There are literally thousands of kitchen cleaning products on the market designed to keep the heart of your home sparkling clean at all times. From disinfectants to detergents, glass sprays to floor polish, our cupboards are stuffed full of bottles to help us clean our kitchens. But are they really necessary?
Ask your grandmother and she’ll tell you that all you need are three magic ingredients for all your kitchen cleaning needs.
Vinegar is a fantastic natural cleaning product, and it disinfects and deodorises too. Use it like an all-purpose cleaner: mix equal parts of water and vinegar in a spray bottle and use all over your home for fresh and sparkling results.
In the kitchen, use your home-made vinegar spray for kitchen worktops, hobs, sinks, glass, appliances, floor – everywhere really. No need to worry about the smell either; it disappears when the vinegar has evaporated.
Just one word of caution: improperly diluted vinegar is too acidic and can eat away at tile grout, so go easy on kitchen tiles and don’t use it at all on marble or granite stone surfaces.
To clean your dishwasher, fill a dishwasher-safe bowl with 400ml of vinegar and place into the top rack. Run the machine (empty!) on a hot cycle to remove nasty niffs.
Another superb natural cleaning agent, the humble lemon is much underrated. Use it to dissolve grime, grease and hard water deposits; it works as a brass and copper cleaner too.
Its natural bleaching qualities make lemon a superb stain remover. Cut a lemon in half and dip in bicarbonate of soda to scrub kitchen surfaces, porcelain dishes, enamel sinks and stains. Just be careful not to use it on marble or granite surfaces, as the acid may eat into the stone.
To remove strong smells (such as fish) from your microwave oven, place half a lemon in a bowl of water and cook on full power for 5 minutes.
Baking Soda (Bicarbonate of Soda)
Bicarbonate of soda is one of the most versatile cleaners around. It’s great for scrubbing grubby surfaces, and works wonders as a deodoriser and in the laundry.
Mix 4 tablespoons of bicarb with a litre of warm water and pour the solution onto a sponge or cloth – great for cleaning kitchen worktops and appliances, including inside the fridge.
To clean your oven, make a paste of baking soda and water and spread over the bottom of the oven. Leave for several hours and simply wipe off for shiny, chemical-free results.