I started cleaning my kitchen naturally and I haven't looked back – these are the 5 solutions I swear by

Make the switch to natural cleaning methods by adding these greener solutions to your kitchen supplies list

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As someone who spends a lot of time in the kitchen, I’ve tried a number of cleaning products over the years, and I’ve definitely found some are better than others...

Of all the tools I like to use to clean my kitchen, natural cleaning solutions not only tend to smell better than commercial products, but they’re often less toxic and can reduce exposure to harmful chemicals.

Natural ingredients can be just as effective as commercial products, and most of the cleaning agents I use on a daily basis are easy to get hold of and are often multipurpose (so you can tackle various cleaning tasks with just a few items).

How to clean a kitchen naturally

From experience, eco-friendly cleaning products are gentler on kitchen surfaces, which helps to preserve the longevity of your kitchen countertops and cabinets. Commercial cleaners can sometimes cause damage or discoloration over time, but natural alternatives tend to be milder.

I spoke with a handful of professional cleaners who agreed that cleaning a kitchen naturally is straightforward and easy if you have the correct tools. Here are the 5 products we all recommend:

1. Cleaning with Lemons

Spray bottle with lemon peel and rosemary inside

(Image credit: Getty Images/Jamie Grill)

Lemon juice is a powerhouse in natural cleaning due to its high acidity and antibacterial properties. Katie Dills, President of The Cleaning Authority, waxes lyrical about the versatility of using lemons to clean a kitchen:

‘Lemon is a must in the kitchen. For any lingering food smells, you can mix a few drops of lemon with water and spray throughout the kitchen,’ Katie explains. ‘If the odor lives in the fridge or garbage can add two drops of lemon essential oil to a cotton ball and stick it in the back of the fridge or bottom of the trash can to absorb them.’

‘Lemons can also deodorize drains,’ she continues. ‘Running a couple of lemon rinds through the garbage disposal will eliminate odors coming from the sink.’

To clean wood cutting boards, I sprinkle 1/3 cup of coarse salt evenly over the board, let it sit for 10 minutes, and scrub the salt into the board with half a lemon. Rinse with hot water and let dry.

Lemons also have a natural bleaching effect, which can help lighten stains on countertops and other surfaces. However, from experience, you should not use lemon on marble or some natural stone countertops as the acid can etch the stone or leave unsightly stains.

2. Baking Soda

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know that there are countless things you can clean with baking soda. It's incredibly versatile and its gentle abrasive quality makes it ideal for scrubbing away dirt, mildew, and stains.

I’ve found baking soda is highly effective at neutralizing bad odors and can be used in various parts of the kitchen, from cleaning appliances to freshening up the refrigerator. Try making a paste with baking soda and water to tackle stubborn stains on countertops, sinks, and stovetops. You can also sprinkle baking soda on a damp sponge to clean surfaces without scratching them.

3. Hydrogen Peroxide

A wooden kitchen with open shelves and marble topped counters

(Image credit: Naked Kitchens)

Hydrogen peroxide is a potent disinfectant that can be safely used on a variety of kitchen surfaces. It effectively kills bacteria, viruses, and fungi, making it a great choice for maintaining a hygienic kitchen environment.

I find that hydrogen peroxide is particularly useful for disinfecting countertops and sinks. Simply apply it to a surface and allow it to sit for a few minutes before wiping the area clean with a damp cloth. Be sure to use it in a well-ventilated area and wear gloves to protect your skin though.

You can also use hydrogen peroxide to clean your sponges and dishcloths. Soak them in a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water to disinfect and remove odors. Just remember to store hydrogen peroxide in a dark bottle, as it can break down when exposed to light.

4. Vinegar and Water Solution

White vinegar is a powerful natural cleaner due to its acidity, which helps dissolve mineral deposits, grease, and grime. Rhonda Wilson, Quality Lead at FreshSpace Cleaning, swears by the power of cleaning with vinegar. Her go-to multipurpose cleaning solution is equal parts white vinegar and water mixed in a spray bottle:

‘Simply spray this solution onto kitchen surfaces, let it sit for a few minutes, and wipe clean with a damp cloth,' Rhonda explains. 'This solution effectively cuts through grease and grime, and it leaves surfaces sparkling clean without any harsh chemicals.’

I always keep a bottle of vinegar on my essential cleaning supplies list, as it’s excellent for cleaning glass and stainless steel, removing water stains and leaving surfaces streak-free.

Keeping a bowl of vinegar by your stove is a great way to minimize kitchen odors and to deodorize your microwave, try filling a microwave-safe bowl with equal parts water and vinegar, then heat it on high for a few minutes. The steam will loosen any food splatters, making them easy to wipe away.

You can also clean with apple cider vinegar; however, like lemon juice, you should avoid using vinegar on natural stone countertops as the acid can damage the surface.

5. Dr. Bronner's Sal Suds Biodegradable Cleaner

A kitchen utility room with a Belfast style sink in stone, and open shelving above

(Image credit: Nkuku)

Delah Gomasi, CEO of MaidForYou cleaning services, swears by Dr. Bronner's Sal Suds Biodegradable Cleaner: ‘The best natural cleaning tip for kitchen surfaces is to use a natural cleaner like Dr. Bronner's Sal Suds Biodegradable Cleaner from Walmart. It works amazingly well for all surfaces in the kitchen, and we use it to clean dishes and kitchen countertops without leaving streaks.’

This product is extremely popular in eco-warrior circles as it's zero-waste, which is perfect for the environment. Thanks to Delah’s recommendation, I’ve been using it to mop my floors, and they've never looked cleaner (plus, I'm quite partial to the fresh foresty scent). I do recommend wearing gloves when using this product though, as it has the tendency to dry out your skin.

Whether you’re tackling tough worktop stains, neutralizing kitchen smells, or simply disinfecting surfaces after dinner, give these natural solutions a try the next time you deep clean your kitchen. Small changes like these can make a bigger impact on your health and the environment (and your wallet!).

Thomas Litten
Freelance Writer

Thomas Litten is a freelance food and drink writer whose articles and product reviews have been featured in a variety of national publications. His introduction to food and drink came through the hospitality sector, running bars for Michelin-starred restaurants. This experience, plus a love of good food, wine, and spirits, led to a career selling premium drinks to high-end restaurants and later providing consultancy services to food and drink start-ups across the UK. Now, based in southwest England, he mainly divides his time between working for a leading bakery business, visiting coffee shops, and collecting and writing about kitchen gadgets.