Green Ways to Keep Your Kitchen Germ-Free
By Jane Blanchard
Banish kitchen germs that could sicken your family by using the greenest options possible. There are effective alternatives to the chemical products on store shelves. Homemade green cleaners save you money and can help to keep caustic substances out of your kitchen.
According to the Green Guide from Howdini and National Geographic, you only need eight cheap products in your kitchen to produce the cleaning solutions to keep germs at bay. For cleaning, stock your kitchen with distilled white vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice, hydrogen peroxide, borax, olive oil, washing soda and vegetable-based castile soap. Castile soap is considered a greener alternative because if you use this vegetable-based soap, you eliminate a petroleum-based product from your kitchen.
According to Healthy Child Healthy World, combine equal parts of hydrogen peroxide with distilled white vinegar. This solution kills many harmful germs, which may grow in an unclean kitchen. Another disinfecting solution with vinegar from the same site combines 20 drops of tea tree oil, 2 tablespoons vinegar with 2 cups water and one-half teaspoon of liquid soap. Use this to disinfect countertops and other surfaces.
The Green Guide provides a simple and effective glass cleaner recipe. Just combine two cups of water and one-quarter cup of white distilled vinegar and spray it on glass.
Places to Clean
Part of knowing how to rid germs from your kitchen is knowing where they are more likely to be found. Certain places in your cooking area are more likely to harbor germs, allowing them to multiply to dangerous levels. Health Magazine spotlights some of these locations.
Replace your cutting board. If you are still using a wooden cutting board, swap it out for a glass one. Wood cutting boards tend to have nicks in them, which can host colonies of bacteria. These tiny cuts are difficult to clean out, which will require you to purchase a new cutting board, creating waste. Buying a glass cutting board that requires less frequent replacement will be a greener and cleaner option. To avoid cross contamination from your cutting board, purchase two and clearly label them for meat only and for vegetables only, and always disinfect your cutting boards immediately after use.
Your kitchen faucet could have bacteria growing around it if you are not careful when washing things out in the sink. Any contact with the filter on your faucet could deposit bacteria on it. Health Magazine recommends a weekly soak in vinegar overnight for your faucet filter.
Knife blocks might add to your kitchen’s décor, but the tiny, dark slots have the perfect conditions for bacteria and mold growth. Replace your old knife block with a magnetic strip that will protect your knives and help them to air dry after cleaning, which reduces the chances of bacteria growing on the surface of the blade.
Sponges soak up liquids easily, but they can also host germs. Place non-metal sponges in the microwave for up to three minutes to kill any bacteria in them. This is a greener alternative to using disposable paper towels or cleaning your sponges with toxic chemicals.
Keep your kitchen free of germs while reducing your impact on the environment. This is possible when you have your kitchen cabinets stocked with green cleaning ingredients and know where to focus your cleaning efforts.
For more tips and tricks, go to Modernize.com.