Jul 9, 2014

Green Kitchen Cleaning Tips

Many people think that the dirtiest room in the house is the bathroom. Well, this is partly true - after all, it does have the toilet. However, according to experts, our kitchens actually harbor more bacteria and germs when compared to other rooms in our homes. Considering the frequent food preparations and nasty accidental spills, the kitchen is actually a high traffic area for germs.

Unfortunately, commonly used cleaning products, such as chlorine bleach, contain harsh chemicals that can not only irritate your skin, but also pollute your indoor air quality. The good news is that there are safe products you can use to make your kitchen sparkling and germ-free. Continue reading to learn more on how to clean your kitchen, the green way.

Embrace Your Kitchen Pantry

Did you know that all the products you need to clean every surface of your home (not just the kitchen) can be found right in your kitchen pantry? Yes, common everyday products, such as baking soda, lemon juice, white vinegar, water and salt do wonders when it comes to cleaning.

For example, baking soda, mixed with warm water and some lemon juice (to add that citrus scent) is very good for cleaning counter top spills, a dirty tiled floor, as well as stains in your refrigerator. On the other hand, if you have a dirty stainless steel kitchen sink, just mix baking soda and vinegar, and use the paste to clean the sink. It works great, so don't let the foaming scare you.

It's normal to be tempted to use a strong oven cleaner when we have tough spots, such as, burnt food in the oven. However, don't give in to the temptation. Most oven cleaners are packed with toxic chemicals like methylene chloride and lye, which can cause burns to your skin, eyes and even organs, if you accidentally breathe them in. Instead, sprinkle some baking soda over the oven's bottom, ensuring that the stain is covered completely. Every few hours, spray the stain with water to keep it moist. Let it sit overnight; in the morning, the spot will easily come off when scrubbed with the baking soda.

Vinegar also works well as an all-purpose cleaner. It's mild acidity makes it very effective in removing grease, wine, coffee or mildew stains. If your microwave dirty with food particles, just put 1 cup water and 1/4 cup vinegar in a glass dish, microwave the mixture for 2 minutes, and then allow it to stand for another 10 minutes (or more). The steam, combined with the acidity in the vinegar, will loosen food particles, making them very easy to wipe off.

Take Preventative Measures

To have a constantly clean kitchen free of germs, consider taking care of the messes when they happen. For instance, if raw eggs spill on the counter, make sure you disinfect it right way. Similarly when bread crumbs scatter on the kitchen floor, sweep them up immediately. Yes, it will add some minutes to your food preparation, but will save you a lot of time in the long run. Instead of spending several hours scrubbing dozens of stubborn stains every week, you'll only need a minute of two to wipe out a spill.

In addition, you need to mark leftovers clearly with the date each of them was placed in the fridge. Every two weeks, check and throw away any old and spoiled food to prevent mold colonies from forming. The rate at which bacteria multiply is alarming. In less than 24 hours, one cell can multiply into over eight million cells, and you only need a few of these to make you sick.

It's time to ditch the harsh cleaning products that are full of toxic chemicals and embrace safer, cheaper and eco-friendly products found right in your kitchen.

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