Countertops and SinksBaking Soda and Water:
Keep counters clean by sprinkling with baking soda, then scrubbing with a damp cloth or sponge. If you have stains, knead the baking soda and water into a paste and let set for a while before you remove. This method also works great for stainless steel sinks, cutting boards, containers, refrigerators, oven tops and more.
Kosher Salt and Water:
If you need a tougher abrasive on sinks and cast iron pans, sprinkle on kosher salt, and scrub with a wet cloth or sponge.
Fill a spray bottle with equal parts white vinegar and distilled water. This basic mixture will clean and sanitize surfaces and destroy food odors. Temper the vinegar smell by adding a splash of lemon juice. Its important to mix with pure water instead of regular tap, says Danny Seo, environmental expert and author of the Simply Green series. Using tap water is fine for immediate use but over time it can turn your homemade concoction into a horribly smelly mess.
Use pure vinegar to sanitize wooden cutting boards. Try pouring kosher salt on the boards surface as well to serve as an abrasive that will rub off stains and prevent discoloration, says Seo.
Make a stinky cutting board smell fresh by slicing a lemon in half, then rubbing the cut side over the surface of the board. You can also remove stains from countertops by rubbing them with undiluted lemon juice. Let sit for a while (a few hours for really bad stains) and wipe clean. But dont employ this method on marble and granite surfaces lemon is too corrosive.Tea Tree Oil, Water and Liquid Soap:
To knock out germs, mix 2 cups of water, 3 tablespoons of liquid soap and 20 to 30 drops of tea tree oil. Spray or rub on countertops and other kitchen surfaces.OvensBaking Soda and Water:
Coat the inside of your dirty appliance with a paste made from water and baking soda. Let stand overnight. Then, don gloves and scour off that grime. Make spotless with a moist cloth.
Need a faster microwave de-grimer? Put 1 cup of water and 2 tsp. baking soda in a 4-cup microwave-safe container. Microwave for 4 to 5 minutes, then wipe the inside with a sponge.
Put half a lemon in a three-quarters-full bowl of cold water and cook on high in the microwave for three minutes. The fresh citrus smell gets rid of cooking odors and the condensation from the steam loosens dirt and makes it easier to wipe off with a damp cloth afterward.
Fill a cup with white vinegar and place it in the top rack of your dishwasher. Run the dishwasher with nothing else in it to deodorize and remove soap film.Refrigerator Coils
White Vinegar and Water:
When coils behind your fridge are covered with a layer of dust, heat cant be expelled, and the appliance must work harder. Clean coils with an even mixture of water and vinegar, which helps cut static. Apply solution to a clean sock placed over the end of a ruler and secured with an elastic band, then use it to reach behind the fridge.
Glass Surfaces and Windows
Rub a little lemon juice on glass tabletops, then dry with paper towels. Polish with newspaper for a bright shine.
Vinegar, Water and Newspaper:
To clean windows, mix 2 tablespoons of white vinegar with a gallon of water, and dispense into a used spray bottle. Squirt on, then scrub with newspaper, not paper towels, which cause streaking.
If you can't stand the smell of vinegar, you can substitute straight lemon juice or club soda (don't dilute either in water).Dish Towels, Sponges and Scrubbers
White Vinegar and Water:
Soak dirty sponges or dish towels in a hot solution of water and white vinegar.
Silverware and Other Silver ItemsToothpaste
: Moisten silver, then gently rub a pinch of regular white toothpaste with your finger. Rinse the spot thoroughly with warm water, and dry with a soft, clean cloth. (Dont use toothpaste that contains tartar-control substances or whiteners.)Copper & Brass PotsKetchup:
Dab ketchup onto dirty areas, and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing off. Copper pots will emerge shiny!Lemon:
Rub shiny brass and copper with lemon juice and a little salt, wash off with cool water, then dry with a soft cloth. Use carefully, since lemon can lighten the color of metal if its left on for a long time or if its not rinsed off properly.Cooking OdorsLemon and Water:
Cut a lemon into wedges and toss into a pot of boiling water with a cinnamon stick or cloves. The resulting steam will melt away unpleasant cooking scents.Fruits and VegetablesBaking Soda
Worried about toxic pesticide residue, germs and dirty fingerprints on your juicy peaches and crisp carrots? Just sprinkle a little baking soda on wet produce, then gently scrub and rinse.