Green Your Kitchen: Homemade Kitchen Cleaning Products that Kills Germs
Consider your kitchen cleaning products. When it comes to the health and safety of you and your family, the kitchen plays a very important role. We need to be so careful about keeping it clean since we consume the food prepared and stored in it. Yet we often allow toxic chemicals into our kitchens with that very goal in mind.
Toxic chemicals that affect our health, particularly the endocrine disruptors which affect our hormones, are in our dishwashing liquids and our surface cleaners. What’s more is that if most of these products are consumed by our children or pets, or we do not rinse the surface properly after cleaning and our food comes into contact with it, it can result in serious health consequences.
It is definitely better to kill germs and remove dirt using natural cleaning products that are non-toxic. Making your own homemade kitchen cleaning products is affordable and very easy. You’ll also know for a fact what goes into them.
Natural Multi-Purpose Cleaner Recipe
2-4 Tbsp of Castile soap
2 Cups of water
10-15 Drops of essential oil (optional)
- Put the water into a bottle. A spray bottle is easiest for surfaces. A squeeze bottle is best for washing dishes.
- Add the Castile soap. The amount you add depends on how “soapy” you want your cleaner to be.
- Add in the essential drops.
- If you want it to be thicker, you can use less water, or you can add some salt since salt helps it to thicken.
Important: Use distilled water if possible, otherwise boil the water first and let it cool.
Essential oils are great for adding fragrances and some even have antibacterial properties. Just a word of caution, if you are going to use your multi-purpose cleaner on marble, do not use citrus oils and always use a soft cloth.
Antibacterial Essential Oils:
- Tea tree
Castile soap is a natural soap made out of vegetable oils. It was originally made in Castile, Spain where they used olive oil to make it. These days there are other oils that it can be made from too such as coconut oil or hemp oil. Often they use a combination of oils too. Some types of Castile soaps already contain essential oils in which case it isn’t necessary to add essential oils.
Never combine Castile soap with vinegar, lemon juice, or any other acidic substances. It creates an oily mess that is hard to clean off anything you have used it to clean with. Castile soap is so versatile, you can make personal care products too. Using just Castile soap by itself can also be a bit drying, this is why it should be diluted with water and you can add some olive or jojoba oil to it. You can also find Castile soap bars.
Other Green Kitchen Cleaners
- Vinegar: Vinegar is great for getting grease off counters and around the stove plates. You can also use it to get rid of grease in pots and pans. Use it in the wash cycle during the laundry to remove stains. It is safe for use on colored clothing too. It also removes mold. Never combine vinegar with baking soda or hydrogen peroxide.
- Hydrogen peroxide: Hydrogen peroxide or H2O2 is like water but with an added oxygen molecule giving it oxidizing properties. It kills germs and removes dirt. You can also use it to remove stains on white clothing. It also kills mold. Check out this all-purpose recipe that uses hydrogen peroxide.
- Lemon juice: Lemon can remove rust, limescale, and it’s also great at degreasing. Just put some lemon juice on the rust or limescale and leave it for a half an hour, then clean the area with a cloth or brush. Not only that, but it smells really nice. Lemons are great to keep around for detoxing and to treat colds and flu too!
- Baking soda: Baking soda removes odors and it can be used in the laundry as a fabric softener. It also has an abrasive action so you can use it to scrub pots or stubborn dirt. Use it in a homemade toothpaste to whiten your teeth.
More Tips to Green Your Kitchen
Chemicals lurk in cookware, utensils, storage items, and in the water supply. Here’s how to reduce your exposure:
- Avoid Teflon: Non-stick pans are convenient, but as you cook the chemicals from the Teflon leach into your food. Choose good quality stainless steel, ceramic, or cast iron cookware. Read more about healthy cookware here.
- Use wooden utensils: Using plastic to cook with leaches chemicals into your food too. Hopefully, manufacturers are producing plastic utensils without BPA, and even if they are, that does not mean that there are no other chemicals in the plastic to be avoided. If you cannot use wooden utensils. High-quality stainless steel utensils can also be used.
- Switch to glass and ceramic: Store your food and products in glass or ceramic bowls and containers. Wide mouth mason jars are my favorite. Avoid plastic wrap too. If you cannot go without plastic, choose BPA-free plastics, for example, ziplock bags and Tupperware items produced after 2010. Here is a guide to different types of plastics.
- Avoid aluminum foil: Aluminum is a heavy metal and our bodies are already overburdened with heavy metals. Chlorine-free parchment paper is a good substitute and can be used to bake, roast, and store food just like foil can.
- Use a reverse osmosis filter: A reverse osmosis filter is the most effective filter for getting rid of chemicals like fluoride and chlorine in the water supply. Despite the government adding these chemicals to the water to purify it and to prevent cavities, they can have endocrine disrupting properties as well as other risks to your health. Read more about it here.
- Cook your food correctly: Rice contains arsenic, not enough to kill you, but enough to build up over time and cause health problems. One of the best ways to reduce the arsenic content is to cook the rice in 6 cups of water and pour off the excess water when the rice is done and then rinsing the rice again. Learn more here. Reduce your fish consumption to lower your mercury intake.