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Clean the Kitchen Without Harsh Chemicals

Clean the Kitchen Without Harsh Chemicals

Photo of a clean, white kitchen with black accents. The title "Clean the Kitchen Without Harsh Chemicals" and the Big Plate logo are superimposed over the photo.

Have you wondered how to clean a kitchen without harsh chemicals? You can effectively clean a kitchen with vinegar, bleach, baking soda, or lemon juice! Have you wondered which kinds of sponges, cloths, towels, and mops are best for which task? This article explains it all.

Photo of a glass bottle of clear liquid labeled "White Vinegar" on a white background. A yellow microfiber cloth, green sponge, and white scrub brush are in the background. This image represents vinegar as a kitchen cleaner.

Clean the Kitchen with Vinegar

Vinegar contains acetic acid (a natural antimicrobial agent) but is also food safe, making it ideal for cleaning the kitchen without harsh chemicals. It is inexpensive. It is a fabulous delimer. It makes a good degreaser and can even tackle heavy duty degreasing tasks when combined with baking soda. Perhaps the ONLY downside with using vinegar to clean your kitchen is the smell. But the good news is that the pungent vinegar smell dissipates quickly! As a general rule, combine 1 part vinegar with 1 part water in a spray bottle to wipe countertops and other surfaces. Use it straight for tough deliming or degreasing tasks. Clean almost anything in your kitchen with vinegar!

A photo of a white jug pouring a clear liquid (like bleach) on a black background. This image represents bleach as a kitchen cleaner.

Clean the Kitchen with Bleach

Bleach is a powerful disinfectant, but it must be used correctly and with caution. The most important rule when cleaning with bleach is to NEVER MIX IT WITH ANYTHING but water. Bleach is economical and multi-functional. Check the manufacturer’s instructions before cleaning surfaces with bleach. As a general rule, combine ½ cup of bleach in 1 gallon of water to make a bleach solution for cleaning nonporous surfaces in your kitchen. Make it a little stronger for cleaning the trash can. Dilute it further for soaking sippy cups, water bottles, and other food contact surfaces with small, hard-to-clean parts.

Photo of a bowl of baking soda, a sponge, a scrub brush, cleaning gloves, and a beaker of water on a gray surface with a white tiled background. This image represents baking soda as a kitchen cleaner.

Clean the Kitchen with Baking Soda

Baking soda, as we’ve already mentioned, becomes a powerful cleaner when mixed with vinegar. It can also help absorb odors in your fridge, freezer, and trash cans. It’s alkali, so it helps lift dirt and grime. Use it with a little vinegar or lemon juice to scrub pots, pans, faucets, ceramic cooktops, and more!

Photo of three lemons next to a spray bottle of lemon juice on a wooden kitchen counter next to a stovetop. The photo has a white background. This image represents lemon juice as a kitchen cleaner.

Clean the Kitchen with Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is a great natural disinfectant and degreaser. Mix 3 Tbsp lemon juice with one cup of water for a spray cleaner that can be used on most kitchen surfaces. Sprinkle half a lemon with baking soda and use it to scrub stainless steel sinks, pots and pans, cooktops, and cutting boards. (Store the other half a lemon like this for future use.) Place a few lemon rinds in your garbage disposal and run it to eliminate odors.

Photo of a woman in orange cleaning gloves holding a blue tub full of cleaning products. This image represents products for cleaning the kitchen like detergents, abrasives, degreasers, etc.

Clean the Kitchen with Other Cleaning Products

Other products for cleaning the kitchen include detergents, abrasives, degreasers, acids, and solvents. If you and your family don’t have any particular allergies or sensitivities, these chemicals (when used according to the manufacturer’s instructions) are safe and effective for use in your kitchen.

Photo of a white magic eraser on a white background. This image represents using magic erasers to clean the kitchen.

