By Deviyani Srivastava
If the thought of cleaning the kitchen gets you all riled up and sends you scurrying to the supermarket to buy expensive cleaning agents, then this is just for you. It’s funny how obvious pantry staples such as vinegar, lemon and baking soda can work wonders in the kitchen. Here’s how you can have a sparkling clean kitchen with things right at home.
The Kitchen Cabinet
Problem: Most prone to dust particles and grease getting accumulated over time.
Solution: Use a water vinegar solution to clean the grease without harming the wood. Apply a paste of baking soda and water to remove tough stains. Keep the paste for 10 minutes and clean it with a damp sponge. Wipe it down with a clean and dry cotton cloth; leave it until it dries completely. Use a rubber mat to line your cabinets.
The Stovetop and Countertop
Problem: The stove top has very hard to reach crevices to clean and has sticky grime from spilled over food which makes it and the surrounding area very greasy
Solution: Make your own Cleaning spray by mixing 2 cups water, ¼ cup Vinegar and juice of 1 lemon. Clean the dust particles and crumbs from the stove surface using a dry rag. Now, spray this solution on the gas top and surrounding area and leave it for a couple of minutes. Later, wipe this solution and clean the surface with a cotton cloth.
Problem: The most neglected food storage place when it comes to cleaning. You will have to take all the stuff out first, unfortunately there is no way round it.
Solution: Prepare a natural cleanser by mixing ¼ tsp baking soda in 4 cups of water. A more aromatic option is to mix a cup of vinegar, 2 cups hot water and 5 to 10 drops of Lemon essential oil. Clean the inside of the refrigerator with this solution to deodorize it. Apply white toothpaste on stubborn stains and wipe off with a damp cloth.
Problem: Reheating of food and cooking leads to build up of gunk and other food particles, which are hard to remove. It even affects the efficiency of the Microwave.
Solution: Take a microwave safe/ glass bowl and fill it half with water and ten add a tablespoon of white vinegar. Place it inside and microwave it for 5 minutes or till the walls get all steamed up. Let it remain inside for another 5 minutes. The steam will help loosen dried-on slime. Clean the inside using paper towels or a sponge.
Another method, if you feel the vinegar smell might remain.
Place a well saturated sponge in the microwave. Spray the inside of your microwave with a solution made of water and lemon juice or essential oil. Make sure you spray it all over. Microwave it for 2 minutes. Let the sponge cool for a while then use it to wipe inside and outside of the Microwave.
Note: Be cautious while handling the bowl or the sponge and the plate as they will be hot.
Problem: It often retains the smell of smoothies etc.
Solution: Using a mild soap with warm water and blending it is usually effective but for a sure shot smell free blender just blend a 1:1 ratio of baking soda and water in the blender. Then let this solution stand for 10 minutes, rinse thoroughly.
The Chopping Board
Problem: Be it wooden or plastic, they are used daily which can have a grimy build-up on the surface.
Solution: First, wet the board in water, apply generous amount of salt on the board, cut a lemon in half and use it if it were a sponge to scrub off any residue. Next, use a scraper to scrape up the salt and lemon mixture. Rinse with water and set out to dry.
The Burnt pans & Cast Iron Skillets:
Problem: Burnt pans are very hard to clean and require a lot of effort and time. You cannot use your regular dish soap for cleaning your cast iron skillet.
Solution: For burnt pans, pour 1 cup water in the pan, add in 1 cup vinegar and bring it to a boil. Remove from heat and add in 2 table spoon of baking soda. Rub it with a scrubber if required.
Clean and protect your cast iron skillet by cleaning with a mixture of olive oil and salt. Simply pour a tablespoon of olive oil onto the skillet, add coarse sea salt, and scrub with a cloth. Once the skillet is clean, wipe out the salt and finish with a thin layer of olive oil.