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14 Green Kitchen Cleaning Tips

Surface Cleaning

Wipe your kitchen countertops with undiluted vinegar once a day -- they'll shine and keep the kitchen smelling fresh. You can also cut a lemon ­in half, sprinkle it with baking soda, and scrub the countertop to achieve the same thing. Mind you, this would take quite an investment in lemons if you were to do it daily, but this trick works on any kitchen surface that needs cleaning, whether it is a counter, dish, or stove.

Cleaning the stainless steel sink can be a satisfying task to undertake. By week's end, the sink can look a little grimy, so it's best to clear everything out and away before starting the job. Then just sprinkle baking soda onto a sponge and go to it. Around the faucets and knobs, use a toothbrush dipped in baking soda. As long as you remember to rinse thoroughly, everything will turn out shiny -- baking soda can leave behind a harmless white residue if you don't get it all off immediately. Any stainless steel surface in the kitchen will benefit from this treatment. Lemon juice is also good for any soap scum or hard water deposits around your sink.

If you have a white porcelain sink, a combination of baking soda and vinegar on a sponge does a great job on minor stains. Porcelain stains very easily, so it's best to tackle any problem spots immediately.

If you have tile and grout in your kitchen, treat them regularly with undiluted vinegar on a sponge to cut the inevitable greasy buildup. Scrub stains with vinegar and allow to dry. Afterward, rub the vinegar off with a dry rag. For added strength, try tackling the stains by scrubbing them with a toothbrush dipped in a paste of baking soda and water. Afterward, rinse off.

Every so often, laminate countertops can get stained with something that seems unremovable, such as blueberry juice, tomato sauce, or red wine. Diligently apply a baking soda paste to the spot and allow it to sit until dry. Then rub the paste off with a dry towel and the stain should disappear. Such stains can also often be removed by applying straight lemon juice. Scrub, then rinse clean.­