I take my spring cleaning in steps, one room at a time. Up first is the kitchen, the most-used room in my house and the one that's always in need of a little TLC.
In cleaning kitchens, too many people get up close and personal with a slew of nasty chemicals. Drain cleaners and oven cleaners are particularly toxic; oven cleaners contain corrosive lye, which can damage healthy lungs within 15 minutes of use. The craziest thing? We don’t need chemicals—even for heavy-duty jobs such as oven cleaning. Here’s everything you need to know to thoroughly clean your kitchen without the nasties.
Oven: Make a paste of 3 parts baking soda, 1 part water. Spray the oven with diluted soap and water spray, apply the paste to all surfaces and let it sit overnight. In the morning, scrape away the paste using a putty knife, wipe with soap and water, and spritz with a mixture of half vinegar and half water. If hard spots remain, scrape them away using a wet pumice stone.
Floors: Remove scuffs with a sprinkling of baking soda and a little elbow grease. Vinegar and water removes film on floors and cut grease.
Refrigerator: Remove everything from the refrigerator and wipe down with vinegar and water spray to clean and deodorize. Scrub tough stains with a mixture of salt and water. Leave an open box of baking soda in the back to absorb food odors.
Countertops: Remove grease and tarnish with lemon juice, then wipe with warm water and vinegar.
Drains: To clear the drain (and keep it clear), pour in about ½ cup of baking soda, then about ½ cup of vinegar. Let the mixture fizz for 15 minutes, then rinse with hot water.
Stainless steel (sinks, fixtures, teapots, appliances): Scrub down with baking soda, then rinse with vinegar. Club soda is also excellent for shining up stainless steel.
Garbage can: Wipe down with vinegar. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil if desired.
Final touch: Place a small bowl of vinegar on a high shelf to continuously absorb kitchen odors.
You can get your entire kitchen clean without using any chemicals. Photo by Povy Kendal Atchison