With this easy recipe for a budget-friendly, multifunctional kitchen cleaner, you can say goodbye to sticky grease and dirt.
Cooking oil can stick to surfaces around your kitchen, despite your best efforts with a sponge. Grease can convert to persistent dirt on counters, the stove, and even your pots and pans in an instant, not to mention vertical and overhead surfaces like the backsplash and range hood, which are sometimes overlooked during your weekly cleaning routine.
Commercial degreasers are expensive and frequently contain chemicals that you may not want in your food-prep areas, so why not make an all-natural spray-on degreaser that combines the sanitizing properties of distilled white vinegar, the degreasing powers of Castile soap, and the stain-lifting power of baking soda?
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Why Make Your Own Degreaser?
Ingredients often used in degreasing formulations include:
- Ethanolamines: These surfactants have been related to occupational asthma, can be irritating and/or caustic to skin, and can induce respiratory problems including coughing and wheezing.
- Alkyl C12-16 dimethylbenzyl ammonium chloride: This chemical has been found to induce asthma symptoms in those who already have asthma and to create asthma-like symptoms in people who have never had asthma. It can also cause skin and eye irritation.
- Propylene glycol butyl ether: These solvents are also skin and eye irritants, and they can induce shortness of breath and coughing.
- Fragrance: When you read the word “fragrance” on a label, it implies the product is perfumed with a proprietary mix that does not need to be disclosed. It does not always imply that a product is harmful, but it does imply that you are unaware of all of the chemicals used in its manufacture. Some of the substances that might lie under the word scent include allergens, respiratory irritants, hormone disruptors, and nervous system irritants.
Making your own degreasers at home not only reduces your total exposure to hazardous chemicals, but it’s also less expensive. It simply takes two simple items that you most likely already have in your pantry: white vinegar and baking soda.
If you don’t have any of them, go out and get some! They may be used for a variety of cleaning and degreasing tasks around the home.
Easy DIY Degreaser
Mix the Ingredients
Fill the spray bottle with one cup of distilled white vinegar, one-eighth teaspoon of Castile soap, one tablespoon of baking soda, and three cups of warm water. If you intend to aromatize the DIY degreaser using an essential oil, use an unscented castile soap; otherwise, use either a scented or unscented soap.
Make It Smell Nice
If desired, add 20 drops of a pH-neutral essential oil to the spray container (fresh citrus smells like orange or lemon are popular) to infuse the DIY degreaser with a light aroma. Avoid using acidic essential oils like anise, which can either react with and tarnish cooktops, cookware, or utensils made of certain metals (e.g., copper, copper alloys, or aluminum) or dissolve countertop sealants, exposing the underlying countertop material to harm.
Reattach the spray head to the container and gently shake to mix the contents. Apply an adhesive label to the degreaser to differentiate it from your other homemade cleansers, and keep it in a dry place away from dogs and children.
Making Your Own Degreaser
Use your degreaser whenever your kitchen surfaces or utensils appear worn. Shake well to recombine the components, then use as indicated below.
- Cooktops: Remove the cooktop from the heat and allow it to cool fully. Remove any big food bits with tongs. Spray the whole stove with the homemade degreaser, let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes, and then wipe it off with a dish sponge. If there is still build-up on the surface, spray additional degreaser directly into the problem areas and apply a fast circular motion to loosen and lift the dirt. To prevent dried streaks from developing on the stovetop, blot off any residual degreaser with a dry sponge.
- Countertops and backsplashes: Remove any clutter from the countertop surface and sweep away any light dirt or dust using a soft-bristle brush or cloth. Using the procedures described above for the stove, clean the backsplash first, then move on to the counters.
- Range hood: With the exhaust fan and/or light on the range hood turned off, liberally wash the outside and inner rim of the hood with homemade degreaser (avoid spraying the fan or light assembly directly, as this could cause a short-circuit and damage the components or produce a spark). Allow sufficient dwell time before wiping down the sprayed areas with a microfiber towel. Allow to air-dry or use a soft towel to clean up any leftover moisture.
- Pots, plates, and utensils: Remove big food bits from pots, pans, plates, and utensils with a spatula. Spray the degreaser liberally over these objects, let it sit for at least 15 minutes (or overnight for especially persistent filth), and then use a dish sponge wet with hot water to remove the loosened grime. Finish by rinsing the clean objects under warm water and drying them by hand with a dish towel or air drying on a dish rack.
- Oven door: While the oven is turned off and totally cool, spray the homemade degreaser all over the exterior of the oven door. When spraying, pay special attention to the surround of the door, since fumes from the oven like to collect and solidify here. Allow the degreaser to sit for 15 to 30 minutes before wiping it down with a microfiber towel and air-drying it. Finish by cleaning the oven racks, walls, and interior of the oven door using our homemade oven cleaner recipe, and your entire kitchen should be spotless!
Where To Use Your New Degreser
White vinegar should only be used as a degreaser on sealed worktops and nonporous surfaces such as metal or glass. Vinegar should not be used on granite countertops since it can etch them.
You should also avoid using vinegar on aluminum surfaces, since it will stain them, and it may have the same impact on stainless-steel equipment, such as kitchen knives. Use the liquid Castile soap formula from above for these locations.
Make careful to keep your white vinegar and baking soda separate and only mix them when necessary. Don’t try to combine them and save them for later use. Remember that volcano science experiment from eighth grade? That’s how it’ll froth and fizz! Keep them in their original packaging.
Easy DIY Degreaser Bottom Line
Whether you prepared a feast or a fast dinner, cleaning with a degreaser can guarantee that all grease, dirt, and oil have been removed from your surfaces. Making your own degreaser also prevents any unwelcome chemicals from remaining on your freshly cleaned surfaces!