Clean Your Kitchen with Food!

Vinegar, vinegar, vinegar. Clean your house with vinegar. Frugal folks been giving out this nugget of advice as a cheap alternative to buying an array of expensive cleaners back when green was just a color.   Honestly, I wasn’t convinced that vinegar cleaned and disinfected my house as well as any number of commercial cleaners that I could buy in bulk, on sale, or at a closeout or dollar store.

My neighbor’s cat changed that.

My neighbor’s elderly kitty kept getting sick. We thought it was because she was older. No, the vet said the ingredients in my neighbor’s floor cleaner made her cat ill.

Well, geez, what could my floor cleaner be doing to my dog or worse, babies that crawl on my kitchen floor?

I went to the store to look for greener cleaners, I read labels, got confused, got a head ache, and came home frustrated without any green cleaners I might add.

Then I spied the white distilled vinegar bottle in my pantry. Would vinegar really clean and disinfect my kitchen counters like the frugal and green people said? Since this little experiment wouldn’t cost me anything extra, I decided to give a go.
I’m a convert.

Natural Kitchen Cleaners and How I Use Them

Deodorizing

  • Baking soda – I put an open box of baking soda in the freezer and refrigerator as a deodorizer. I change the boxes monthly and use the old boxes for further cleaning.

Dishwashing

  • Powdered phosphate free dishwashing detergent mixed with a box of baking soda I mix a box baking soda with a box of powdered dishwashing detergent to give it an extra oomph of cleaning power because my dishwasher needs some extra help. It is an excellent way to reuse that expired box of baking soda you put in the freezer/refrigerator as a deodorizer.
  • Vinegar in the Jet Dry container of the dishwasher. Vinegar works to keep spots off the glasses just like Jet Dry, Cascade, or a store brand-sheeting agent. Actually, I think vinegar has better sheeting action and keeps water spots from forming on my glasses. Who knew?
  • Phosphate free dish detergent. For those rare times, I hand wash dishes.  I try to go with a phosphate free dish detergent with plant based ingredients when my budget permits.

Sink Cleaner

Baking soda and dishwashing detergent – Instead of buying powdered cleanser, I sprinkle baking soda (usually an expired box from the refrigerator or freezer), add a squirt of dishwashing detergent, in my sink and scrub away.
Counter Cleaner

  • Vinegar in a spray bottle A 5% solution of vinegar is a natural disinfectant. Fortunately, that is exactly what you buy at the store, so I don’t dilute mine with water. I put a clean and repurposed spray nozzle on my vinegar bottle and spray away. I like that I can clean my kitchen counters while dinner is cooking and not be worried if cleaner splashes into food cooking on the stove.
  • Dishwashing detergent and water in a spray bottle If you don’t like the smell of vinegar or have granite or marble countertops you can’t clean with vinegar, watered down dishwashing detergent in spray bottle is an excellent alternative.

Oven Cleaner

  • Baking soda and vinegar To clean baked on crud from my stove I apply a paste of baking soda and water. I let the paste work its magic for a bit and pour vinegar over it. The mixture bubbles up, loosens the baked on gunk, and allows me easily wipe up the mess better than any commercial cleaner I have tried.

Floor Cleaner

  • A solution of half vinegar, half water, and healthy squirt of dishwashing detergent. I use this in my automatic floor cleaner. I also used it in the spray mop that preceded the automatic floor cleaner with excellent results. Best of all it’s kitty, doggie, and baby safe at a bargain price.

There you have it. My cleaners are green, budget friendly, and some work even better than their conventional counterparts do. My house is clean and doesn’t smell like a fake flower factory anymore, which I like. In addition, if you wondering, my naturally clean house doesn’t smell like pickles either.

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