Taking a walk through the cleaning aisle in almost any store can easily create the impression that the only way to maintain a kitchen is to unleash a host of toxic chemicals against it. There are, however, a number of ways to keep your cooking area looking great without resorting to harsher and less eco-friendly methods. A handful of common household ingredients can be utilized to create effective cleaners, and the right approach to maintaining a kitchen can reduce the appearance of grime in the first place.
Vinegar, Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide
A combination of vinegar, baking soda and water is often the only thing that’s needed to tackle a number of household cleaning jobs. If you wish to give the cleaner a little more power to fight grime, simply add some dish soap to the mixture. Mix it up, pour it into a spray bottle and apply it liberally to all kinds of messes. For more stubborn stains, especially old ones that are set in, hydrogen peroxide may do the trick.
Essential Oils and Lemon
Cleaning a kitchen is one thing, but most people also want their home to smell nice. Adding a drop of lemon, something that many people can grow in their backyards, to a cleaning solution or rubbing a mixture of lemon juice and water onto a surface is a great way to improve the smell. If you’d like to try a different smell, most stores now sell a wide selection of essential oils that can also be applied by simply mixing them with water or you can mix them with olive oil and use it to polish your wooden surfaces.
Baking Soda and Charcoal as Deodorizers
Baking soda has a number of uses in the household, and one of its best applications is as a deodorizer. Another popular deodorizer is crushed charcoal. Either method can be used in a kitchen, and by dressing it up inside some cheesecloth and hanging it, you can avoid having an ugly baking soda box or charcoal pile in your kitchen.
Boiling Water for Stoves and Sinks
A lot of the grease that finds its way onto your stove got there while being boiled with water, and it can be sent packing using the same method. You can also dump boiling water down your sink as a way to keep kitchen drains from clogging.
Improve Air Quality
Much of the dirt that develops in a kitchen is simply a product of poor indoor air quality. Don’t forget to replace air filters in heating and air conditioning units. If the weather permits, don’t be afraid to open a window while cooking in order to allow grease from smoke to find its way out. If you live in a region where that’s not a viable approach, installing a high quality range hood may also be worth the cost. You’ll be surprised how much of a difference air quality can make toward keeping a cooking space clean.
For more tips and tricks, head to Modernize.com.
Modernize is where you come to get inspired, see what’s possible, and connect with a professional who will make your dream home a reality. Bryn Huntpalmer is a mother of two young children living in Austin, Texas where she currently works as an Editor for Modernize and nurtures her HGTV obsession. In addition to regularly contributing to Home Decor and Design websites around the web, her writing can be found on Lifehacker, About.com and on her personal blog Her Own Wings.