When it comes to your kitchen, my personal motto is if you can’t eat it, don’t clean with it. Thankfully, when it comes to tight budgets, these natural products are things that you usually have on hand, or are very inexpensive to get.
To spruce up all of your kitchen appliances you will need:
- bicarbonate of soda
- rubber scraper and various cloths and sponges
These products will allow you to really get in there and make your appliances shine like new, but once that splatter has dried and caked onto, it will be much harder to clean off than if it had been given a quick wipe when the mess was fresh. The trick to a clean kitchen is really to clean as you go. Not only does this keep it feeling clean, you can also avoid the dread of dishes piled up in the sink, crusty pots and pans on the stove, juice splatters all over the counter tops – you get the point.
Here’s a rundown of the food-stuffs that I mentioned earlier so we can get a good idea of exactly when and where to use them.
Bicarbonate of Soda – Ok, so it’s easy to be obsessed with bicarb soda once you realize just all that it does (51 fantastic uses for baking soda http://www.care2.com/greenliving/51-fantastic-uses-for-baking-soda.html). For everyday food odours in the fridge, place an open box of bicarb soda in the back of the fridge to absorb the odours, but when dealing with particularly vulgar smells, Martha Stewart suggests to spread the powder onto a baking sheet and leaving it in the fridge over night. Come morning the smells should be gone.
For any and all mysterious caked on residue, mix up some bicarb soda with a little water to make a paste and apply it to the offending spot. Leave it for a few hours and use a rubber kitchen scraper and wipe off.
When it comes to the inside of your oven, we all know how it goes – crusty “things” build up and since it’s not a place we really look at often, it falls into a sort of “out of sight, out of mind” syndrome. To remove all that gunk for good, mix up your bicarb paste and paint it all over your oven except for the glass and bare metal surfaces. Once everything is good and covered, leave it over night and gently use a rubber scraper in the morning. Once it’s clean, avoid that big process by regularly wiping the oven down after use.
Vinegar – Any vinegar will do, but for added freshness, add some citrus peels such as orange or lemon together with vinegar in a spray bottle. You can have this on hand for quickly disinfecting counters and appliances. Just spray and wipe away.
Lemon – Cut open a lemon and rub it on your stainless steal appliances to bring back their shine.
To loosen up that microwave gunk, fill a bowl with water and a spritz of lemon and microwave it for three minutes on high. Let it sit in the microwave for another five minutes and then it will be much easier to wipe down your microwave.
For day to day kitchen messes, dish detergent will usually do the trick, but Martha Stewart warns that it should not be used to wipe down the fridge interior because this can leave food with a “soapy” taste. Instead sprinkle a little bicarb soda on a wet cloth for a quick wipe down.
Once you start using these natural ingredients to clean your kitchen, it will be very hard to go back to the clorox/bleach/chemical disinfectants. Everything you use in your kitchen has the potential of getting into your food and with natural products, you’ll never have to worry about accidentally eating nasty chemicals and additives. You’ll also save tons of money because although many cleaning products are under $10 to purchase, over a life time they really do add up in price. Chemical cleaning products irritate your hands and lungs, so once you switch you’ll be able to breath a (natural) sigh of relief.