Look around your kitchen. What do you have? Baking soda, vinegar, lemon, dishwashing liquid, and carbonated beverages. These are just the things you need to do the spring cleaning that you've been long postponing. So wear your hand gloves and get ready. Let's get started.
photo by Charlotte May/pexels
Different proportions and combinations of baking soda, vinegar, lemon, and other natural products can surprisingly clean the kitchen and make the cleaning chore less strenuous. These products are not only eco-friendly but economical as well. In addition, their easy availability makes them a better choice for cleaning than the store-bought ones. Moreover, they are also helpful in keeping the kitchen pests away.
Piled-up garbage, stubborn grease, gunk-filled sinkholes, shelves laden with dust, water-stained dish racks, dirty microwave, and messy countertops are all alerts for your next cleaning stint. So read on and discover some of the most amazing kitchen cleaning tricks and do-it-yourself (DIY) cleaning liquids that you can prepare in a jiffy while on the go.
TIPS AND TRICKS
- Cleaning Sink Holes:
Sinkholes are stink holes till you make an effort to remove all the debris accumulated on the insides of the hose. They are also great hideouts for the roaches. Boil some hot water and add vinegar to it. Sprinkle down generous amounts of baking soda for 2-3 minutes before pouring down the hot water-vinegar concoction into the drainage. The results are truly marvelous. You not only have a clean sink hose but also have gotten rid of those pesky pests hiding in your sink hose.
- The same hack helps unclog the sinkholes if you happen to experience a block. This trick has always been a sure success.
photo by NatureFriend
Grease Problem:Grease is a common problem in any kitchen. Over time, oil spills and splatters on the stove, countertops, kitchen tiles, and oven surfaces become stubborn. And as time goes by, they become tougher to remove.
A quick remedy is to sprinkle baking soda over the area. Now, spray vinegar mixed with water in a 1:2 ratio over the greasy spot. Finish off cleaning by using a scrubber, and you will have a grime-free, shining surface.
Water-Stained Dishwasher:Hard water is the likely culprit. The water loaded with minerals dries off during the dish drying process, leaving the mineral stains behind.
When you run the first cycle, try leaving a cup of vinegar at the top of your dishwasher. At the end of the cycle, open the dishwasher and sprinkle a few tablespoons of baking soda at the bottom of the equipment. Run the dishwasher again. Your dishwasher is as good as new now.
Greasy Ovens: Ovens are one of the most neglected spots in the kitchen. Adherent grease quickly builds up in these places.
- Simply make a paste of baking soda and vinegar and apply it over greasy spots. Leave it overnight or for half an hour, depending on the severity of the grease. Wipe it clean with a paper towel. Gently wipe it off with a soapy dishwashing solution (water + dishwasher) and then with plain water for the final cleaning touch.
- Yet another alternative is to add peels of lemon or orange to a bowl of water. Place it inside the microwave and heat it to a boil. Remove the bowl and wipe off the grease on the insides of the oven. Follow it through with a soapy solution scrub and plain water wipe to complete the process.
photo by Markus Spiske/ pexels
- Smelly Garbage Disposal Cans:
- Dip a cotton ball in an essential or aromatic oil and leave it at the base of the trash can below the plastic bin liner.
- Alternatively, you can stash baking soda at the base of the can. Baking soda is known to absorb odors well and will help you keep your trash can from stinking.
Cleaning Countertops: Kitchen countertops are susceptible to constant spills, grease, and dirt accumulation.
- Cleaning them regularly and keeping them clutter-free will help you maintain a neat-looking kitchen. Mild soap and water are sufficient to keep the countertops dirt-free if routinely cleaned.
- If it has been ages since you cleaned them, then remove all the clutter, gently sweep away all the food residue or crumbs, and dust it clean. Make a solution using dishwashing liquid, baking soda, lemon extract, and water. Spray the liquid over the countertop and scrub them with a scrub pad to get a grease-free kitchen countertop.
Removing Hard Water Stains from the Stainless Steel Sink: If you have left the sink uncleaned for some time, lime scales build up, making this process difficult.
- Use liberal amounts of baking soda along with a sprinkle of water and give your sink a good scrub. Sprinkle vinegar which foams up the baking soda. It disinfects as well as removes the stains caused by hard water.
- To add that extra shine to the sink, dust off flour over the sink and polish it. Voila! Your sink is clean and sparkling.
- Cleaning the Refrigerator:
- Consider keeping a bowl of baking soda inside the refrigerator. Baking soda absorbs all stray odors in your fridge.
- Every three months, schedule a deep cleaning schedule. Remove all food racks and clean both the insides and the removable racks thoroughly with a solution of hot water and baking soda.
- The cleaning will also help remove long-forgotten packages, expired cans, and old leftovers hiding in your fridge, growing mold in them, behind the containers with fresh food.
Now that your kitchen is clean, let's take out your rusty pan and greasy skillet and clean them.
Kitchen Utensil Cleaning Tips
- photo by Nathan Dumlao/unsplash
Rusty Cast Iron Pan:I just discovered that pots and pans made out of cast iron are great utensils to have around. I had one of these that my mother-in-law had lovingly given me years back, and it had rusted over because of my neglect. Fortunately, here's a quick fix to remove the rust.
