Simplified 365: The Kitchen - Day 4: Simple Cleaner

Simplified 365: The Kitchen - Day 4: Simple Cleaner

Hi!  Welcome back!

Want to save money (and the environment) every month?  We already focused on getting our cleaning products down to one bottle per type, now let’s try to consolidate down to one or two that can do multiple things.  All of those specialty products are there for one reason and one reason only.  To make the manufacturer money White vinegar can stand in for a number of cleaning products:

  • Window Cleaner
  • Multi-purpose cleaner
  • Kitchen Cleaner
  • Bathroom Cleaner
  • Toilet Cleaner
  • Tub & Tile Cleaner
  • Floor Cleaner

While there has been a lot of hype regarding disinfecting and antibacterial cleaners in the past decade, we have to ask ourselves if something really needs to be disinfected or just scrubbed.  We’ve been living with germs for eons.  Most of them aren’t going to hurt us. 

White vinegar, baking soda, and alcohol have all been shown to kill most of the worrisome germs, and that’s probably enough.  You will want to check with your granite floor manufacturer regarding the effects of vinegar (an acid) on your countertop or flooring.  White vinegar has not been proven to kill Staph and salmonella as effectively as bleach, but there are some workarounds.  Get rid of plastic cutting boards, they hold on to bacteria more than wood, and just use one specific chicken cutting board.  

Simple Vinegar All-purpose Cleaner:

  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup water (distilled, boiled or filtered is best)
  • 1/4 cup baking soda 
  • 10-20 drops essential oil (only if cleaner will not be used on glass - the oil will streak)

You can reuse a sprayer bottle from under your sink.  There’s probably a half empty one there, just be sure to rinse it out very well.  If you’re worried about the half-bottle of product you’re dumping down the drain…well, from now on, using this simple cleaner, you won't have to feel guilty about washing chemicals down the drain (that's what happens when you clean or bathe with them anyway!). Water treatment facilities filter out some of the pollutants, but not all.  Another option is disposing of them through your local household hazardous waste program; contact your garbage service for details.

To recap, consolidating down to one or two cleaning products can save you money, and using a simple vinegar cleaner is safer for you (and the environment) while cleaning darn near anything in your house. 

Ok, that's it for today.

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