Kitchens are the hardest working rooms in the home, and if you don’t stay on top of keeping it clean, it can easily start to overwhelm you. But don’t worry, we have just the recipe you’re looking for that will save you time and money – in a sustainable way. Take a look at our Quick Tips for Non-Toxic Cleaning in the Kitchen and keep your house looking and smelling great.
Is the Kitchen the dirtiest place in the house?
I think it’s safe to say that the Kitchen IS the dirtiest place in the house. Think about all the bacteria in the sink and trash alone. But you don’t have to cover every last surface in toxic bleach.
Organic cleaners are made mostly of plant-based materials. Synthetic cleaners are often made from petroleum-based products. Petroleum-based products are toxic, and when rinsed down the drain, they wind up in our waterways and oceans.
How can I clean my kitchen without chemicals?
There are much easier, organic, all natural and time tested ingredients that do the trick. And you probably already have them somewhere in the house.
Meet Your New Best Friends!
Water. Vinegar. Baking Soda. Lemon. Rags. Refillable Glass Spray Bottle.
With these few, natural ingredients, you can have non-toxic cleaners that will work not only in your Kitchen, but throughout the entire home in just 5 minutes.
Ingredients and Materials:
- One Cup Distilled Water
- One Cup Distilled White Vinegar
- Half a Lemon, Juiced
- 10-15 Drops of Essential Oils (dealer’s choice on the scent that soothes you!)
- Refillable Glass Spray Bottle
Combine all the liquid in a bottle and shake! Now you’ve got your own sustainable, non-toxic cleaner for all your surfaces and minor spills.
Bonus Ingredients and Materials:
- Baking Soda (for scrubbing and clogged drains)
- Peroxide (for stain removal)
Quick Tips for Non-Toxic Cleaning in the Kitchen
Try to use the Garbage Disposal as little as possible by adding leftover food to a compost pail. This will reduce water waste and electrical use, as well as wear and tear. If you do use your disposal, keep it clean with Ice and a piece of leftover Lemon.
If the drain becomes clogged, use this trick that can also unclog a bathroom sink:
Pour a pot of boiling hot water down the drain. Next, pour Baking Sofa and White Vinegar down the drain and cover (or use the stopper). After a half an hour, pour another pot of boiling hot water down the drain. Voila!
It uses less water to run a full load of dishes than to hand wash them. Adding Vinegar to the rinse dispenser of the machine will make the dishes sparkle and get rid of the need for a harsh chemical rinse.
To wash the dishwasher, place a bowl with about two cups of White Vinegar in the bottom of the dishwasher, and run it without any additional cleaner.
And a friendly reminder to never put wood in the dishwasher. That means knives, bowls and cutting boards. It will dry them out and they will crack and be destroyed.
If you’d like to clean your cutting boards, use cold water followed by a thin layer of inexpensive cooking oil.
How do I disinfect my kitchen sink without bleach?
The best advise on keeping sinks clean is to wipe up food and sauces before they stain. Baking Soda or Bon Ami Powder Cleanser, combined with scrubbing will clean the sink without damaging it.
STOVE + OVEN
The same cleaning advice is used for the Stove and Oven. Spills and splatters should be wipes up immediately after the hot surface cools. This will get rid of any need for harsh chemical cleansers to clean caked-on substances.
Never use oven cleaner. Most are made with a chemical called Sodium Hydroxide. This may sound harmless (like salty peroxide?) but it’s far from it. Sodium Hydroxide is extremely dangerous to breathe, the noxious chemicals seep into the earth and waterways when rags or paper towels are cleaned or disposed of.
For really filthy grills, let them sit in a gallon of water and a cup of Baking Soda overnight.
COPPER POTS + SILVER
Tomato Paste is a gentle polish for Copper Pots. To remove tarnish, dip them in boiling vinegar and wipe dry with a cloth. A Salt and Lemon Scrub also works.
To clean Silver, use non-toxic, biodegradable polish. If you can’t find one, lay them in a glass casserole dish with a few tablespoons each of Salt and Baking Soda, topped with boiling water. Let sit for 10 minutes, then remove and polish with a dry, soft cloth. Repeat as needed.
Be aware that you must hand-wash these items forever after because they tarnish to a yellow color if cleaned in the dishwasher.
COFFEE MAKER + TEAKETTLE
Clean Coffee Makers and Teakettles with Vinegar and Water. In Coffee Makers, run a few cycles of Vinegar Water through the machine.
To remove mineral build-up from Teakettles, boil Vinegar and Water or Water with Lemon for a half hour, and polish the outside with Baking Soda and Vinegar Paste.
AIR IT OUT
Turn on Vents when cooking to keep the house clean and smoke out of the furniture and lungs.
Open up the windows and use your air purifier to combat cling on smells.
If your home is feeling stuffy, head over and check out 5 Ways to Get Cleaner Air at Home.
Follow these tips for conserving water while cleaning the Kitchen:
- Make sure the dishwasher is full every time you use it.
- Scrape, don’t rinse, dishes before they are loaded into the dishwasher.
- Buy a water-efficient dishwasher.
- Don’t run hot water to thaw food.
- Store drinking water in the refrigerator instead of letting the water run to cool.
If you’re looking for more ways to save water at home, check out one of our more popular posts:
GREEN INTERIOR DESIGN
How to Achieve Style and Sustainability
Green Interior Design is the most comprehensive guide to sustainable building, designing, and decorating on the market. This beautifully illustrated guide covers every detail of your home—from the drywall to the finial on the curtain rod—and how to find the most environmentally friendly versions of products and décor. This second edition of Green Interior Design is meant as much for the budget DIYer as it is for the luxury homebuilders looking to dip their toes into sustainability.
QUICK TIPS FOR NON-TOXIC CLEANING IN THE KITCHEN
Excerpts taken from the book
Green Interior Design by Lori Dennis and Courtney Porter