The kitchen is one of the most germ-filled places in your home, and the chemicals in most cleaners can be just as concerning. In the last few years, green cleaners have hit the market, helping to leave your home a little less chemical-filled, but your wallet a little lighter. There are plenty of common sense approaches to lessening the amount of germs in your kitchen, but there are four natural, versatile cleaners that will help keep your kitchen germ free, without having a dramatic effect on your budget.
Vinegar is one of the most common green cleaning agents, and is the most beneficial in disinfectant properties. Being quite acidic, will cut grease and dissolve most mineral deposits. This makes it great to clean your Keurig machine or teapot – use a 50/50 mix, and be sure to rinse thoroughly! In addition, if your microwave needs attention, fill a microwave-safe cup with a 4:1 ratio of vinegar to water, and nuke to boiling. When complete, wipe the inside of the microwave down with a cloth, and your splatters will be gone! Keep an additional spray bottle filled with vinegar for a bunch of extra uses – mixing with baking soda to clean grout, scrub baked on stains, and more!
Not only will salt season a cast iron pan, but mix it with ice and you’ll be able to clean your kitchen with some amazing results! Create a paste from baking soda, dish soap, and water and use it to scrub the stove or your countertop. Some other popular uses are to clean your garbage disposal and removing stains from coffee pots. Combining salt and ice in your garbage disposal, run some cool water and the disposal until clear – you’ll remove the gunk from the blades and clean out the drain. The salt and ice combo will also remove stains from a coffee pot – mix them both in the carafe, swirl, rinse, and boom! Crystal clear!
Lemon and Lime
Lemon is one of those smells known for freshness – so it’s not a surprise that it will help with a lot of cleaning tasks. The acidity of lemon and lime juice will cut through grease and some bacteria, adding a cleaning element to the citrus scent. Add some rind to your garbage disposal for a fresh smell and to help clear up any hidden smells. Remove rust by covering the rust stain with salt, squeeze the juice of a lime over the salt, and leave to sit for a few hours. When done, scrub off the residue, and the rust is history! If that wasn’t enough, cut a lemon in half, rub on the water spots on your faucet – and you can remove the water spots and soap scum – naturally!
Peroxide is a natural cleaner. The 3% solution will clean nearly any surface with the disinfecting properties, natural chemical reactions, and a bit of time. Wipe down for a quick clean, or let sit for a deeper disinfect – trash cans, sink brushes, shelves in the fridge, and even cutting boards (but be sure the cutting boards are washed thoroughly with soapy water, first!). Along with all of those surfaces, peroxide will remove stains from countertops, and can also kill mold. An all-around healthy cleaner, use it frequently, and keep your kitchen sparkling!
While some scents (hello vinegar!) are a little harsher on the nose, you can add lemon juice or other essential oils like lavender and clove to change the scents and still have the germ busting power you desire. Happy cleaning!
For more tips and tricks, head to Modernize.com.
Our guest author, Gina Carlson, lives in Minnesota with her husband and four crazy pets and is a DIY home improvement addict.