Natural Remedies for Sanitizing Your Kitchen Surfaces

Food-borne illnesses, not surprisingly, usually begin in the kitchen. Bacteria that tend to live in kitchens include staphylococcus (which causes boils, pnuemonia, and surgical wound infections), salmonella, and e-coli. These germs thrive on sponges and cutting boards, but they can live on counter tops and other surfaces as well. What can you do to combat these increasingly resilient bacteria?

kitchen counters 01 Natural Remedies for Sanitizing Your Kitchen Surfaces

Sanitizing your kitchen counters

Sanitize, of course! But before you reach for the bleach right away, consider using less harsh natural alternatives. Here are some natural sanitizers that are extremely effective for kitchen sanitation.

1. Grapefruit seed extract, or GSE

GSE is an extremely broad-spectrum antibiotic substance. While manufacturers of GSE keep their exact process a closely-guarded secret, we do know that GSE is made from the seeds (and sometimes the peel and leaves) of grapefruits and grapefruit trees.

According to author and herbal scholar Stephen Harrod Buhner, “GSE has been found to be more powerful as a cleaning disinfectant than standard hospital preparations.” In other words, it works better than the disinfectant the hospitals use. GSE is active against a large number of bacteria, including the ones listed above. It is even effective against haemophilus influenzae, which causes ear infections, sinusitis, and meningitis. To make a disinfectant spray, add 30 to 40 drops to 1 quart of water and shake.

2. Vinegar

An acidic solution, vinegar kills some germs and microbes and inhibits their growth – if it didn’t, it would not be used to preserve foods (think pickles). To make a sanitizing spray from white or apple

 Natural Remedies for Sanitizing Your Kitchen Surfaces

good old fashioned vinegar

cider vinegar, mix 1/4 – 1/2 cup vinegar per cup of water. You can add some essential oil of bergamot, orange, or lemon to this solution to make it smell good and add even more antibacterial action (bergamot is a citrus fruit and its essential oil has, like all citrus, antibacterial action).

3. Hydrogen peroxide

A 1996 study showed that hydrogen peroxide, when combined with an equal amount of vinegar, is a potent bacteria killer. Salmonella, shigella and e-coli were all vanquished by this solution. You can also spray hydrogen peroxide directly onto countertops, or mix it with an equal amount of water.

4. Tea tree oil

Also an anti-fungal, clinical research has shown tea tree oil to be effective against many antibiotic-resistant bacteria. It definitely works to kill staphylococus, e-coli, shigella, and salmonella. In a spray bottle, combine and shake 2 cups water, 1/2 tsp. liquid soap, 2 tablespoons white vinegar, and 20 drops of tea tree oil.

5. Neem oil

Neem oil comes from the seeds of a tree that is native to India, and is more than a sanitizer. It is also an insect repellent, and keeping insects at bay is an important component to kitchen cleanliness. It does not dissolve well in water without some sort of emulsifier, such as liquid soap. The best way to make a neem cleaner is to mix the neem oil in a vegetable-based, liquid soap such as castile. Then, use a few drops of this soap to clean your kitchen counters or try mixing the neem-soap mixture with water in a spray bottle. Shake it well.

You don’t have to resort to super-harsh chemicals to keep your home clean! In fact, choosing natural sanitizers is the healthy – and earth friendly! – way to go.

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

Best Regards,
Debbie Greenspan's signature
Debbie Estis Greenspan
Dr. Doormat, Inc.

11 thoughts on “Natural Remedies for Sanitizing Your Kitchen Surfaces

  1. Pamela Hallgan

    Vinegar and Hydrogen Peroxide have been my go-to surface sanitizers. I try to use all-natural products versus products with unhealthy chemicals. For real grime, I add some baking soda, which works wonders. I have heard of using tea tree oil, but not the other ones. I will have to give them a try. Thanks for the post.

  2. Jill A. Collins

    I love natural products for cleaning. It’s amazing how antimicrobial essential oils are. Baking soda is a great scrub for my glass stove too.

  3. Jane Ritz

    I use vinegar alot. I had never thought of using grapefruit extract or the oils. Thanks for the great information. In my opinion a kitchen can’t be clean enough!

    1. debbiedrdoormat Post author

      Hi Jane, I agree with you. I would love your opinion on my plans for a combination disinfectant and antimicrobial in one. This would give you the ability to sanitize safely and create a barrier on the surface for long term protection against microorganisms. At least a week of protection instead of the typical seconds or minutes until the surface is contaminated again.

  4. Dianna Thomas

    I have just started using all natural product– it really seems to clean just a well, as the toxic ones– but so much more cheaper

  5. Diane Cooper

    I have been using vinegar to clean with for years, but never thought of adding other natural things to make it work even better, or to smell better. Thanks for these great tips!

  6. ANN*H

    I try to use all natural cleaners first because I have a reaction to most of those in the store and second these are cheaper to use and healthier too. I have been hearing alot about the oils lately and they are good for so many things health wise. thanks for the article.

  7. Pingback: The BEST Cleaning Tools | Healthy Home Mom @ Dr. Doormat

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