One undesirable side effect of cooking often is the need to clean. I prefer to use all natural and animal safe cleaning products throughout the household. For cleaning in the kitchen, I have stumbled upon a few essential cleaning tools.
Hydrogen Peroxide (3%)
3% hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is a great all natural kitchen cleaner. Mix in a spray bottle with half water and hydrogen peroxide to spray on surfaces: counter tops, sink, the fridge. H2O2 must be given a few minutes to evaporate for the sanitizing effect to take place. When H2O2 breaks down, it becomes hydrogen and water, so very safe for the kitchen and entire household. Don’t spray on wood surfaces without wiping quickly, or the high water content may leave marks and cause warping.
Vinegar is a strong natural cleaner, also used in cooking. Coffee brewer manufacturers specify running a cycle of 10% vinegar and 90% water to clean the build up from the water supply. Vinegar can clean off the gunk around and behind the sink edges, when scouring with a pad. Vinegar can also clean up after pets, removing the smell of markings, preventing return engagements.
Many vinegars are a by product of the production of wine. Distilled white vinegar, the clearest and “cleanest”, is best for cleaning. It also tends to be cheaper and sold in larger quantities.
Vegetable oil is often the cause of messes. However, sticky kitchen messes that contain oil soluble particles instead of water can actually be loosened, absorbed or removed with cooking oil. Any remaining vegetable oil can be washed away with dish soap.
Steel wool is necessary for those built up and burnt up chunks in skillets, baking pans and broiling pans. Sometimes the grocery stores will only stock the variety comes in a box and has soap mixed in with each little steel wool pad. If these sit next to the sink and stay wet, they will rust quickly.
Flour Sack Towels
Flour sack towels are (or at least were) a by product of flour production. The great feature of flour sack cloths is that they are lint free when you purchase them. These towels, among other things, are useful for wiping up spills, drying dishes and covering food items. When waiting on dough to rise, the flour sack cloths are perfect to dampen and cover the dough, allowing enough air through, yet holding in warmth and keeping out dust and dirt. If placing freshly baked rolls or biscuits in a bowl or basket, the flour sack cloth can help hold in some warmth until serving. Additionally, if you are mixing large quantities of flour or other dusty ingredients, the flour sack towel will serve as dust guard to cover your mouth and nose, when folded in a triangle and tied around your head like a bandana.