It’s been incredibly hot here lately so I’ve been working on indoor projects more than being outside. One room I’ve been working on all summer is my kitchen.
One room I’ve been working on all summer is my kitchen. Cleaning, fluffing, organizing it to work better. So today I thought I’d share a few cleaning recipes and my under sink area.
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There are lots of green cleaners that you can buy these days in mass market stores like Target, Wal-Mart and supermarkets. I always find Mrs. Meyer products at TJX and Marshalls at a good discount. But I still like to make my own. It’s really very easy and inexpensive.
There are tons of recipes out there for making everything from your own laundry detergent & liquid soap to furniture polish. You just need to find the recipe that works to your satisfaction.
I use 1 part distilled white vinegar, 1 part water, and a squirt of dish soap for most basic cleaning. Combine those ingredients into a spray bottle and shake to mix. It stores really well – I just swish the bottle before using. I’ve read you shouldn’t use vinegar on marble or granite – just hot soapy water. My counters are laminate so I don’t have a problem with using this all-purpose cleaner in my kitchen.
For a lovely citrus smell, I soak my orange rinds or lemon peels in a glass jar filled with white vinegar for a few weeks and then drain the peels and use that vinegar. You could also add essential oils or make your own infusion of herbs. Many herbs are known to have antibacterial & disinfectant properties.
I also make a paste of baking soda or borax (kept in the laundry area as it’s a good boost to laundry detergent) if I need a soft scrub type product. Sometimes all you need is soap, hot water and elbow grease!
Bleach is very toxic to the environment so I try to limit my use of it. Hydrogen peroxide sprayed after vinegar is also a good disinfectant. Tea tree oil is supposed to have disinfecting properties and is a natural fungicide but I haven’t tried it yet. I do think vinegar is strong enough to handle most germs but it’s up to you to decide what you’re comfortable with.
Here’s a post I wrote years ago about saving money making your own cleaning products – it has a few more recipes.
Under Sink Organization
I don’t keep a lot of stuff under my sink. I’ve found that every time I’ve had leak under there it’s because something has pushed against the pipes. I guess it depends on how your pipes are situated under your sink – mine are all over the place. I just added that wire rack on the door to make it easier to grab a bottle of cleaning spray.
I have my composter, dishwasher detergent, big bottle of white vinegar, Brillo, Magic Eraser, Method wipes and scrub brushes on one side.
On the other side I have sponges, rags, micro fiber cloths, swiffer cloths and extra rubber gloves. I know a lot of people use contact paper in their under sink cabinet, but my cabinets are so old I couldn’t get contact paper to stick! So I used some old peel and stick tiles I had leftover from another house we had. I think they offer better protection against spills and they’re easy to wipe clean.
There are so many benefits to making your own cleaners! So try replacing your traditional cleaners with some non-toxic alternatives (that you either make or buy) as you use them up. You really don’t need a ton of different products to clean your house. You’ll find it frees up space under your kitchen sink!
Kathleen Grace says
I am just beginning to experiment with home made cleaners. I found a great looking recipe for dishwasher detergent made especially for hard water that I plan on getting the ingredients for today when I shop. It’s cheap and I think it will work as well as the store bought stuff, and it’s going to be cheap! I will be trying the vinegar solution here too. Love the idea of using the citrus rinds for scent. I think I have some lime essential oil around here too!
[email protected] Stroll thru Life says
I love to use natural products to clean also. It works well and does smell good too. I just organized everything under my sink also. Love to have it all decluttered. Hugs, marty
What a great idea of using the peel and stick tiles on the cabinet bottoms! Sometimes I see boxes of them at Aldis or Big Lots very reasonably, so I’ll be keeping my eyes open for them. Saving the citrus peels in a jar of vinegar is something I’ll start doing, too! Really good post with good ideas.
The Working Home Keeper says
“For a lovely citrus smell, I soak my orange rinds or lemon peels in a glass jar filled with white vinegar for a few weeks and then drain the peels and use that vinegar.”
What a brillant tip! I always have lemons on hand from making lemon pancakes and for making a buttermilk substitute. I’ve been throwing the lemon peels away. I’ll have to start saving them now!
The Working Home Keeper
I make my own window cleaner, and my own laundry detergent. I may try my own all purpose cleaner next.
donna rae says
So many good tips today! I use the same natural, homemade cleaners that you’ve shared, but I learned something new today: soaking the citrus rinds in vinegar for the bright fragrance! Perfect!
Thanks for sharing some great tips.
Also, thanks for stopping by and nice comment.
Mary in AR says
Thanks for the recipe for a general cleaner. Love the citrus peel idea! And that rooster rug is just wonderful–was it one of your bargain finds?
