If you have tried to “clean Green” while trying to scrape off greasy gunk or stuck on food, the you’ve probably noticed that you need a whole lot of elbow grease to degrease. A few places in my kitchen that get particularly dirty are the inside of the microwave, the oven and the stove top.
In the past, I’d buy products like 409 or Easy-Off and it would get the job done. I’d also be choking and gasping for air due to the products’ harsh chemical smell. Although a lot of companies are now making earth-safe biodegradable products, many don’t work well, and the prices just don’t fit my frugal budget.
So, I went on a hunt to find the best homemade and environmentally safe degreasers. I needed something that I could use to clean the toughest baked on, stuck on, messy mess my kids could dish out. These are some of the best I’ve discovered.
Fill a bowl with hot water. Dip a sponge in the hot water and wet the inside of the oven surfaces. Make a paste out of 3/4 cup baking soda, 1/4 cup salt, and 1/4 cup hot water. Spread this mixture over areas where food has spilled over. Let it sit over night. Using a spatula, simply scrape up the loosened food and wipe clean. For stubborn areas, rub with a steel wool pad.
Fill a spray bottle with straight white vinegar and spray the surface of the stove top. Let this soak for a while. Sprinkle baking soda over the surface (it may bubble, but that’s okay.) Scrub lightly, then wipe away with a sponge. The top of the stove should no longer have a greasy residue. For light cleaning, homemade bleach cleaner works well for this.
I love using leftover citrus for many frugal homemade cleaning products. This is one of my favorites:
Slice a lemon or lime. Fill a 2 or 4 cup glass measuring cup with one cup water. Add the citrus slices. Put this into the microwave and boil for a minute or two. (Microwaves vary in temperature, so heat as long as it takes for the water to boil.) Don’t open the door. Let this sit for 15 minutes or so. Wipe out with a damp sponge (I use the hot citrus water once it’s cooled slightly since it smells good and cuts down on water waste.) Hardened food and grime wipes right off and it smells wonderful.
Making your own cleaning products doesn’t mean you have to give up on the quality of cleanliness you’re used to. It just takes some trial and error before you find what works best for your needs.