A Bacteria Free Kitchen Without Harmful Chemicals
Most of us were raised in homes where our mothers believed in the need for chlorine to clean toilets, for phosphates to clean clothes and for caustic cleansers to make the oven sparkle. The bad news is that all these chemicals are linked to a variety of health and environmental problems, both due to the ways in which they are manufactured and the impact that they have on the environment once they are flushed down your drain. The good news is that you don't have to use harsh chemicals or pollutants in order to have a clean and bacteria free home. Some of the best cleansers can be found in your cupboards! You can also make use of simple techniques to keep your kitchen clean, without ever resorting to harmful substances.
Cleaning with Vinegar
Your humble white vinegar bottle could become your best friend in cleaning your kitchen! Distilled white vinegar can attack many of your worst cleaning problems, including most mold, bacteria, and germs, due to its level of acidity. Vinegar is also an effective deodorizer, so you get two benefits with one cleaner. Simply use it full strength for many tough cleaning jobs.
Want a spray cleaner that you can use every day? You can easily make your own homemade version. Mix 1/2 cup of vinegar with 1/4 cup of baking soda. Dilute with 1 quart of water. Use as you would other spray cleaners; you can also use this in your bathroom for chrome fixtures and mirrors. If you like your home to smell lemony fresh, consider adding a few drops of lemon essential oil to your homemade cleaner. Not only will you save the environment, but you'll spare your pocket book too.
Cook Those Bugs
Did you know that your kitchen sink harbors more bacteria than the toilet bowl? As a result, nothing has more bacteria than that innocent looking sponge that you use to clean your sink. Even if you ensure that your sponge dries out every night, it still happily collects bacteria each day as you clean your kitchen surfaces. It can then spread bacteria to whatever it touches.
Here's an easy way to keep your sponge bacteria free: squeeze it out until it is damp and microwave it for one minute. That's it! You now have a bacteria free sponge.
Another great trick for cleaning your sponges and dish cloths is to put them in your dishwasher! When you are ready to set your dishwasher in motion, put your dirty cleaning gear into a free cutlery basket and pull them out clean and bacteria free at the end of the cycle.
Microwave the Microwave
While the microwave can get your sponge bacteria free, it needs to get some attention too! Food residue can collect on surfaces; you might even have a few bacteria hiding in here.
One simple way to clean this handy appliance is to put a microwave-safe bowl inside filled with 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar and 1/2 cup water. Microwave the bowl until the contents are at a rolling boil. The vapour will loosen any food spills and eliminate any odors. Simply wipe clean.
When In Doubt, Steam Clean
While many new kitchen gadgets are just another way to eat up your money, the latest steam cleaners are actually very effective and increasingly well-priced. When it comes to your oven as well as your tile or hardwood floors, steam cleaning beats most of the alternatives for ease and results. You don't need any additives when using a steam cleaner - just let the steam do the work!
Don't use steam on surfaces that will "cook". Stick to metal, tile, hardwood and countertops. If in doubt that steam will be safe for a surface, test in an inconspicuous place first.
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