As people’s awareness for protecting the environment is on the rise, many are trying to find safe, environmentally friendly alternatives to using harsh chemicals for house cleaning. Fortunately, nature has many other options to choose from that will not only do just as good a job as those harsh chemicals, but they will neither harm the environment or the family by using them.
Kitchens really are the hub of activity in the household, it is where meals are prepared, snacks are made, and in some households, where dinner is eaten. Because of this, and the amount of traffic going in and out of the kitchen on daily basis, this can be one of the hardest rooms to keep clean.
Below are some tips on how to clean a kitchen without using harsh chemicals, and have it looking sparkling new in no time at all.
Start at the top
A grotty ceiling can make even the loveliest kitchen look drab. Using a simple kitchen broom or cobweb broom, lightly sweep the ceiling of cobwebs, dust etc. Be sure to get into the corners and to clean around the light fitting.
For fluorescent light tubes, although it may not be possible to clean the tube, the surrounding holders can benefit from being wiped down with a damp cloth. Although it may be necessary to rub a little to get them clean, it is always best to use damp, rather than wet, and avoid using any products.
For downlights, a quick wipe over the glass with a weak vinegar/water solution will remove grime and leave the lens sparkling clean.
A clean kitchen will only look clean if all of those hand prints and spill marks are removed from the cupboard doors, especially around the handles or knobs. The easiest way to remove these is to use a solution of 1 tablespoon of baking powder in 500mls of warm to hot water. Using a natural fibre cloth, dab the cloth in the solution and gently wipe over the soiled area.
Bench tops and tables
Easily the largest flat surface in a kitchen, tables and bench tops are the first to get spills, dirty marks and dust built up on them. In order to clean these areas properly, it is necessary to remove everything from the surface. Things like toasters, kettles, canisters etc are all a haven for things to get caught behind, like sugar grains, bread crumbs and other miscellaneous breakfast making items.
Start by removing everything from the benchtop and putting it onto the table. When the benchtop is clear of items, use 2 tablespoons of baking soda in 500mls of water, and with a sponge, wipe over the area. For particularly stubborn areas, sprinkle baking soda on the offending grime, and carefully dribble white vinegar over the baking soda. Allow this solution to sit for two or three minutes, and then wipe with water. The vinegar combined with the slightly abrasive baking soda will life stubborn grime without scratching the surface.
Before replacing the items removed from the bench top in the beginning, be sure to clean each item, especially their bases before putting them back into position. Toasters often have a catch tray in them to catch bread crumbs, be sure to empty this as well.
Important, when cleaning any electrical appliance, avoid using excessive liquid, and make sure that the appliance in unplugged from the power outlet. It is still possible to get a nasty shock if the appliance is plugged in but switched off as the negative wire will still be live.
Vinyl topped stools can be cleaned with a weak solution of baking soda and water, and this can also be used on the legs and framework of the stools.
Tile and linoleum floors are best swept with a kitchen broom (or vacuumed) to remove loose dirt before mopping. Two options for mopping a floor is to use wool-wash, which leaves a lovely eucalyptus fragrance, or vinegar in hot water. No matter what product is used, it is always best to mop over the floor with straight hot water to remove any sort of residue from the surface.
As with all cleaning jobs, the best results come from a little elbow grease, some thought to how best to get it done and some time. Always start at the top and work down towards the floor. This way surfaces already cleaned will not get dirtied up again by dust and debris falling onto them.
If using vinegar on bench tops, it is a good idea to, like floors, wipe them down with a natural fibre cloth and water to remove any residue from the surface.