I have been searching all over the place to find some interesting and even obscure kitchen cleaning tips. There is a lot of basic stuff out there, repeated endlessly, so with my list here I hope you’ll learn something new! Some are really just common sense, but we all need reminders.
1. Not new would be this warning I think is appropriate to be the number one tip:
Never mix ammonia and bleach. It will produce a poisonous gas that could kill or maim you. That fact right there is reason enough to stop using cleaning products that don’t list their ingredients completely. There could be ammonia or bleach in a product and it doesn’t have to be listed on the bottle. In fact it can be darn difficult to get a complete list of ingredients from the manufacturer.
Can you blame chemical companies from wanting to hide their inclusion of dangerous chemicals from you? Manufacturers of chemical cleaning products are not required by law to list all the ingredients, but the ones with nothing to hide will list them.
More Kitchen Cleaning Advice
2. Part of keeping a clean, sanitary kitchen is keeping the kitchen clear of clutter. Donna Smallin in her book Cleaning Plain and Simple has some great tips for organizing your kitchen. Here are a few of them
- Choose a decorative bowl or basket to collect all those odds and ends.
- Set limits on how many leftover plastic tubs you save for storing your own leftovers. You don’t need that many, recycle most of these!
- Store all your recipes in a 3 ring binder
- Hang a bulletin board up to tack up all paper items notes, lists, numbers, etc.
3. Spills and spatters are easier to clean up right away than a week later. Try not to procrastinate when it comes to cleaning your kitchen. The work increases exponentially.
4. Sprinkle fresh grease spills in your oven with salt or baking soda, and then wipe up after the oven has cooled. If you can’t wash your dishes right away, sprinkle baking soda on them, and soak pots and pans in water and baking soda to make cleaning easier later.
5. Never use baking soda on Aluminum.
6. From TLC webpage called “14 Green Kitchen Cleaning Tips”
- Remember to use microwave-safe containers when nuking your food. Many plastics and even paper towels break down when microwaved, releasing toxins that leach into food.
- If you have a thermos or lunchbox that is beginning to smell a little funky, pour 1/4 cup salt into it and close it up for the night. In the morning, rinse and wipe clean, and it should smell fresh again.
- Clay pots used in cooking also become stained or take on odors. To solve this problem, fill such a pot with water and add 1 to 4 tablespoons baking soda. Let the mixture stand for a half hour or more, then rinse and dry thoroughly. Sometimes a clay cooker can start to grow spots of mold. Brush the mold with a paste made of baking soda and water and let it stand. If you can, give it an extra boost by putting the cooker into direct sunlight. After half an hour, brush the paste away and rinse the pot.
- Keep your kitchen garbage pail smelling fresher by sprinkling a bit of baking soda in the bottom each time you empty it. Every now and then, wash and deodorize the can with a solution of baking soda in warm water.
- Do the cubes that are coming out of the automatic ice cube maker taste a little unpleasant? Try cleaning the removable parts of the unit with baking soda and water.
7. Remember to dust the top of the stove, cupboards, range hood and other horizontal surface in your kitchen regularly. If you don’t keep up with the dust it will combine with cooking grease to make a difficult to remove funky gunk. Been there, done that! I tried baking soda and vinegar on the mess. It worked but also started peeling the paint off the range hood. Oops!
8. Dish soap is all you should need to cut kitchen grease if you keep up with it and don’t let it turn into greasy gunk.
9. Closed cupboards are much cleaner inside than open cupboards. Makes sense!
10. Kitchen carpeting is a no-no if you want a clean, sanitary kitchen.
11. In an automatic dishwasher using more detergent does not clean better, it just leaves a residue.
12. Clean and deodorize your dishwasher with distilled white vinegar. Renee Loux (Easy Green Living) recommends pouring 2 cups of vinegar in a bowl and set in the bottom rack of the dishwasher. Then run a short wash cycle.
13. Unusual items that can be washed in your dishwasher (from Real Simple Cleaning)
- Oven knobs on the top rack
- Refrigerator bins and shelves on the bottom rack gentle cycle
- Sink strainers on top rack
14. Blue-green residue around your sink fixtures indicates that your copper pipes are beginning to corrode. High levels of copper can cause stomach cramps (and probably other worse conditions!) while a red orange residue indicates naturally occurring iron in your water. No worries about this apparently, except that too much iron in your blood stream can interfere with your bones calcium absorption. (from The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Green Cleaning)
15. Clean water mineral deposits off of flower vases with any acidic substance you have around—black tea, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, even coca cola. Soak the vase in the acidic substance for a while, and then lightly scrub it off. Btw, this is your first lesson in organic chemistry!
16. Do not mix silver flatware with stainless in the dishwasher as this can damage your silver. I think dishwashers are not recommended for silver anyway!
17. To protect porcelain and cast-iron sinks use rinse baskets and sink mats.
18. Use an enzyme cleaner like Nature’s Miracle to dissolve food particles in your sink drains and prevent clogs. Anne Berthold-Bond in her book Better Basics for the Home says, regarding PVC plumbing, that ”. . . enzymes can gradually eat away at your pipes.”
19. Don’t use baking soda down your drain if you have a garbage disposal. It can gum it up according to The Complete Idiots Guide to Green Cleaning. The authors, disagree with a lot of accepted common practices! Hey it takes all kinds. I’m a skeptic too.
20. Arrange to clean your refrigerator right before you do your grocery shopping. The fridge will be almost empty and much easier to clean!
21. From Linda Larsen ‘Kitchen Cleaning Tips’ About.com Guide
- Try to end each day with a clean, empty kitchen sink. Run the dishwasher before you go to bed and unload it first thing in the morning.
- Did you know that you use 20% of your utensils 80% of the time? Any tool or appliance that doesn’t get used during a week of cooking should be cleaned and stored to save counter and cupboard space and cleaning time.
- It’s easier to clean a grill if you do it after each use. Also oil the grill rack before each use to make cleanup easier.
- Once every 7-10 days, remove all the food from your refrigerator, wipe down the inside with warm soapy water, clean all the shelves and trays, then replace the food. As you work, check expiration dates and discard food past those dates. Place an open box of baking soda in the back of the fridge.