Monday, November 18, 2019

10 Quick, Easy, and Eco Friendly Kitchen Cleaning Hacks

I love a clean and tidy kitchen but I don’t love spending all of my time cleaning and organizing it.  That especially goes for the holiday season when I’d much rather be entertaining my guests than slipping out to the store because I ran out of some disposable cleaning doo dad or supply in the middle of cleaning up after dinner.

Because if I run out of something, it is always going to be when I need it use it immediately.

It. Never.Fails.

Pin this list of ideas to your Pinterest boards for later! Share it with your friends!

Luckily I developed have several hacks that replace disposable kitchen cleaning tools with reusable and others that make those disposables last a little bit longer so you aren’t stuck with a Holiday Hostess Fail in the middle of your party fun!

(Disclosure: I am including some affiliate links in this post for your convenience)

1. No matter if your kitchen scrubber sponge is made from plant based or synthetic materials (honestly I use both,) this German study recommends regularly replacing them because they quickly harbor the bacteria they clean up. I’ve tried cleaning a kitchen sponge in the dishwasher but it comes apart or quickly deteriorates after washing.  Instead of wasting oodles of money replacing kitchen sponges, I now use and recommend  Paperless Kitchen Cleaning Cloths like these especially after Paperless Kitchen was kind enough to give me samples to try (and which has no influence on my opinion of their products.)

Paperless kitchen cleaning cloths are made from biodegrable cotton fiber and wood-based cellulose pulp and can be used to replace a disposable kitchen dish sponge or paper towel (if you do this I suggest you color code which is which) with a reusable option – you can wash in the top rack of your dishwasher without it falling apart afterward. I tested it for you and this is 100% true. Most nights I tossed my Paperless Kitchen Cleaning Cloth in the top rack of my dishwasher after dinner and it survived unlike my regular kitchen sponges! If and when the Cleaning Cloths rip, tear, and get too old to do their job, you can toss this zero waste cleaning tool into a compost bin. 

2. And speaking of dishwashers, let’s talk detergent. I don’t know about you, but my dishwasher is the Goldilocks of detergent. It hates liquid. It prefers powder which seems to stop working when I’m halfway through a box because cardboard boxes allow the powder to absorb moisture from the air. That’s why the wrapped dishwashing packs that are often too large to properly shut the dishwasher dispenser door seem to clean dishes slightly better.

The cheapest and  easiest way to fix this is to store your dishwashing powder in a sealable container to prevent it from absorbing moisture from the air and losing its cleaning oomph. (Which is also cheaper than buying the plastic packs.) You can go pretty and store your dishwashing powder in an Anchor Hocking glass cracker jar like this one or recycle something like the super classy empty protein powder container I use under my kitchen sink.

3. Use a boiling baking soda soak to clean burnt and stuck on food from pots and pans. Cover the area with baking soda and water and let it sit for a bit.  You should be able to wipe away the mess with a reusable Paperless Kitchen Dish Wash Scrub like this one.  If not,  boil the pot with the baking soda and water on the stove for a bit to loosen the rest of the gunk stuck on the bottom of the pan.

Again I received a sample from Paperless Kitchen and was skeptical because every dish scrubbie I’ve tried to wash has fallen apart spectacularly. Unlike scratchy plant based scrubbies and brushes, the  Paperless Kitchen Scour Pads Made will not scratch delicate surfaces like my enamel Dutch oven even though it is made from 100% natural organic fibers with a non-toxic coating to make them stiff like a traditional disposable pot scrubber. And best of all, it is reusable and you can also clean it in the top rack of your dishwasher. 

4. If you use baking soda and a squirt of dishwashing liquid to clean your kitchen sink instead of using a traditional scouring powder cleaner. The baking soda will not only shine your sink in a cheap and eco friendly way but it also cleans your drains and garbage disposable when you rinse it down the  sink!

5. Use a chain mail cast iron scrubber (you can learn more about it here) and a little water to wash grime from a cast iron skillet while preserving the seasoning. If you use soap or dishwashing detergent to clean cast iron it can remove the flavor of the seasoning you most likely worked so hard to achieve.


6. Clear cooking smells from the kitchen after dinner by burning an attended candle or with a scented wax warmer (you can find similar wax warmer to mine  here.)  Most of the time I skip buying wax melts and pop the little bits of leftover candle wax from candles I always tell myself I can melt and make into new candles but never do.

7. Smelly kitchen? Take out the trash if you have weird but not quite sure where it is coming from in your kitchen. 9 times out of 10, it’s something in the trash can that is causing the smell. Sure, room sprays will temporarily cover up something whiffy at best. At worst it makes it makes it smell like stink covered flowers. Ew.

8. Put your dishwashing liquid into a pump container to make it last a little bit longer and to prevent you from accidentally squirting too much soap into your dishwater making it harder to rinse the dishes completely clean.  It takes about 2 seconds to empty a bottle of dishwashing liquid into an empty pump container from another brand (that’s what I use since mine lives under the sink out of sight) or into a cute dishwashing liquid pump meant to sit on the kitchen counter in full view.

9. Keep a small basket in/near the kitchen to put dirty reusable  kitchen towels, cleaning cloths, cloth napkins, etc. waiting for laundry day. A specific laundry basket makes it easy to tip the whole thing into the washing machine (many of you have mentioned you’re less than thrilled about handling dirty stuff like this – I hear ya!) and/or have enough of those items collected to do a full load of laundry which is what I do.

10. Never run out of disinfecting floor cleaner again by using a steam mop to clean your floors. Steam mops clean and disinfect surfaces by heating tap water to 248 degrees (F ) which is hot enough to kill 99% of germs and bacteria using the most eco friendly and inexpensive cleaner around – tap water. I have a canister steam cleaner that allows me to clean more surfaces than floors (like Lacey’s nose print art on the sliding patio door.) You learn more about eco friendly steam floor cleaners here.

Looking for more cheap, easy, and eco friendly kitchen cleaning tools? Check out the following ideas - and more - below!


Teresa B said...

Thank you for sharing at The Really Crafty Link Party this week!

Lisa Lynn said...

Great tips! Thanks for sharing this on Farm Fresh Tuesdays! I hope you'll stop by and share your talent with us again this evening!

Frugal Hausfrau said...

I do most of these but the candle and hate sponges. There's a reason over here in the States they're a black mark in restaurants when the health inspecitons are done. Great tips!! Thanks for sharing with us at Fiesta Friday!


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