Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Natural Kitchen Cleaners: What’s Under my Sink?

To help you get the bleach out of your kitchen, Katie from Kitchen Stewardship recommends two bottles and a box.   

I list here the tips that I feel will work best in our home.  Click on the title to go to the complete article.


Use white vinegar, 3% (regular pharmacy) hydrogen peroxide, and baking soda for pretty much every cleaning need in the kitchen.

  1. Bottle one: a mixture of white vinegar and water, about ¼ cup vinegar to 32 oz. water
  2. Bottle two: 50/50 hydrogen peroxide and water

    *This bottle needs to be opaque, or as close as you can get. Hydrogen peroxide breaks down with exposure to light.

  3. bakingsodaThe box: baking soda. I actually keep my baking soda for cleaning in a repurposed Parmesan cheese container (one of my many repurposing opportunities in the kitchen).

added bonusAdded Bonus: All three are totally frugal, (some might even say cheap) homemade kitchen cleaners, especially if you buy a big jug of vinegar and hydrogen peroxide in bulk or somewhere like Save-a-Lot.

What to do with My Cleaners?

1. Sanitizing Countertops, Cutting Boards, and Utensils
Research shows that vinegar and hydrogen peroxide sprayed separately is “more effective at killing …Salmonella, Shigella, or E. coli bacteria than chlorine bleach or any commercially available kitchen cleaner.” I’ve seen this study quoted many, many places, but here’s the trick: the two solutions MUST be in separate containers and sprayed one after the other
If you really want to knock the little guys out (without choking on the fumes), use full strength. I always try to let stuff like this dry on the surface, because I believe that’s where most of the sanitizing action happens. It takes time to wage war on bacteria. When you’re talking stuff like fish and raw chicken, it’s worth the wait.
3. Cleaning the Outside Table
4. Washing Produce
The combo of vinegar and hydrogen peroxide is also a simple produce wash to make sure you’re not getting any field bacteria on your table with your 5-a-days. Just spray them separately and scrub away with your brush. And even if you don’t rinse it all off, you can eat without worry.
6. Scouring the Counters
Forget Comet. I’ll take plain old baking soda over a commercial scrubber every day. Use an old toothbrush and a sprinkle of baking soda, maybe a squirt of water (or one of the other bottles), and your countertops are GORgeous. You do need to rinse the baking soda well, or it will leave a gritty feel.
7. Scrubbing Grout
There’s a post in my draft folder for a day when everyone deserves a laugh entitled, “10 Reasons I Hate Tiled Countertops”, and grout is included in most of them. My grout is always stained, but hydrogen peroxide and baking soda does a decent job of getting rid of the coloring.

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