05 Dec Title: How To Make The Switch To An Eco-Friendly Cleaning Routine
There are many ways in which you can contribute to a healthier planet but we understand that going zero waste or vegan are drastic lifestyle changes that can be difficult to achieve when you’re just getting started. If you still want to do your part and slowly transition into a more sustainable lifestyle, you can do that in your own home! Substituting toxic cleaning products with homemade alternatives is a great starting point..
Giving up harsh chemicals is a lot easier than it may sound. Your kitchen likely already has most of the items you need to switch to an eco-friendly cleaning routine, such as baking soda, distilled vinegar or lemons. Yes, lemons don’t just make lemonade, they’re also an excellent ingredient for mixing your own cleaning products! Whether you use the peel to infuse an all-purpose cleaner, an essential oil to add freshness to your cleaning mix or entire lemon wedges to give your foul garbage disposal odor a run for its money, this sour fruit is a sweet essential to have in your kitchen!
So is distilled vinegar. Combined with baking soda it can cause a powerful chemical reaction that helps you scrub away grease and grime without having to worry about the impact this mixture can have on your family’s health.
Store-bought cleaning products can be pricey and the sheer variety you have to buy to clean your oven, fridge, garbage disposal and cabinets can really add up. By using natural ingredients that you already have at home and mixing them in glass bottles that you can repurpose, you’re not just opening up space in your cabinets but you’re also saving money.
If you’re ready to make the switch to a greener lifestyle and cleaning routine, check out the infographic below. It includes all kinds of simple homemade recipes and clever cleaning hacks so you can start cleaning your kitchen without using harmful chemicals!
ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY CLEANING TIPS FOR KITCHEN SURFACES
1. CREATE ALL-PURPOSE CLEANER FROM LEMON PEEL
To create a non-toxic all-purpose cleaner that will wipe your countertops clean and make your kitchen smell amazing, fill an empty spray bottle half full with lemon peels. Then mix in equal parts vinegar and water, and let the mixture sit for about two weeks. This will allow the citrus to infuse the solution. After two weeks, simply strain the peels and pour the cleaning solution back into your spray bottle. It’ll help wipe away grease and grime.
2. USE COFFEE GROUNDS TO SCRUB YOUR COUNTERTOPS
For countertops that have suffered a bit more from dried-on food scraps, sprinkle used coffee grounds on the counter and scrub the spots with a damp cloth. This will gently wipe away any nasty stains without damaging your countertops!
3. CLEAN YOUR STOVETOP WITH OIL
It may sound counterintuitive but olive or vegetable oil will do wonders to grease stains or dried-on food scraps from cooking on your stove. Put some oil on a soft cloth and rub it over the greasy stains in a circular motion. Once all stains are removed, wipe the residual oil off with a wet, clean cloth and a drop of dish soap.
4. MAKE STAINLESS STEEL SHINE WITH CREAM OF TARTAR
Cream of tartar is great for cleaning your dirty stainless steel surfaces. Sprinkle the powder on a wet sponge and gently scrub off fingerprints, grease, and grime. For a polished look, you can wipe off any residue with a microfiber cloth. Make sure to always wipe in the direction of the grain to avoid streaks.
5. CLEAN YOUR CABINETS WITH COCONUT OIL AND BAKING SODA
f you’re a passionate home cook, chances are all the frying has left a grease film on your cabinets. Solid wood cabinets can get damaged when they’re cleaned with too much water and soap. Coconut oil and baking soda make for an amazing cleaning solution that’ll wipe away grease and polish your cabinets, making them look like new! Simply mix one part coconut oil with two parts baking soda and scrub dirty handles and corners. An old toothbrush will help you get the mixture in the smallest edges. Wipe the paste off with a soft cloth and then polish the cabinets with a clean rug wiping in circular motions.
6. USE FLOUR TO POLISH YOUR SINK
This may sound odd but flour can bring new life to your stainless steel sink. Clean out the sink as usual, wipe it dry and then add about ¼ cup of flour. Use a dry cloth and buff the flour into the surface in a circular motion. Wipe out the extra flour and marvel at your shiny stainless steel sink!
NATURAL CLEANING HACKSFOR KITCHEN APPLIANCES
Your kitchen appliances need some extra care and love. The cleaner you keep them, the longer they’ll last! And luckily for your family and the planet, there are eco-friendly ways to clean your kitchen that are effective and won’t damage your valuable kitchen appliances.
