4 Sustainable Cleaning Supplies for Your Kitchen

vinegar and baking soda on table
Sustainable Cleaning Supplies for the Kitchen

As the central gathering place for food preparation and mealtime, the kitchen serves many purposes. All of that chopping, cooking, baking, and the resulting dirty dishes can be messy business! Through all of these activities, it’s important to remember that what we eat makes a lot of contact with kitchen surfaces. That’s why cleaning without harmful chemicals matters.

Using natural cleaning supplies not only benefits the environment, but also eliminates exposure to toxic chemicals found in many household cleaners. Even better, many natural cleaning solutions can be made using everyday low-cost household items.

Read on for ingredients and ideas that will keep your kitchen clean and sustainable.

Citrus peel:  Citrus contains citric acid, a natural disinfectant that works great for sanitizing countertops, refrigerator shelves and kitchen spills.

To make your own cleaner, fill a 1-gallon glass jar with a combination of lemon, lime, grapefruit or orange peel and 5-7 cups white wine vinegar. Seal the jar and let it sit 3 weeks, occasionally shaking. To use, remove  the peel and mix one part citrus concentrate with one part water in a spray bottle. (There may be a slight vinegar smell but it will quickly clear!)

Baking soda:  Baking soda’s grainy texture gently breaks down stains.

Scrub stovetops and sinks with 1 part salt, 1 part baking soda and 1 part water for shiny clean surfaces.

Castile soap:  This super concentrated soap is made of vegetable oils such as coconut, palm and olive. It loosens baked-on or dried food, but is gentle on skin, so is an excellent soap for hand-washing dishes.

Hydrogen peroxide:  The disinfecting properties of hydrogen peroxide make it a utility player in the kitchen.

Hydrogen peroxide can be poured directly onto cutting boards or into the bottom of compost bins and garbage cans. Three percent hydrogen peroxide is effective and commonly found at drug stores.

— By Lisa Holman, Bastyr dietetic intern, and Amy Frasieur, MS, RD, core faculty in the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Science at Bastyr University.

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