Earth Day – Everyday Tips: Part II

I talked about more natural alternatives for cleaning your bathrooms yesterday, and today I am going to talk about kitchens. 

  1. Stoves/ovens – To remove grease and grime from ovens, make a paste of one-cup vinegar and 1/4 cup powdered laundry detergent.  Heat your oven for 5-minutes at 350 degrees and turn off.  Spread the paste around the oven, applying it more heavily to very greasy areas. Leave paste on for an hour, and then use a plastic spatula to gently scrape the dirt away.  To prevent greasy buildup in the first place, dip a sponge in full-strength vinegar and wipe down all sides of the oven.  To clean your stovetops, you can use white vinegar.  Use a sponge to wipe it down.  You can use baking soda (make a paste with either water or vinegar), wipe your stove top down, and then rinse.  If you have a stainless steel stovetop, you can finish it off by rubbing a lemon on it and then wipe it off.   It will make it shine like new.
  2. Stainless steel sinks – Make a paste using baking soda, clean and then rinse.  As above, you can use the lemon to make it shine.  If your sink is cast iron, the baking soda/vinegar cleaning will work as well.
  3. Coffee pot – Get rid of the sludge in your automatic drip coffee maker by running full-strength vinegar through a normal brew cycle. Rinse by running plain water through the cycle two or three times.
  4. Garbage disposal – Once a week, take a lemon (cut it in half or quarter it) and put it in the disposal, run water and turn it on.  This will keep odors down.  You can also pour vinegar and baking soda down you drains to clean and deodorize.
  5. Floors – To remove scuffmarks or grease spills from the floor, sprinkle with baking soda and then wipe with a warm, damp cloth. This is even safe for no-wax floors.
  6. Pots and pans – For burnt-on food in the bottom of pots, sprinkle with baking soda, and then add hot water. If it is bad let soak overnight, the dried on food will come loose much more easily.
  7. Odors – A box or small bowl of baking soda in the refrigerator, freezer, or any cupboard will keep away unpleasant odors.
    Similarly, baking soda will keep away garbage odors; sprinkle the bottom of the pail, and then sprinkle again after you put a new bag in.

If you want to make a general all-purpose cleaner, keep these ingredients/materials on hand.  Here are some things you may need:

  1. Squirt bottles
  2. Spray bottles
  3. Coffee cans
  4. 16 oz. trigger spray bottle
  5. Glass jars with screw top lids
  6. Cotton cloths
  7. Rags
  8. Liquid castile soap
  9. White distilled vinegar
  10. Purified water
  11. Essential oil for fragrance (optional)

I recommend fixing one bottle to keep in the bathroom and one for the kitchen.  Also, please use caution with your all-purpose cleaner.  Although it may be ingredients that are more organic, they can still be harmful to children and pets!  How to make your own:

Mix 2 tbsp. of vinegar with 1 tsp. borax.
Fill the rest of the bottle with very hot water.
Shake until the borax is dissolved.
Add the 1/4 cup of liquid soap or.
To scent, add 10 to 15 drops of an essential oil.

Because minerals in the water inhibit cleaning, it is best to use purified or distilled water especially for this recipe. It is important to dissolve the borax in hot water so that it doesn't clog the spray nozzle. And don't mix the soap and vinegar directly together, because the soap will clump up. Please follow the order of the recipe by mixing the vinegar, borax, and water first and adding the soap last.  This will give you the best results.  Now you can use this on all surfaces in your kitchen and baths.

Now that you have some ideas on how to clean your bathrooms and kitchen that are more environmentally safer, not to mention safer for you and your family, tomorrow I will discuss more tips for the rest of your house.

If you have more tips for the kitchen or going Green ideas, please let us know about them.  Hope to hear from you!  Enjoy life!


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