The Kitchen Sink and Beneath

I’m not trying to be fanatical and convert everyone to the way I run my kitchen. I know the kitchen is a very personal area of the home. What we consume, how we consume it and how we care for that area of the home is a touchy subject. I’m just inviting you to ponder along with me as I evaluate my current kitchen habits and consider alternatives.




Think about it, the kitchen sink is probably one of the most important spots in the home. Here you clean your hands, rinse off food, get water to drink and cook with, wash the dishes your family eat on, rinse off dishrags to wipe surfaces, rinse and ring out the mop, and defrost what’s for dinner. A lot happens, both cooking and cleaning traffic goes through here and it’s important to be aware of cross contamination and your family’s safety.

When I open my cabinet door I find disposable gloves, sink parts, liquid dish soap, sponges, scrubbers, dishwasher detergent, white vinegar and household cleaners including those that I haven’t used in over a year.  I’m sure some of them are toxic and I don’t have a childproof lock on the door. Thankfully my son wasn’t curious in the kitchen when he was younger. He is old enough now to read and understand not to touch those poisonous products. He would avoid using soap if I didn’t remind him to wash his hands. But rather or not he has access to it, I still want to detoxify my house as much as possible.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency:

Several simple, non-toxic, and inexpensive household substances can also be very effective for most types of household and kitchen cleaning jobs; these substances include white vinegar, baking soda, mild liquid (e.g., castile) soap, lemon juice, and borax. (Note that vinegar and lemon juice are acidic, so they are useful for removing mineral deposits and wax or grease build-up, but they should not be used on all surfaces.  

To learn more, check out their article at  http://www.epa.gov/greenhomes/Kitchen.htm#Kitchen-Practices.

Here’s what I have by my kitchen sink and in the cupboard beneath:

Currently Using

  1. Garbage Disposal Cleaner Liquid     

  2. Free & Clear Plant based Dish Liquid

  3. Abrasive Powder

  4. Fabric Protection Spray Can

  5. Foaming Carpet Cleaner Spray Can

  6. Pro-Power Spray Gel

  7. Stainless Steel Cleaner Spray

  8. Disposable 100% Latex Free Vinyl Gloves

  9. Automatic Dishwasher Detergent Powder

  10. Distilled White Vinegar in Plastic Jug

  11. Mold Removal & Prevention Kit

  12. Foaming Hand Soap Dispenser

  13. Distilled Water in Plastic Jug

  14. Homemade Dishwasher Detergent with Borax
 Here are alternatives I want to start using:

 

Better Choices

 

  1. For the garbage disposal use Citrus fruit Peels, Vinegar & Baking Soda

  2. No change needed for dish soap or I can switch to Castile Liquid Soap

  3. For abrasive scrub use Baking soda, cinnamon, essential oil

  4. Don’t need Fabric protection spay, not sure of toxicity

  5. For Carpet Cleaning use White Vinegar, Cornmeal, and/or Salt

  6. Pro Spray Gel for sticky stuff use White Vinegar

  7. For a stainless steel cleaner use White Vinegar

  8. Use Reusable Kitchen Gloves or none needed since I’m cleaning with non-toxic cleaners

  9. Undecided if I’m switching, I haven’t found a homemade dishwasher recipes that works well 

  10. Distilled White Vinegar is great, but I’d like to get in in a bottle rather than plastic

  11. For small mold and mildew spots use Peroxide, White Vinegar, and/or Baking soda

  12. Refill foaming Hand soap bottles made from 6 parts warm distilled water to 1 part Castile liquid soap 

  13. Distilled water is recommended for diluting, may consider getting a Distiller instead of buying in plastic
  14. I want to find a homemade dishwasher detergent recipe that’s borax free. Any suggestions?   
Here are a few sites that have been very helpful on this journey:

They offer a wealth of information on cleaning alternatives, with instructions and homemade recipes to make Green Cleaning easy and affordable.  
I’m not done with the kitchen yet; I still need to tackle the subjects of cookware, dishes, the pantry, the refrigerator and the freezer. Until then,  I have plenty of cleaning to do…