That rug is from Wal-Mart. I was there last week and they still have it for sale even though I bought mine about two year ago! I’m sure it’s a popular seller. I’ve seen it on other people’s blogs.
I thought at first you had very nice wood flooring for your cabinet bottom. Your peel and stick tiles are a great solution, I am going to look for a box for my under sink cabinets.
And I have not yet tried many homemade cleaners- yours sound easy though and not as complicated as some I’ve seen, so maybe I will finally try some.
I love your tip on soaking citrus peels in vinegar to scent your cleaning solutions. I am going to try this.
My mom always cleaned her windows with vinegar!
Vinegar has so many uses around the house. I came across this wrinkle release formula and it works! I keep a spray bottle in my closet.
My teenage boys will often get athlete’s foot during football season. We’ve found that tea-tree oil applied to their feet is an excellent treatment. It works so much better, and quicker, than the over-the-counter sprays/ointments.
Donna, The Decorated House says
I love seeing what others are using as green cleaning products. It is often the tough to me to find things that really clean as well as I want. Thanks for the great ideas.
Rose H says
With you all the way with natural cleaners Manuela! I’ve used white vinegar, lemons, baking soda and tea tree oil for years now. Just going to see your other cleaning recipes now ;o)
The biggest surprise I found recently was that tomato ketchup cleans copper and brass so easily! Just make sure you don’t leave it on by rinsing well and drying afterwards.
Janice Rehmeyer says
Wow, i found your site from reading Lazy Bee Farm. Bookmarked it and will be checking in with you each week. I will try your cleaning products, especially the orange peals. The post on the windows will help me use my windows in the gardens i have. Now it is so very hot, i must keep watering the new gardens i put in. I buy lots of my plants when they go on sale in July. So they must be watered a couple times a week. I really enjoy you blog. Thanks.
The area under my sink is full. I put a 3-tiered basket shelf there and Lord knows what I could find. I really need to clean it out since I don’t use half of what is there. I should make my own cleaning products. Jane posted about using olive oil and vinegar or lemon juice on an old wood piece and it really made it glow. I have delicious olive oil here that I would never use for cleaning since we bring it from Jordan, but I could definitely find some cheap stuff in the grocery store to use. I have lots of wood pieces from India and Pakistan that are so dried out from the environment. They could use a good oil rub. Have a fabulous Friday! Tammy
I haven’t tried making my own cleaners yet, but I think I might try it!
I just read your last post and I love your garden and the conservatory. I’m going to ask my husband to make me one too!
Citrus rinds in the vinegar! I’ve been turned off of the idea of using vinegar to clean because I dont’ want my whole house smelling like a pickle jar.
This is the break through I needed. Thanks!
Actually, I find that the smell of straight vinegar dissipates in a short while. The use of citrus infused vinegar in my mind just makes the immediate act of using vinegar more pleasant.
Manuela, I really like the idea of placing lemon peels in vinegar! I use a vinegar/water mix to clean my glass. Works great to cut the build-up of the “blue stuff.”
Mimi Sue says
Some great ideas, Manuela! I do like to be green as much as possible. Mimi
Brenda Kula says
Oh Manuela, I must try this in my new environs, wherever that shall be!
Thanks for the tip on soaking citris peels in vinegar. I use vinegar instead of fabric softener in my laundry, now i can have a nice clean 100% natural scented softener.
I have been making my own laundry deterget for years and it is so inexpensive and natural. I got a lot of natural cleaner recipies for the website, Maryjanes farm. You should check it out.
Love your blog, I read it every day.
Susan from Michigan
Theresa Roach says
Thanks for the tips on making cleaning products! They are so expensive and I know that the ones that are made at home work just as good! I SO need to work under my sink… thanks for the inspiration! Have a blessed day my friend, HUGS!
I use the smae cleaners as you but I did not think about the orange in the vinager, great idea. Thank you xoxo Clarice
Wow, Manuela~ I must have missed this post. Glad you did a round up of July posts. I also use stick down tiles in some of my cupboards and on top of my microwave hutch …really makes for easy clean up, you’re right!
This post reminds me of two things… I have a plastic dish of frozen orange peels in my freezer. Must try these in vinegar~ and the other is I MUST BE ABOUT cleaning under my kitchen sink! It definitely needs it!
Thanks again for the post and links back to it, I needed these reminders!
Ashley DeMazza says
You have inspired me to go clean out under our kitchen sink! Thank you for all of the wonderful tips!
I love the idea of the peel and stick floor tiles for the bottom of the undersink cabinet! I couldn’t get contact paper to stick either so I had just flattened it as much as I could and put my containers on it. The tiles are the perfect solution! Thanks for the idea and inspiration!
I recently started making the citrus vinegar cleaner, I love it. I’m glad I found your blog.