Autumn is approaching, the air is getting crisper, and you suddenly have an urge to clean. A well-scrubbed kitchen can lift the spirits, but at the same time, getting started can often feel overwhelming. If you think you need to round up lots of cleaning supplies, you’ll be glad to know you can accomplish almost everything on your to-do list with only a few ordinary items. And best of all, you probably already have most of them on hand.
White Distilled Vinegar
A mixture of water and 5% white distilled vinegar makes a great all-purpose cleaner ideal for glass, sinks, light fixtures, and appliances. While it’s an effective cleaner all on its own, you can also give it a “boost” by adding a small amount of dish soap. Or include a few drops of an essential oil such as tea tree or oregano. This will give your kitchen a nice aroma with no chemical smell associated with commercial cleaners.
White vinegar is naturally acidic, which makes it a great disinfectant. However, that doesn’t mean it is suitable for all countertops. Avoid using it on granite or marble. Instead, use a soft cloth, warm water, and mild detergent or dish soap.
Baking soda cuts through grime and eliminates odors. As such, you can use it on nearly any surface that needs a light scrubbing. It’s great for cleaning sinks, faucets, or even heavy pots and pans. When combined with full-strength vinegar, it can even clear clogged drains.
The odor-fighting properties in baking soda make it especially useful for kitchen cleaning. Place some inside your refrigerator or freezer (after cleaning with vinegar), and then wipe away. Then leave an open box inside the door so it can continue absorbing odors. Don’t forget to sprinkle some inside your trash can or recycling bins too.
Mild Dish Soap
Mild dish soap(particularly Dawn) has plenty of uses around the kitchen besides cleaning marble or granite countertops. A few other uses for it include:
- Washing down the insides and fronts of your cabinets
- Removing grease from your range hood and drip pans
- Combining with baking soda to make a paste for cleaning ovens
- Cleaning tile and backsplashes
Lemon Juice and/or Citrus Peels
Use mild dish soap to clean the outside of your cabinets thoroughly. Then give them an extra shine with a homemade polish containing 2 parts olive oil to 1 part lemon juice. The result will be similar to what you would achieve using a popular lemon-scented furniture polish without the waxy buildup. You may also apply this cleaner to crown molding, kitchen tables, or any other wooden surface.
Citrus peels are also the perfect solution for smelly garbage disposals. Periodically run a few lemon, lime, or orange slices through your disposal and watch the odors magically dissipate.
Clean copper pans by cutting a lemon in half and then dipping it into a coarse salt such as sea salt. The combination of lemon and salt will leave your pans sparkling clean without tearing up your hands in the process.
Breathe New Life into Your Old Kitchen
These tricks will ensure a clean, tidy kitchen. But they can’t bring a tired, worn-out countertop back to life. If yours has seen better days, it might be time for a replacement instead. Schedule a consultation with Aphrodite Marble and Granite to ensure you are ready for all that holiday cooking and baking just around the corner.