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Cleaning Without Harsh Chemicals

All of the Clean — None of the Chemicals!

Sure, we’ve all used conventional cleaning products at some point or another. But while chemical cleaners may do the job, some harsh ingredients can be damaging to certain surfaces, or may cause irritation to our skin or eyes. Fortunately, cleaning without chemicals is easier than you may realize, as you probably already have many of the ingredients at home — and you may be surprised at just how effective natural cleaners can be!

Here are five ways to keep high-traffic areas clean, au naturel:

Countertops. For non-porous surfaces, such as quartz or laminate, use a 50/50 mixture of water and vinegar in a spray bottle. Simply spray and wipe down as often as needed for an easy, effective, and chemical-free clean. For porous surfaces, such as granite, stone, or marble, vinegar can be damaging, so try substituting rubbing alcohol or even vodka for it.

Stainless Steel. Stainless steel tends to show a lot of fingerprints and residue, but it doesn’t take much to get it looking like new! Simply mix a mild soap or detergent with warm water and use a non-abrasive sponge to wipe the surface. Once cleaned, rinse the surface with fresh water and polish with a lint-free, dry cloth.

Refrigerator Shelves, Drawers, and Bins. The surfaces inside a refrigerator are high-touch areas that can quickly accumulate residue and buildup. No harsh cleaners are needed to get these areas sparkling clean. Mix a cup of baking soda into a bowl of water and wipe down all surfaces using a non-abrasive sponge.

Baked-On Microwave Spills. When it comes to cleaning, we tend to overlook one of the most popular appliances in the kitchen: the microwave. As a result, small spills can harden and get baked on. Instead of resorting to harsh cleaners, try heating 1 cup of water in the microwave for 2 to 5 minutes. The steam from the water should loosen the spills, making it easier to wipe them off. To freshen the scent in your microwave, try adding a few drops of lemon juice to the water. Here are some additional tips for how to clean and deodorize a microwave.

Hard Water Deposits. Minerals from hard water can leave behind white residue on bathroom fixtures and kitchen faucets. Calcium deposits can appear tough to clean, but they’re relatively simple to dissolve — and no chemicals are needed! Simply scrub with lemon juice, then rinse thoroughly with clean water. If the deposit persists, try mixing two parts baking soda to one part vinegar. Rub the paste onto the buildup, let sit for 5 minutes, then scrub clean, rinse with water, and dry thoroughly.

Ovens. Cleaning your oven without harsh cleaners is easy, especially if your oven has a self-cleaning feature — simply turn the self-clean feature on, wait the required amount of time, and wipe away any remaining ash and residue. Always check your Use and Care Guide for model-specific instructions before you begin. If your oven is not a self-cleaning model, start with the inside and outside of the oven door, then move onto the racks and the stovetop. For a full overview of how to clean a conventional, non-self-cleaning oven, refer to this step-by-step article.
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