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Cleaning green: natural ways to clean countertops, cabinets and more

by Aretha Grant

Countertops, cabinets, refrigerators, floors--these are places we all want to keep clean--and places that have a knack for getting dirty. But if you're sick of donning rubber gloves and a face mask every time you get out that toxic chemical cleaner, try these home remedies that will work wonders in your kitchen.

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3 natural cleansers safe for countertops, cabinets

  • Apple cider vinegar--This stuff is magic. A couple capfuls in a bucket of water will cut through grime on nearly any surface: floors, countertops, cabinets, you name it. Also, for a cheaper option that is just as powerful--but doesn't smell as good--pick up a jug of white vinegar. This is a great option for mopping.
  • Citrus--There is no end to the power of citrus. You can actually buy a concentrated citrus cleanser at your nearby home improvement center, but you can also make you own. There is a little something called GSE, or Grapefruit Seed Extract that acts as a natural microbial, killing bacteria that grow in even the unlikeliest places. Also, if you have a garbage disposal, toss in your lemon rinds--they are a great odor-neutralizer.
  • Baking soda: This is the secret to keeping stainless steel spot-free. Whether we're talking countertops, cabinets, fridges, or coffeemakers, a teaspoon of baking soda will go a long way. The key to keeping those little spots of rust from appearing on your stainless steel is to keep the area as dry as possible. Of course, your countertops are going to get wet. Just be sure to wipe the surface off with a dry cloth when you're done cleaning.

So there you have it: three ways to clean your kitchen without ruining the environment. Next time you're at the grocery store, look at the ingredients on the expensive natural cleanser, and you're likely to find at least one of these listed. Best thing about them? They might already be in your cupboard!

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