse agent.
Liquid Dish Soap
For a natural and homemade dish soap, combine 2 cups of liquid castile soap, 1/2 cup warm water, and a few drops of essential oils for scent (optional, especially if using scented castile soap). Shake or mix well and place in container of your choice. (Recycled dish soap squeeze bottle is one idea.) Shake well before using.
For a natural cook top cleaner, use a baking soda paste to scrub away stains. When done, wipe it down with a vinegar/water mix to remove cloudy residue.
First, sweep or vacuum to remove bigger pieces of dirt. Here are some options for a natural floor cleaner:
- Vinyl or linoleum: Mix one cup white vinegar in 1 gallon water. Rinse with clear water.
- Tile or wood: Create a solution of a few drops liquid castile soap and warm water. Put in a spray bottle, then spray on a cotton rag or towel until lightly damp. Continue to damp mop the floor. Do not use vinegar on wood or tile (grout).
For a natural and non-toxic silver polish, place a sheet of aluminum foil in your kitchen sink or a bucket and add tarnished silver. Pour in hot water, baking soda, and a dash of salt. Let sit for a few minutes. The tarnish will transfer from the silver to the foil. Wipe any remaining tarnish with a clean cloth.
For a natural rust remover, sprinkle a little bit of salt on the rust, squeeze a lime over the salt until it is nicely soaked. Leave the mixture on for two or three hours. Use the leftover rind to scrub residue.
That should hopefully get you started cleaning your kitchen naturally! Look for more posts in the upcoming weeks for natural cleaning tips for other rooms in your house, including the bathroom, living room, and laundry room.
What other natural, eco-friendly, and non-toxic ways do you keep your kitchen clean? Leave a comment and share!
Wendy – ParentingTips365.com