Thursday, 6 October 2011

A Clean Kitchen can be a Green Kitchen

I try very hard not to use anything that is disposable.  So many people seem to use those awful disposable cloths in their kitchens.  They even sell giant rolls of them very cheaply now.  I assume you are expected to use them once and throw them away.  The marketing angle is cleanliness but your kitchen can be very hygienic without such terrible waste.  Back when I did buy these cloths, I never treated them as disposable!  I washed and reused them until they were in shreds!

These days I use cloths cut from old nappies, towels etc.  To keep my kitchen germ free, every morning as I wait for the caffeine to kick in, I get out a clean tea towel, hand towel, cloth and dishcloth.  Then I throw yesterday's cloths and towels into the dirty clothes basket.  I believe the most important thing is to be fussy about using cloths for their correct purpose.  I never wipe benches with the dish cloth.  I use the other cloth for benches.  For very messy spills, or the floor I just use a cloth and throw it straight into the washing basket.  So, if you just use clean cloths and towels and use a bit of thought about how to deal with messes and whether there might be potential germs, surely there is no need for disposable cloths etc., in the kitchen.

My tea towel is only used for dishes.  I always use the hand towel to dry my hands.  I have a chopping board specifically for meat and never use this board to chop vegies or fruit.  I wipe my benches with this citrus cleaner and it works beautifully! 

For my dishes, I buy laundry soap and grate it into the hot water as I need it.  No plastic bottles to dispose of and the kitchen smells so clean!  There are so many other things to take into account such as breeding temperature of bacteria etc., but there is no reason to think that you can't possibly have a clean kitchen without disposable products.  It is simply not true!  If I have made a dish that I know has the potential to breed deadly bacteria (beef, chicken, rice etc.) I wash the dishes on a very hot setting in the dishwasher.  If you wash dishes by hand, after washing you could soak them in a sink of water from the kettle.


Evi said...

Ha, see what happens now that I have you in my sidebar? I get to be the first to comment!!
I totally agree - I used to reuse the disposable dish cloths too and although I'm now using old towels cut down, I'm a bit slacker when it comes to keeping tea towels and cloths for separate usage..... they do tend to get used for other things as well!
And you have inspired me to try the soap for the dishes. I've always used a non toxic brand for oily dishes ie not for cereal bowls in the morning, just hot water. I have never felt too good throwing out the empty bottle even if it is recycled and my kids (who wash almost all dishes!) tend to use too much, so maybe this will do the trick!! Good old Sunlight!!

purplepear said...

Many interesting thoughts there.Thanks for the info.

Busy mum of 3 said...

I have only ever used the hot soapy water in the sink, and the dishcloth I use to wash the dishes with to wipe my benches over. It's what my mother and her mother before her did, and it's totally fine! The 'cleaning industry' is trying to railroad everyone into thinking we need specialized products, and we don't. A dose of common sense, and an ounce of elbow grease works every time. Great Post :)

Dani said...

Linda - Do you ever have "spare" socks lurking in your laundry? I use those socks as polishing rags. Simply slip my hand into the sock, squirt on olive oil (or whatever you're using to polish your furniture) and hey! presto - away you go.

Now I don't care if the washing machine digests the odd sock or two or three - 'cos I know I can always use the one left behind :)

Linda said...

Hi Evi, Nice to be in your sidebar! I love your comments. I wish I knew your trick to training kids. THEY DO YOUR DISHES?! I need parenting advice desperately! Mine are sloths!

Thanks Kate, I'm sure many of you use similar methods but I always trawl the net looking for ideas and I figure someone out there may get ideas on how to do things in a way that is more conscious of the environment if we keep posting. It is sooo important to be germ conscious but we don't need to spend money or wreck the planet while we clean!

Hi Busy Mum, Glad to hear you do thing the old way. I wish I had asked my Nana more questions while she was around. We have lost so much common sense over the last couple of generations. Btw I love the term 'elbow grease'! You don't hear it often enough these days because no one wants to use it!!!

Dani, What a great little tip! But oh the shame! It's been a while since I dusted or polished. It's on my mind a lot, does that count? I promise I will get to it straight after I finish the washing, folding, cooking, floors....... and when I do I will be using a pair of old socks! And YES, I do have lurking socks!

Evi said...

Start them young!!! Make up a roster and let them all have a go after dinner every night! My 9 year old does breakfast, 11 yo does lunch and the rest take turns washing and drying at does help that I had motivation - I HATE washing dishes!!!! (Sssshh, it's a secret, they think I"m just teaching them how to get on in life!)

Kim said...

I like the idea of using the soap in the sink.I have just made my own homemade laundry liquid but have been thinking of ways to cut down on all those dishwashing bottles!

angela said...

Hello Linda, thank you for your visit and support. I have become a follower so we can continue to support each other and all others that want to live a more sustainable way.
Hope you visit again soon

Linda said...

Hi Angela, Welcome and yes it's lovely to talk to the people who want to make a difference!