Sprinkle sea salt grains over the rust and scrub it clean with the cut end of the potato. Repeat the process if needed. Now, rinse and clean it with soap and completely dry it. Next, polish it with vegetable oil and wipe it off with a paper towel. Now the iron skillet will look brand new.
- photo by🇸🇮 Janko Ferličlash/unsplash
Stove Cleaning:The cooktop is one of the most used places in the kitchen. Spilled milk, oil splatters, and other cooking activities contribute to the grease build-up on the stove. If not cleaned regularly after cooking, it becomes challenging to remove the stains.
- Spray lemon juice and vinegar over the stovetop after removing the metal grates. After about 10 minutes, summon all the elbow grease you have and give it a good scrub. Move on to the next step if this doesn't remove all the stains.
- Sprinkle baking soda over the stove and scrub it. Leave it aside for half an hour. Move on to the next step if this doesn't work.
- Add a carbonated beverage that you find in your fridge and spray it over the stove and leave it. Scour it clean with a metal brush after some time.
Presto! Your stove is reborn and sparkling clean.
Wooden Cutting Board:My wooden cutting board is known for both its looks and durability. It was a one-time purchase that I made when I set up my new kitchen 15 years ago, and we have grown old together over the years, just like old friends.
- I clean it after every usage with mild soap and water and let it dry completely.
- For deep cleaning purposes, I sprinkle baking soda and spray vinegar over it and leave it for some time. I give it a good scrub and wash it clean.
- photo by Vije Vijendranath/ unsplash
Kitchen Wall Tiles:Dishwashing soap or liquid with a scrub usually does the trick of cleaning the kitchen tiles. But if you have grease in between your kitchen tiles, use an old toothbrush to scour in between tiles with a baking soda-vinegar paste. Then, use warm water to wash them and wipe them clean with a clean kitchen towel.
Kitchen Towels:From drying dishes to holding hot pots, the function of kitchen towels is versatile. They also come in handy to dry hands and for wiping spills.
Pre-soak the towel in hot water mixed with vinegar for about an hour. Give a little scrub with your hands. Transfer them into the washing machine and use detergent and bleach to wash them in a hot water cycle. Dry them by hanging outside.
Range Hood Filter, Microwave Grease Filter, and Barbecue Grill: Waging war against the grease is not a child's play.
Boil some lemon peels (or lemon juice) in water and add some vinegar. Transfer the vent, filter, or grill to a tray, pour the hot liquid, completely covering the parts, and let it rest overnight. This should do most of the work. If the grease is persistent, scrub it with baking soda and dishwasher using a scouring pad the following day.
- photo by scratsmacker/pixabay
Greasy Pots and Pans:Did you absent-mindedly leave the dish on the stove and was on the phone with your friend again!
Burnt grease in the pot is unforgiving, and the relatively easy way to fix the problem is to use the same heat to combat the obstinate grease.
- Place the burnt pot on the stove with some water and heat it to a boil. Go ahead and add in the dish washing liquid. Now add a dryer sheet. Simmer and switch off. Cool it down. Much of the grease gets detached along with the dryer sheet and comes off. Scour it off with a scrub.
- If the stain is persistent, sprinkle some baking soda and spray it with vinegar. Then, scrub it with a metal wire scrub for better results. Repeat if needed.
Range Hood Cleaning: Can you believe that vegetable oil is used for cleaning this grime attractor?
photo by congerdesign/pixabay
Add few drops of the oil on a kitchen towel or paper towel and wipe the outsides of the range hood. Impressive! The tough grime is now gone. What the flashy cleaning sprays can't do, this simple, modest ingredient in your pantry shelf will do in a flash of a second.
You can now clean the rest of the grime with a dish washing liquid easily.
Grates of the Stove:The stove's grates are equally vulnerable to grease spillage, as is the stove. It is often hard to remove this grease as it sticks on rather firmly on the gratings.
Use ammonia to clean the grates of the stove impeccably. But be careful. Don't mix ammonia with any other cleaning products. The reaction can emit a toxic gas which can cause chest pain and shortness of breath.
Scrubbing Pad: The scrub pad is one of the most overlooked things in our kitchens. The metallic, foam, and abrasive scrubbing pads also need maintenance. They should be kept dry to discourage bacterial growth. Above all, make sure you replace the scrubbing pads regularly.
photo by Pille R. Priske/ unsplash
Finally, maintaining a regular cleaning schedule, cleaning as you work in the kitchen, clearing out packaging materials as and when the foods are transferred to their respective jars, freeing up the clutter from your countertops, and systematic garbage disposal are other tips to maintain a clean and clutter-free kitchen and helps in a quick cleaning process.
We, as humans, share the earth with an abundance of fauna and flora (vegetation and animals) and live and maintain a balance. But, unfortunately, many of the species have become extinct due to our ignorance and carelessness. What is left behind needs to be protected, cared for, and nourished, and it is our responsibility.
Millions of microbes live around us, supporting our life and existence on this living planet called earth. When we choose carefully what we eat, how we dress, how we dispose of our trash, and how much carbon footprint we leave behind determines their existence.
Choosing to live modestly and naturally, recycling, reducing, and reusing will help them survive yet another era in this world. So let's join hands and make this happen.
Let's make this world a better place for everyone.