Wednesday, April 8, 2015
By: Angela M. DiMare-Messier
Warmer weather means more time outside for parties, barbeques, and get-togethers, so there’s no better time to start thinking about throwing open the windows and lending your long-neglected kitchen a little springtime TLC! If the thought of filling your kitchen with harsh and family-UNfriendly chemicals is less than desirable, I’ve got a secret for you: you can have a fresh, clean, spring-worthy kitchen using ingredients you probably already have!
Marketed kitchen cleaners are usually filled with dyes, bleaches, alcohols, and other chemicals that the products warn against inhaling. Why would you want to put that in a room where you prepare food? Even the “natural” cleaners today often have artificial scents and preservatives to make them last longer, and they tend to cost more, too. There is truly only one way to ensure you’re cleaning with natural products that are family- and pet-friendly, and that’s to make the cleaners yourself. It’s easier than most people realize, it’s better for the environment and your wallet, they’re easy to customize to avoid unpleasant scents, and of course, homemade cleaners work just as well as store-bought chemicals.
Fill a spray bottle halfway with plain white vinegar, and fill with water. That’s it! The mixture is great for cleaning counters, cabinets, sinks, stovetops, glass, floors–pretty much anything that needs cleaning! If you don’t like the smell of vinegar, add a few drops of a pure essential oil to mask the smell. Oils like tea tree and citrus, or even a splash of pure lemon juice, also add antibacterial power to your cleaner!
For a tough job, sprinkle baking soda on the area before spraying with the mixture. The vinegar will cause the baking soda to fizz, giving you a scrubbing paste that won’t scratch surfaces.
Sprinkle baking soda down the drain, pour some white vinegar in after it, wait for the fizzing to subside, and then flush with hot water. This will work on even the toughest clogs!
For a natural dish soap, you may need to take a trip to the store. Find a liquid castille soap (Dr. Bronner’s in my personal favorite) and mix ½ cup of that to ⅛ cup of water. Add a splash of white vinegar and some drops of essential oil. The soap smells great (depending on your choice of oil), cleans fantastic, and a bottle of liquid castille soap will last you a truly long time!
The most fantastic thing about making your own cleaning products is how easy it is. With a combination of white vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice, and some essential oils, you can clean your entire kitchen! (Most of these recipes can be used to clean most areas of your house as well, not just the kitchen.) Vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice can all be found at your local grocery store for only a few dollars each. A 32oz bottle of Dr Bronner’s is about $12, but it will last you at least a few months. Essential oils may be tough; some grocery stores are stocking oils like tea tree and lavender in their natural foods isle, but if your store is still behind the times, do a quick internet search for natural food stores in your area. They will definitely have a wide selection for you to choose from, ranging in price depending on the type of oil. Tea tree and citrus will run anywhere from $5-$10, but as you only use a few drops at a time, will last for a very long time.
It truly couldn’t be easier to clean your kitchen naturally, and once you start, you’ll never go back to harsh chemicals again. Enjoy your kitchen guilt- and chemical-free!
Read more from Angela M. DiMare-Messier at Dear Aradia.