Drowning in Fabric

Forever cleaning, organizing and creating

Natural cleaning adventure: The kitchen (part 1?)

on March 5, 2013

So, contrary to the evidence outside, spring is on its way. I mean, we are in March already! The blooms and smells and itchy eyes should be coming soon. And I am inspired to do some real spring cleaning. Keeping my house in any kind of order is a never ending losing battle which has only gotten worse since having the kidlet, who takes pride in going behind me and dumping everything I have put away back onto the floor.

I am also working hard to use natural, non-toxic cleaning alternatives. My focus for the last month or so is the kitchen. The kitchen is a big and constantly dirty room, and I am continuing to focus there this month. I have been using two different “all-purpose” cleaning solutions in my everyday cleaning in the kitchen. One uses vinegar and water, which apparently people don’t like because of the smell. The smell doesn’t bother me, and dissipates rather quickly, but does leave my kitchen smelling like potato chips. Which isn’t exactly a “clean” smell in my mind. I do wipe down with water afterward. The other uses castile soap, and I actually find that smell a little more disturbing for some reason.

Do they work as well? Well….  I believe they clean. They do take a lot more scrubbing. I have tried using microfiber, sponges, and Magic Eraser (which gets a B on EWG [with very little information, though]. Which is good. I need these things). My preference depends on the specific mess. The problem comes down to my crappy easily stained laminate countertops that I hate. The commercial cleaners fight the stains better. I don’t know why but they do. My countertops, while clean, have sort of a yellow cast to them now and there are rings and stuff left from things. I have tried baking soda and magic eraser, but still not entirely satisfied. I need new countertops. Maybe someday we will scrape together the money for a kitchen update. Until then I have to tolerate these counters.

I also scrubbed down my cabinet doors with the vinegar and magic eraser. That went well overall, except for one part by the stovetop where there is some caked on stuff that I still haven’t gotten off. It’s not bad, just a little splatter, but as long as I am getting things clean, I want it clean.

Yesterday, I ventured into the oven. Confession time: I have never actually cleaned an oven. Now, to be entirely fair, we really don’t use the oven much. My husband does most of his cooking on the stovetop, and (as discussed in previous posts) I do most of mine in the microwave. But, we have been using it more since my husband has been working from his diet recipes, and we have lived here over 6 years. It was time. OK. Past time.

I forgot, in my enthusiasm, to take a before picture. It is probably just as well. You can use your imagination. I used a recipe of baking soda and hot water and a microfiber cloth and a sponge with a scrapy side. I got the information from a free kindle book on Amazon. First, I wiped out the burned food drips on the bottom. Then I slathered the baking soda paste in the oven and left it.


Wiped down with baking soda paste.


My cleaning tools.


Then later, I went back with my scrubby sponge and hot water and scrubbed and scrubbed. I didn’t get it all up; it will need another round, but I feel it was a marked improvement. Especially on the window. Then I wiped it out real well several times with clean water and mf cloth.


All clean! (mostly)


I still need to do the racks. Next up this week: the fridge (cringe), finding a safe and non-toxic way to clean my floors, and switching out our dishes.

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