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Non-Toxic House Cleaning Tips

By Bernadette Gray

Cut down on expensive, toxic cleaning products with 3 safe, non-toxic household items that will do 80% of your cleaning chores. The unique cleaning and disinfecting powers of vinegar, lemons and bi-carb soda achieve amazing cleaning results if used the right way and can save you big dollars over the course of a year.

Oven cleaners are horribly toxic and when sprayed in the wrong direction inside your oven will eat right through the heating element (it cost me $300 with the electricians’ call-out fee). Try these 2 safe, non-toxic approaches to clean your oven for amazing results.

The Non-Toxic Way to Clean an Oven

Cleaning the oven ranks among the worst cleaning jobs in the kitchen.

The products used in oven cleaners are seriously toxic and can cause damage to your skin, eyes and respiratory system if you’re not careful. So that you know what you’re dealing with, here’s a list of the more common ingredients in oven cleaners:

  • Butane: This is a propellant that is mostly found in cigarette lighters. Inhalation can cause drowsiness, asphyxia and cardiac arrhythmia.
  • Diethylene Glycol Monobutyl Ether: Scorecard considers this as a neurotoxin, a reproductive toxicant, cardiovascular and blood toxicant. It is also known to cause damage to kidneys and liver.
  • Monoethanolamine (MEA): Causes irritation of the air passage, serious chemical burns, damage to eyes and other tissues as well as to kidneys and liver.
  • Sodium Hydroxide: An extremely caustic material that dissolves fats and oils. It works well in oven cleaning but can result in chemical burns as well.

There’s no need for this this harmful concoction of chemicals to clean your oven. With just lemons or bi-carb soda, you’ve oven will be spick and span in no time!

Lemons

The citric acid in lemons and di-limonene in the lemon peel combine to make a great degreaser! Use this method for light cleaning or for regular oven maintenance.

  1. Slice two lemons in half and squeeze the juice into a baking dish. Throw the squeezed lemons into the dish with the juice.
  2. Fill the dish about 1/3 of water.
  3. Place the dish in the oven.
  4. Set the oven to bake at 120 degrees Celsius for half an hour. For heavier build-up, leave the lemon solution in the oven for 45 minutes. This will let the lemon vapours that the contain the natural citric acid and the di-limonene from the lemon rind soften the grime for easier cleaning.
  5. Let the oven cool and remove the baking dish and set it aside.
  6. Use a non-scratching scouring pad to remove the grime, with the help of a silicone spatula for larger chunks of grime.
  7. Dip a sponge in the dish of lemon water and rinse clean the inside of the oven.
  8. Towel dry the oven when done.

Bi-Carb Soda

When you’ve left it a little too long between oven cleans, you might need a different approach. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1/4 cup liquid dish detergent
  • 1 cup bi-carb soda
  • 1/2 cup coarse sea salt
  • Sponge
  • Scouring pad
  • Warm water
  • Spray bottle
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Towel or microfiber cloth
  1. Mix the liquid dish detergent, bi-carb soda and salt to make a paste. Add a bit of water if the solution becomes too tough.
  2. Remove the racks and soak them in a bathtub with some liquid dish detergent.
  3. Apply a thick layer of the paste all over the inside of the oven, being careful to coat all the grimy areas. Leave it for several hours, or overnight if you can spare the use of your oven for the time being.
  4. Dip the sponge in warm water and start wiping down the whole interior of the oven. Scrub with the scouring pad if needed. Keep going until all the grime is removed.
  5. Pour the distilled white vinegar in a spray bottle and spray the oven to rinse out the paste residue. Wipe dry with a towel.
  6. Scrub the racks in the bathtub with the scouring pad and towel dry.
  7. Replace the racks in the oven and you’re ready to start baking again!
Article courtesy of Electrodry
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