One of the easiest hacks to clean out a grimey microwave is to fill a small microwave-safe bowl with water and cut a lemon in half. Squeeze the juice of the lemon in the bowl and throw the lemon halves in the water as well. Place the bowl in your microwave and let it run for three minutes. Keep the door closed for an additional five minutes afterward so the steam can soften any dried stains. Then take the bowl out and wipe everything down with a damp cloth. Any grease and food stains should come off easily and the lemon will leave your microwave smelling fresh!
8. USE VINEGAR AND BAKING SODA TO CLEAN YOUR OVEN
Another appliance that gets dirtier every time you use it is your oven. To clean your oven, take the racks out and clean them separately (if they’re really dirty, soak them overnight in your bathtub with ½ cup of dish soap). Mix ½ cup of baking soda with three tablespoons of water and apply this paste on all surfaces inside your oven except the heating elements. Let this mixture sit overnight and finish the job the following morning. Simply wipe everything off with a damp cloth. You can also spray some vinegar in hard-to-reach corners that look extra dirty and keep wiping everything down with the damp cloth until your oven is clean.
9. REMOVE BAD ODOR FROM YOUR GARBAGE DISPOSAL
If your sink has a garbage disposal there’s an easy trick to clean it out and prevent it from distributing nasty smells in your home. Take a tray full of ice cubes and shove them down the drain. Let cold water run down the drain slowly and turn on your garbage disposal. Remember, to never turn on your garbage disposal without running water! While the disposal is running, add a few lemon wedges to make the kitchen smell amazing. Don’t worry about the loud noise your disposal will make when it’s crushing the ice cubes, they will actually sharpen the blades and give your garbage disposal a longer life!
10. ADD VINEGAR TO YOUR DISHWASHER
To keep your dishwasher fresh, run it with nothing but a bowl of vinegar on a hot cycle about once a month. It’s not recommended to add vinegar to the rinse aid department as it can damage the gaskets. If you have enough space and want to loosen up grime or prevent odors, you can add a cup with vinegar to every cycle on the top rack of your dishwasher.
11. DISINFECT YOUR FRIDGE WITH HYDROGEN PEROXIDE
Use 3% hydrogen peroxide as a natural disinfectant by spraying it on your fridge drawers and surfaces. Wipe everything clean with a damp cloth afterward. Hydrogen peroxide is actually environmentally friendly since it’s just water with an added oxygen molecule. While you shouldn’t consume it, it will certainly clean surfaces like your fridge or dishwasher!
ECO-FRIENDLY CLEANING SOLUTIONSFOR KITCHENWARE
12. MAKE SILVERWARE SHINE AGAIN WITH BAKING SODA
You can make your tarnished silverware shine like new by bringing one liter of water mixed with one tablespoon of baking soda to a boil. You can also add a piece of aluminum foil to the boiling pot to help with the chemical reaction. Take the pot of the heat when the water is boiling and toss in the silverware. Let it sit for a while and check back after a few minutes. The tarnished color should be gone. Wipe your silverware off with a polishing cloth before putting it back in your drawer.
13. BRING BURNT PANS BACK TO LIFE
Keeping your kitchen spotless is one thing but cleaning kitchenware without chemicals can feel intimidating. A gentle soap is a great base but scorched pans or tainted silverware need a little extra something to become sparkling clean! A simple way to bring a scorched pot or pan back to life starts with bringing equal parts water and vinegar to a boil. Remove it from the heat and add baking soda to the mixture. It may sizzle a bit but that’s a good sign! Then empty the pan and scrub the remaining stains off with a scouring tool like a heavy duty sponge or magic eraser. Rinse with hot water and you’re done.
14. SCRUB WOOD CHOPPING BOARDS WITH SALT AND LEMONS
To clean up a wood chopping board or a cast iron, simply sprinkle it with salt and rub it with half a lemon, cut side down. After scrubbing, let the paste sit on the surface for about five minutes, then scrape off the rest of the salt and rinse everything off with a wet sponge.
Check out the full infographic to learn about even more natural cleaning hacks and become an expert on fighting grease and grime while advocating for a healthier planet. For cabinets that have served you many years, maybe a new coat of paint will help with making your kitchen look like your dream space. And if everything fails, we’re happy to help you find new kitchen cabinets that bring new life into your home.