Clean the Kitchen with a Magic Eraser

Magic erasers are fabulous for easily cleaning kitchen surfaces like the refrigerator, counters, backsplash, and stovetop. They get in the grooves of textured surfaces and remove stains and baked on grime with ease. Just remember that a magic eraser is an abrasive, so use with caution. It can remove the finish, paint, nonstick surface, etc. when used with vigor! If you use a magic eraser to clean a food contact surface, make sure you rinse it thoroughly before use.

A photo of four microfiber cloths (lime green, pastel yellow, orange, and coral) folded and stacked on a white background. This image represents using microfiber cloths to clean the kitchen.

Clean the Kitchen with a Microfiber Cloth

Microfiber cloths are washable and reusable, so they’re an economic and earth friendly alternative to using lots of disposable sponges and/or paper towels. The fibers in microfiber cloth include positive-charged polyester fibers and negative-charged nylon fibers. This combination attracts and holds dirt, bacteria, grease, and grime. You can get microfiber cloths that are designed specifically for certain tasks: mopping, polishing windows and stainless steel, wiping counters, dusting, etc.

Photo of a blue sponge on a yellow background. This image represents using a sponge to clean the kitchen.

Clean the Kitchen with a Sponge

Sponges are handy because they hold soap well, they squeeze into all the crevices of what you want to clean, and they have enough abrasion to clean without damaging most surfaces. The downside to sponges is that they tend to be a breeding ground for bacteria. But if you allow your sponges to dry between uses, clean them regularly, and replace them every week or two, sponges are safe. There are several ways to clean sponges. You can microwave a damp sponge for two minutes. You can run your sponge through the dishwasher on the heated water and heated dry settings for a good cleaning. You can also soak your sponge in a bleach solution for effective sanitizing.

Photo of 4 rolls of paper towels stacked on top of a pink kitchen towel on a kitchen counter. An out of focus window and plants are in the background. This image represents using paper towels to clean the kitchen.

Clean the Kitchen with Paper Towels

Paper Towels aren’t the most environmentally friendly choice, but they are a handy cleaning product that gets thrown away instead of molding, mildewing, and harboring bacteria. Some ways to be a bit more “green” with your paper towel usage are to buy recycled ones, to compost them instead of throwing them in the garbage, to use the ones with smaller sheets, and to use one multiple times (like all day) before disposing of it.

Photo of a strip mop next to a red mop bucket full of soapy water on a wet wooden floor. This image represents using a mop to clean the kitchen floor.

Clean the Kitchen Floor with a Mop

You’ve got lots of options when it comes to mops.

  • A brush mop is good for wet scrubbing and removing sticky spills and stains in the kitchen without harsh chemicals.
  • A traditional cut end mop, paired with a mop bucket and wringer, is a great choice for large kitchens or kitchens with lots of big spills.
  • A flat mop is perfect for vinyl plank or hardwood flooring in the kitchen because it doesn’t use a lot of water.
  • A microfiber mop cleans well, absorbs a ton, and is washable/reusable.
  • A strip mop is handy because it can be used wet or dry; used dry it’s great for dusting the kitchen floor, and when wet it serves as a traditional mop.
  • A spin mop works basically like a string mop, but it’s easier to wring out and comes with a special bucket.
  • A sponge mop absorbs well and usually has decent scrubbing action for stubborn spills and stains that often need to be cleaned in the kitchen.
  • A steam mop is electric and sanitizes without chemicals; it also works on carpet, cabinets, tiled walls, and other kitchen (and household) surfaces.
  • Finally, a robot mop moves around the room, mopping on its own; it’s a great choice for people who don’t have time to clean their kitchen.

So there’s what you need to know to choose the right cleaner(s) and supplies to properly clean your kitchen without harsh chemicals! When you have what you need at your fingertips, you can get your kitchen clean and maintain it with little effort. For a thorough description of How to Clean your Kitchen in About 30 Minutes, check out our blog on the subject. Happy cleaning!

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