Green Cleaning in the Kitchen, Tips for Environmentally Friendly Kitchen Cleaning and Cleaning Products

Background
Common Sense Cleaning
Kitchen Green Cleaning Tips
All Purpose Cleaner
Burnt on Food
Cleaning Benchtops and Stainless Steel
Clearing Blocked Drains
Brass Cleaning
Chrome Cleaning
Copper Cleaning
Vases and Decanters
Dishwasher
Dish Washing
Garbage Disposal
Kettle Cleaning
Microwave Ovens
Non Stick Cookware
Ovens
Oven Racks
Refrigerator Cleaning
Silver and Silver Cutlery
Tea Stains

Background

Most people do not realise how dangerous to people, pets and children common household cleaners can be. Others don't know the damage these cleaners can cause to the environment. Common cleaning products like disinfectants, drain cleaners, floor polishes, oven cleaners, window cleaners and anti-mould solutions are a cocktail of potentially hazardous chemicals including bleach, solvents, chlorine and ammonia. Some simple and far less hazardous alternatives can be used to make cleaning a far less harmful household chore. This article looks at green cleaning in the kitchen.

Common Sense Cleaning

Some common sense steps can be employed to ensure safe and effective green cleaning. These are to:

  • Simply use less of the commercially available chemicals when cleaning. It will be cheaper and tends to be as effective.
  • When using using less chemical cleaners, you may need to allow more time for the cleaner to work. Just be patient and allow stains to soak.
  • Clean as you go. Prevention is better than cure, so don't allow mess to build up, clean spills when they happen and don't allow stains to set
  • Elbow grease, water and good cleaning equipment like quality brushes, cloths and scourers can often complete a cleaning job without the use of harsh chemicals

Kitchen Green Cleaning Tips

What follows are a series of tips for effective, environmentally friendly, green cleaning in the kitchen including some tried and proven home made cleaning products that have little impact on the environment.

All Purpose Cleaner

An all purpose cleaner can be made by mixing 2 heaped tablespoons of bicarbonate soda with 1 tablespoon of white vinegar. The cleaner should be stored in an air tight container. Scrub with an old toothbrush on stubborn spots.

Burnt on Food

Burnt on food in a suacepan or baking tray can be cleaned by sprinkling with washing soda and then pouring boiling water on top. Leave to soak for 30-40 minutes and wash normally.

Cleaning Benchtops and Stainless Steel

Benchtops plus stainless steel sinks and appliances can be cleaned with a plastic scourer and soap or bicarbonate soda. Eucalyptus oil on a damp cloth can be used to disinfect them.

Clearing Blocked Drains

Chemical cleaners for blocked drains are highly toxic and dangerous. A little effort and a rubber plunger is all that is required to clear most drain blockages.

Brass Cleaning

Brass parts can be shined with a paste of salt and vinegar

Chrome Cleaning

Chrome can be cleaned with apple cider vinegar

Copper Cleaning

Although many people find the patina of old copper to be attractive, copper can be cleaned by rubbing with vinegar and a soft cloth, before polishing with a clean, soft cloth.

Vases and Decanters

Vases and decanters are often difficult to clean because of their shape. They can be cleaned by washing with a tea, a few tea leaves and uncooked rice.

Dishwasher

Dishwashing detergent is actually composed of quite harsh chemicals. Even the steam released from dishwashers can be dangerously high in chlorine. Alternative products include biodegradable dishwashing powders. Rinse aids can be replaced by white vinegar.

Dish Washing

Washing dishes by hand can be done using widely available biodegradable, low chemical dishwashing liquids. Alternatively, soap flakes or pure soap can be used. The soap is used in a wire soap basket or by hand agitation. White vinegar in the rinse water stops spotting or streaking and gives plates and glasses an attractive shine.

Garbage Disposal

Cleaning a garbage disposal might seem like a difficult task but you can easily clean, deodorise and sharpen the blades of a garbage disposal unit. Simply grind ice with lemon or orange rinds.

Kettle Cleaning

Kettles can be cleaned of hard water encrustation by boiling with equal parts water and vinegar in the kettle.

Microwave Ovens

Cleaning and deodorising microwave ovens can be done by placing the juice and cut up skin of a lemon in a bowl of water and microwaving the lot for around 5 minutes. Then wipe the interior clean.

Non Stick Cookware

Stains on non-stick cookware can be removed by pouring a solution of 1 cup water and 2 tablespoons of baking soda into a pan. Then simmer 5 to 10 minutes. Do not allow mixture to boil or to boil over the side of the pan. Cool and wash in hot soapy water, rinse and dry. Finally apply a light coating of cooking oil.

Ovens

Everyone who has ever used an oven cleaner knows how toxic it is. A green cleaning method of cleaning and oven is to use a paste of bicarb soda and water applied to the inside of a warm oven with a spatula. After drying the residue can be cleaned off with a scourer or stiff brush and very hot water.

Oven Racks

In the laundry tub, wash oven racks by soaking in washing soda dissolved in hot water. You may need to soak overnight.

Refrigerator Cleaning

Refrigerators can be cleaned using warm water and soap followed by wiping with vanilla essence. An open packet of bicarbonate soda left in the fridge will absorb odours.

Silver and Silver Cutlery

One part washing soda mixed in twenty parts water can be used to clean silver. With the solution in a ceramic bowl with a piece of aluminium foil, briefly dip the silverware into the mixture, rinse in hot water and dry with a soft cloth.

Tea Stains

Tea stains can be removed by rubbing with lemon juice, lime juice or salt. A harsher clenaing method is to scour with steel wool.

Source: AZoCleantech

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