Green Spring Cleaning the Kitchen

My kitchen was in need of a deep cleaning yesterday. Not exactly my version of fun, but at least I felt like I was doing my part by using eco-friendly cleaners. How do I know? Not by relying on labels that say “natural plant-derived cleaner,” but by actually doing some research.

In general, I use the Environmental Working Group as my go-to guide on eco-friendly cleaning products, and I try to only purchase products that receive a B or higher rating. The surprising things are 1) ratings vary widely amongst different products for different brands; and 2) things that are marketed to you as “good for the environment,” aren’t necessarily so.

Fortunately for you, I’ve done my research and am sharing with you a list of products you need on hand to green-clean your kitchen. Even better, despite my scattered nature, I’ve developed a deep cleaning routine that works for me, at least. Maybe it will work for you too.

So, here are my picks for what you need on hand:

(These links are Amazon affiliate links meaning Scattered Branches gets a small fee of any purchases you make at no additional charge to you. Thanks much for your support!)

First things first, I deep clean the inside of my microwave, the sink, and the disposal all with one lemon and a Skoy Cloth. Really! Check out the link to see how that is possible. I put the remaining lemon water in the dishwasher along with everything else I can fit that like the range grates, fan vents, sponges, pet bowls, etc.) and use half – of an Ecover Dishwasher Tablet. Yep! Only half, see more in the product info below.

While the dishwasher is going, I mix the Puracy Green Tea and Lime Natural Dish Soap with water in a small bowl, dip in a Skoy Cloth, and wipe everything down from top to bottom. That includes cabinets, countertops, stainless steel, tile walls, baseboards, glass, you name it. While a little bit of elbow power may be required, one of the many things that I love about the Skoy cloths is that, unlike most dish towels, you can feel those sticky or dry residue spots that need scrubbing – even if you can’t see them.

The next step is to focus on the stainless steel. For “regular” cleaning – is that a thing? – I wipe down the appliances with a mixture of 3/4 water to 1/4 half white vinegar. However, if I really want things to shine, I quickly and lightly spray the stainless steel with coconut oil cooking spray (you heard me right) and then rub it in for a fabulous shine with a clean Skoy Cloth working in the direction of the grain. It sparkles like magic and even propels fingerprints and pet hair. A little goes a long way, so use the spray sparingly.

Returning to the other surfaces (which by this time are likely semi-dirty again), I wipe down counter tops and spot clean with Puracy Natural Multi-Surface Cleaner (my every day cleaner) and a clean Skoy Cloth for a final wipe down. Your sink can probably use another quick wipe-down too.

After everything is clean up top, I move to the floor. I either sweep or vacuum and then mop with highly-diluted Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castile Soap. I use a Swiffer branded steam mop, but, instead of using their disposable mopping sheets, I spray the floor lightly with diluted soap, attach a NatureZway reusable bamboo paper-towel to the steam mop, and clean away. You can also dilute about 2 tbsp. of Dr. Bronner’s with 3 gallons of water in a bucket and use a rag-based mop.

Congratulations and enjoy it as long as you can! Mine stayed this way approximately 30 seconds until my kids walked in the door. Ahh!

About the Products:

Skoy Eco-Friendly Cleaning Cloths: I really can’t say enough about these cloths and how they out-perform dish towels (especially micro-fiber), and paper towels/sponges for cleaning. They last for a long time, and you can throw them in the dishwasher or washing machine (although I’d refrain from putting them in the dryer). I keep eight or so on hand at any given time and use them for cleaning tasks all over the house. Just dampen them slightly before use and get ready to be amazed.

Puracy Dish Soap and Multi-Surface Cleaner: I love these Puracy products. The scent is refreshing yet subtle and I’ve been pleased with the effectiveness of both. They are all natural, eco-friendly, and receive an “A” grade from the EWG. Better yet, Puracy also donates cleaning items to people in need for products purchased. True love! I’ll be trying more of their products in the future.

Ecover Dishwasher Tablets: Although these tablets received a B grade from the EWG’s household cleaning guide, they are “green certified.” Plus, in my opinion, they are amazingly effective and it only takes half a tablet to leave an entire load of dishes sparkling clean. Really! Read the Amazon reviews. (I also use Ecover Rinse Aid).

Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castile Soap: I’ll admit it. I’m addicted. I’m now buying this stuff by the gallon – literally. It can be used to clean so many things. The trick, especially for mopping floors and cleaning other surfaces, is to make sure it is heavily diluted so as not to leave soapy residue behind. Dr. Bronner’s soap is rated as an “A” from EWG, it is made in America, and the company is socially responsible.

NatureZway Bamboo Reusable Paper Towels: This is not your average paper towel – at all. Made from renewable bamboo, these towels can be hand-rinsed and re-used, and they will last a long time. They are also tough enough to stand up to your floor (even with steam). One roll will last you a very long time.

Do you have other green products to suggest for spring cleaning? Or do you have any opinion on the products discussed? Please share in the comments or drop me a line.