Deep-Clean Your Kitchen without Chemicals
It’s finally here! Spring! Time to come out of hibernation and enjoy the glorious spring that only happens in Canada’s balmy west coast! And there it is-the sun! We have been waiting with anxious anticipation to see it again. Shining in through the windows…the streaky, grimy windows…hmmm. Shining and showing me the spots on the counter that I missed cleaning from last night’s supper. Showing me the dust on the dark wood furniture. Showing me that the streak on the wood cabinet door is not the grain, but spaghetti sauce. It’s definitely here, spring cleaning. Not that much fanfare about that. Well, since we have to do something about it, we might as well get it done as efficiently as possible so we can get out and start filling up on Vitamin D!
Okay, we have found some time and are ready to get serious about cleaning in the kitchen. First thing you should know about me is that I hate chemicals. If you have to put on rubber gloves to protect yourself from your cleaning supplies, I just don’t want those in my house. This means I have to find products that will give me a serious clean, because I don’t love cleaning, just a clean house, without the chemicals. So, I go back to a simpler time when the cleaning products literally came from your pantry. And I found that vinegar and baking soda are quite an arsenal! So, here we go!The biggest cleaning project will be the appliances. Let’s start with the fridge. We need to sort through all the stuff that has accumulated there. I take everything out, put the stuff that I can identify and hasn’t expired in a cooler and discard old or unidentifiable items (yuck!). I use warm soapy water and a washcloth to tackle the entire inside of the fridge. Dry it out and restock from the cooler. Not so bad, eh!
Also give the outside a good scrub down while we are there. Fridge-DONE! Next, freezer! Again, remove everything into the cooler. Mix hot water and baking soda in a spray bottle and spray on ice to melt. Wipe down and reload. Freezer-DONE! This is going so well!
Oven. Make a paste with baking soda and water. Liberally cover the inside of oven, careful to NOT put on heating elements. Leave on overnight and then scrape off with a spatula before washing clean. Warning: this will take some elbow grease. You could always just use an oven cleaner if you don’t mind the fumes or if your oven has a self-cleaning option that might be your way of doing this. Don’t forget the stove top. It looked clean from the kitchen table, but upon closer inspection…it needs some TLC. Most of the cleaning can be done with a soapy washcloth. If there are some more stubborn areas, I resort to baking soda on a damp cloth. This is a great time to remove the oven knobs and give them a wash. Yes, it’s true. The knobs can be pulled off to clean! That took me a while to figure out too! Just don’t scrub them too much or the writing comes off. Looks good on antiques, but makes it a guessing game when using the oven! Oven-DONE!Keeping the countertops clean. Those countertops take a beating! We use them for baking, making sandwiches and preparing meat. Those countertops need to be clean. I keep things really simple. I mix equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle and use that to clean up any spills on my counter. I understand that it can kill bacteria and isn’t toxic like bleach. Also, on solid surface countertops, manufacturers don’t recommend bleach. I want to keep my countertops shining, but I also want them bacteria free! Now, I have found something that keeps them shiny like nothing I have ever found before. It is the “Kitchen Cloth” by Norwex. I can’t help but mention it here. I clean my countertops and then take the Kitchen Cloth, wet it, ring it almost dry and use it to polish the countertops. THEY ARE SO SHINY! I love them so much that I decided to sign up as a consultant. So, I will shamelessly offer to you, if you don’t already have a consultant, that I can be your gal. I truly love this company and it was the Kitchen Cloth that sold me. Kitchen countertops-DONE! Okay, here are the big guns…stainless steel appliances. How to keep things shiny and bright is the big question. I have a simple answer. First, wash them down with soapy water and then dry with a clean cloth. Whew! That was simple! Now comes the amazing part. Take another clean cloth and put a few drops of baby oil on it. Use this cloth the polish the stainless steel! Amazing! You can thank me now! To make it easier, try washing, drying and polishing with the grain. There is a grain in stainless steel, just like in wood, and to make it looks its best, rub along with the grain. Stainless steel appliances-DONE!
Keep your dishwasher sanitized by running an empty load with 2 cups of vinegar. Dishwasher-DONE!
Your garbage disposal can be kept clean, free of debris and smelling lovely, by freezing vinegar in ice cube trays then putting the “vinegar cubes” into the disposal and pour boiling water onto them while running. I like to put old lemons or lemon rinds into the disposal to keep things fresh smelling too. Garbage disposal-DONE!
Kitchen cabinets. Suddenly there are more of them. When you are storing away your turkey platter at Christmas, there seems to be a shortage, but today when you are planning on cleaning them, they multiplied! Fear not. You can do this. I take my damp washcloth and wipe down the exterior surface of every cabinet, making sure to get into every small crevice and paying attention to around the handles. Cabinets-DONE!
And finally, the floor. Again, I turn to my trusty bottle of vinegar. Add some to your bucket of water and mop away. There may be a slight vinegar smell, but that dissipates once the floors are dry. Then you can sit back and enjoy the clean. Clean, that is, until the rest of the family comes home. Floors-DONE!
Congratulations! Your kitchen is ready for spring!