Chemicals, n: Noxious substances from which
modern foods are made.Â ~Author Unknown
4TH THURSDAY GREEN
Whatâ€™s something you can use from the kitchen pantry for all-purpose cleaning thatâ€™s cheap, anti-bacterial and leaves a fresh-smelling scent behind that doesnâ€™t linger too long?Â Vinegar.Â You heard me.Â Not the red wine good stuff.Â White vinegar.Â A gallon of white vinegar costs about two bucks.Â Keep it around.Â And baking soda.Â Both safe for humans and the environment, inside and out.
IN THE KITCHEN
Keep a spray bottle of vinegar & water (1:1) by the kitchen sink for quick wipe-ups as spills occur.Â You can use this solution on kitchen counter-tops, cabinets, light-switch plates, refrigerator doors & handles.Â The mild solution may not be enough to remove dark fingerprints so youâ€™ll need something with an emulsifier, like dish soap.Â A more powerful grease cuter is automatic dish soap.Â The more often you clean, the less you’ll need more high-powered cleaners with their high-powered, unfriendly fumes.
Clean up oven spatters as they occur to avoid the drudgery of a full-scale clean-up with harsh chemicals or the mega-energy drain of the self-cleaning oven.Â Use a cookie sheet on the bottom shelf to catch bubblings over when baking gooey things, like fruit pies.Â Use vinegar, steel wool, cream of tartar and a little elbow grease to beef up the cleaning power and return oven surfaces to pre-roast condition.
To clean out the garbage disposer, run cold water, turn on the disposer and add ice cubes to dislodge food that rots when trapped in between the moving parts.Â Follow with adding a lemon, orange peel or mint leaves to fill your kitchen with a cleansing scent.
THE REST OF THE HOUSE
Stroll around with the spray bottle of vinegar and water cleaning glass and metal surfaces:Â oven & microwave doors, toaster, door/drawer pulls, mirrors, glass on framed pieces, tv screens, glass lampshades, exposed light bulbs, figurines, metal bathroom fittings.Â A cloth or paper towel will not leave water streaks behind on reflective surfaces.Â Donâ€™t spray directly on keyboards and non-glass laptops screens, cell phones, calculators or fronts of audio equipment.Â Spray the cloth or paper towel and wipe the surfaces.
Vinegar acts as a natural disinfectant and a room deodorizer, so no need to purchase smelly scents that only cover up odors rather than eliminate them. Â The vinegar cleans the air leaving it fresh and crisp.Â If the vinegary smell bothers you, open a window.Â It dissipates quickly, leaving a clean smell (which is no smell) in its wake. Â Unless you live in a palace, you can perform this refresher course within the space of a couple of commercial breaks in your favorite tv show.
- Use baking soda as a mild scouring powder for plastic laminate counter-tops and porcelain sinks; add hydrogen peroxide for a little bleaching action.
- If frying or burned food has left a persistent odor after clean-up, light a candle.Â The burning wax will absorb most odors in an hour or two.Â Nothing cleans like fresh air and sunlight.
- Vinegar dissolves mineral deposits on vases, water pitchers and coffee makers.
- Put sponges in the microwave to disinfect them frequently.
- Put a mug of water in the microwave & heat for a minute to loosen grime from the inside of the oven.Â Wipe with a sponge.
- To clear a stubborn drain, pour down boiling water.Â Add 1/2 cup baking soda (maybe the one from the refrigerator) and then 1/2 cup white vinegar and watch the foaming action.Â Let sit, then rinse with boiling water.Â Repeating monthly will help keep drains clear.
Cleaning can be a bit of a work-out, so if you canâ€™tÂ get to the gym or jog around the block, then put a little elbow grease to good use by cooking a roast or baking cookies and then scrubbing the roasting pan or cookie sheets afterward.Â Scrub the kitchen floor in preparation of the many things you will inevitably drop along the way.Â I know I do!