It only takes turning that bottle of kitchen cleaner around, reading the label and learning what some of those chemicals are to make you rethink spreading them all over your home. While all of our cleaners boast and brag about their ability to kill germs, make your surfaces sparkle, and remove odors, what they don’t disclose is that the chemicals used to achieve this are incredibly harmful to our health.
We’ve been distracted. We were shown shiny glass tops, and the glare blinded us from the reality. We were shown sparkly glassware, and that twinkle in the fluorescent kitchen lighting proved too pretty to notice what was really happening. Sure, the oven is clean now, but was it really necessary to poison ourselves for that effect?
The short answer is no. There are plenty of ways to keep the kitchen clean, from the dishes to the floor to the stovetop, and we can do it all with all-natural, homemade products. What’s more is that, despite the lengthy ingredient list on the back of the bottle of cleaner, it doesn’t take much to actually get the job done, and so it also doesn’t cost much.
DIY Kitchen Cleaners
For those of us who simply like things sparkly clean, safely sanitized, and pleasantly odiferous, there is no need to go out a buy a bunch of chemicals to do it. As a matter of fact, some would say spreading dangerous chemicals all over surfaces to “clean” is a bit counter-productive. Rather than do that, we can tap into what nature provides, and get all anti-bacterial and shimmering without the toxic effects.
The name of the game here is vinegar. Before the world went chemically delicious, vinegar was the household cleaner, and it still works like a charm. Not only does it clean well, but it is also anti-bacterial. This works for the countertop, the stovetop, the glass top, whatever top is there, give it a go. Dilute to a one-to-one water mixture, a squeeze of lemon for the scent (and power), and shake it in a spray bottle. There is no need to use anything else, this works, costs hardly anything, whips up in a couple of seconds, and makes sense all around.
DIY Kitchen Scrubs
Sometimes, though, we all know it happens, something is just stuck. It’s gross. Maybe cooked on. Maybe we were too tired to clean up the night before and now the sauce is like concrete. We’ve soaked the pot. We have vinegar-ed the pickle out of that lump of whatever on the stove, but it just ain’t working (This is rare but can happen). We need to put in some elbow grease to get rid of this grease, and we need something that is meant to scrub.
There are ways. Oh, there are ways. First of all, baking soda (or washing soda), with their slight abrasiveness, are tailor-made for this kind of job. Just sprinkle a bit and get after it with a wet cloth or all-natural loofa. If more ingredients seem necessary, try a mixture of one salt, one borax to two parts baking soda, but this probably won’t be necessary. Spent coffee is yet one more abrasive, natural thing that scrubs well; however, it can stain surfaces akin to grout. A little bit of grit goes a long way.
DIY Kitchen Detergents
Nothing is quite so off-putting as going to take a sip of something, a bite of something, and discovering that a piece of yesterday evening’s lasagna is still on the fork or Aunt Vera’s lipstick hasn’t quite departed from the wine glass. Without a doubt, well-washed dishes — whether done by hand or in a dishwasher — are a must in the clean kitchen arsenal. So, here’s how to get that done without all the chemicals and just a couple of ingredients.
Soap nuts are great and easy to use, with amazing cost efficiency. A great dishwashing detergent can be made with a few soap nuts, a cup of water for each one and a few drops of whatever essential oil smells good (Citrus always feels right). Or, some grated castile soap, a la Dr. Bonners, mixed with about half the amount of baking soda (or washing soda) and that same essential oil. For the dishwasher, try a mixture of equal parts borax (borax is not always the most popular ingredient, so don’t use it if it doesn’t feel right) and washing soda with a half the amount lemon juice and salt, respectively. Of course, if the essential oil is still calling, feel free.
The point is that we don’t need chemicals to clean the kitchen and keep it fit for living. We can make it smell great. We can make it safe (safer really) for our children. We can make it nicer to the environment. We can do it all ourselves.
Lead Image Source: NDTV Food