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Natural Year Challenge: Household - Month Five

Clean Your KitchenKitchen Challenge

Welcome to the fifth step in our Natural Year Challenge! This month our transition to natural household products takes us to that all-important part of the home: the kitchen.

Your five supplies will serve you well in the kitchen. There are all sorts of combinations of these basic ingredients that will keep your kitchen sparkling. This month we'll focus on your oven, cutting board, wood cabinets, dishwasher, and sink. Several of these recipes are taken from the book The Naturally Clean Home by Karyn Siegel-Maier.

Oven Cleaner


  • 2 c. baking soda
  • 1/2 c. salt
  • 1/4 c. washing soda

Combine in container. Add enough water to make a paste (approx. 1/4 cup). Remove oven racks and preheat oven to 250 degrees for 15 minutes, then turn off the oven and leave the door open. Spread the paste on the oven walls with a sponge or cloth and allow to set for 30 minutes. Combine 3/4 c. white vinegar and 20 drops essential oil of choice (lemon and thyme work well together). Spray the oven walls and wipe clean. Rinse well.

Oven Before   Oven After
Before After

Cutting Boards

Keep a small spray bottle handy for quick disinfection of cutting board surfaces or to add a fresh scent into the air.

Combine the following ingredients:

  • 1 c. filtered water
  • 20 drops orange essential oil
  • 10 drops lavender essential oil
  • 10 drops eucalyptus oil

Other combinations of oils include lemon and orange, or tea tree oil and lemon.

Wood Cabinets

To clean wood cabinets, combine 1/2 c. white vinegar and 1-2 tbsp. olive oil. Add 15 drops cedar oil for a fresh, woodsy smell.

Automatic Dishwashing Powder

This is one of the trickiest natural cleaning products to master. Trial and error should eventually yield an inexpensive yet effective product.


  • 2 c. washing soda
  • 1 c. borax
  • 1 c. baking soda

Combine ingredients and store in container. Use 2 tbsp. per dishwasher load. If the dishes are cloudy, try reducing the amount to 1 or 1.5 tbsp. and adding white vinegar to the rinse compartment. If the dishes still have film, try adding several tablespoons citric acid to the powder mix. Another option is to add green tea to the rinse compartment, as the tannic acid helps break down soap residue.

Sink Scrub

Enjoy a fresh herbal sink scrub by combining the following ingredients:

  • 1/2 c. baking soda
  • 1/4 c. ground sage
  • 1/4 c. ground rosemary

Store under the sink in a sugar container or other shaker jar.

Lemon-Vinegar Cleaner

Make your own lemon vinegar by adding lemon peels to a quart size or half-gallon size mason jar. Cover lemon peels with vinegar. Cover jar and allow to soak for 5-7 days. Strain and place vinegar in spray bottle. This makes a wonderful general-purpose cleaner.


For easy disinfection of sponges, microwave at high power for 3 minutes.

The video below demonstrates a few of these recipes. Try a new recipe this month
and sit back and enjoy the rewards of a clean kitchen without harsh chemicals!


"I knew it was mold, but doctors kept telling me I had anxiety. I was sitting in my office and could not remember who I was talking to, or what we were talking about."

– Brenda

"The entire time we lived in our (mold-infested) house the kitchen sponge would get musty smelling within 3-4 days. It was so strange. I had to buy a pack of sponges nearly every week."

– Anonymous

"My symptoms persisted and eventually turned into lethargy and depression. At the age of 26, I required a nap every evening after work."

– Jennifer

"I started finding myself sitting on the floor in rooms of my house and not remembering how I got there, what I was doing before, or how long I had been there."

– Brenda

"I've been living in a mold-infested home for 13 months... I was going CRAZY! Finally figured it out... Just a few days of recovering in a mold-free home and I feel AMAZING!!!"

– Lauren

"My daughter started having digestive problems... heart palpitations... coughing episodes... muscle/joint pain... asthma/allergies... Her doctor finally advised me to check for mold in our home."

– Anonymous

"Our family has been out of our home for 9 months due to mold... I am so scared and weak from all of this. We have lost friends; family members don't understand."

– Anonymous

"The ERMI mold test as well as your helpful articles and Toxic Talk Tuesday programs have helped us avoid a terrible mistake in purchasing a new home."

– Angela

"I was skeptical at first that these (natural cleaning) products would work, but they work better than the stuff I buy at the store! We will soon be moving to the personal care products as well!"

– Jennifer

" age 35 or 36 I started to become allergic to everything, and I got asthma at age 36... I went to doctor after doctor after doctor and was desperate for help, but nobody could help me."

– Mia

"I'm new at this, but today I cleaned my bathroom with baking soda and vinegar. It's much better not having those strong chemical smells afterwards."

– Anonymous

"We all suffered from headaches, hormonal body temperature fluctuations, brain fog, fatigue, difficulty breathing, thrush, rashes, and yeast infections... we vacated our home two weeks ago."

– Anonymous

"We had some water leaks in our home... we never thought we needed to clean out and remove the floor, the ceiling, or the drywall... my two small children and I have remained constantly sick for years in this home."

– Mia

"In my moldy home if I left the wet clothes in the washer they would get musty very quickly and I'd have to re-wash... Sometimes I'd run a load, go to work, and they'd be musty when I returned that evening."

– Anonymous

"We were having a lot of health problems and had been to the doctor countless times... we had large circles of slimy greenish-black mold on the bathroom ceiling, where it had caved in a few months before."

– C.

"I had been struggling with headaches, head fog, breathing difficulties (unable to get a full breath), constant scalp tingling, migraines, nausea, feeling spacey/detached, and severe itchy skin."

– Anonymous

"Both of my sons went downhill quickly and coughed for months... They both lost their ability to read, had profound vision disturbances, and had phenomenal gastric issues."

– Lee

"I have been sick for almost 6 months now and doctors were not able to figure out why. I finally put it all together after going away for vacation for a week and suddenly my symptoms were going away."

– Anonymous

"My daughter has had many blood samples taken to test for everything imaginable and her doctor just seems puzzled. Everything comes back normal."

– Anonymous

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