Easy DIY Fixes for a Naturally Clean Kitchen
Are you sick and tired of spending big bucks on chemical cleaners chockfull of scary ingredients? If so, it may seem that your only option is to go out and purchase organic versions with even scarier price tags. However, there are alternatives. You can find some wonderful natural cleaning agentsPosted — Updated
If you don't own a dishwasher or prefer to do your delicate items by hand, make dishwashing liquid from well-diluted castile soap, grated soap, or soap flakes mixed in a 1:4 ratio with warm water. Add a drop or two of essential oil for a pleasant fragrance and store in one of those giant plastic detergent bottles you won't be buying anymore. A set of reusable hand-knitted dishcloths adds even more eco-friendliness.
The dishwashing liquid described above may also be used for cleaning countertops. Some people like to add baking soda for extra scrubbing action; just make sure you remove all the grit it leaves behind. Be careful never to use vinegar or other acids on stone countertops (granite or marble, for example), because they damage the surface. A magic eraser quickly removes scuffs, especially on counter edges.
Kitchen cabinets have a tendency to get splattered with oily splotches, especially if they are adjacent to the stove. It may seem counterintuitive, but the best way to get rid of grease is by using more grease. Try rubbing with an oil-based soap or homemade Goo Gone (one part cooking oil to two parts baking soda). Some folks even recommend wiping down with a napkin moistened with a bit of oil. In either case, rinse with warm water. Avoid hard scrubbing with products like Magic Eraser, which may damage cabinets' finish.
The first green cleaning tip I ever learned was a fast method for getting windows clean and clear. I had thought that the blue stuff in the squirt bottle was the only way to wipe, until I was told that old newspapers work just as well and are much more eco-friendly. Just wet the glass lightly with a spray of water (you can blend a quarter-cup vinegar with 2 cups water for even more cleaning power) and use the crumpled newspaper to gently rub dry. Nowadays, this method is a little trickier since I no longer buy newspapers, but the newsprint flyers that pile up in my mailbox are an acceptable substitute. The paper can be composted after use.
For major, once-a-year window cleaning, I take my windows out of their frames and use rags to wash them down with natural dish liquid. Rinse and wipe dry.