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The kitchen is no doubt our favorite place to be so we're always trying to find the best practices to keeping it both clean and beautiful. Unfortunately there is a lot of misconception out there about what is the right and wrong way to clean your kitchen surfaces. Our roundup includes the basic Do's and Don't's of kitchen cleaning to get you to a brighter and happier kitchen! 1. DO clean your stainless steel appliances with with vinegar and olive or coconut oil, DO NOT spray it with glass cleaner. Awhile ago I had read online that Windex was an excellent cleaner for stainless steel and since we all know the Internet would never lie I used it regularly on my stainless steel dishwasher. Not only was it streaky at first but over time I quickly noticed my dishwasher began looking very dull. I quickly learned that harsh chemicals can damage or discolor the outer protective layer (and the gorgeous shine) of the layer. Instead, use a vinegar and water solution on a soft cotton or microfiber cloth and wipe along the metal's grain. Then use a paper towel with a dab of olive oil or coconut oil to buff out water stains and make your stainless steel shine like the sun! Or at least shine like new stainless steel. 2. DO wipe cabinets down with a microfiber cloth and mild soap, DO NOT use abrasive materials or harsh chemicals such as acetone, alcohol, ammonia, or bleach. True, your cabinet may be dirty enough to have earned that scratchy steel wool pad but think twice before possibly destroying its gorgeous surface. In most cases, warm water and a microfiber cloth should do the trick. If more thorough cleaning is required, add a few drops of mild dish soap to the warm water. Dry immediately using another soft cloth. 3. DO wipe up that spill right away, DO NOT leave it for another day. Trust us, we understand after an evening of preparing a meal, serving the meal, then cleaning up after the meal, it can be easy to let a few spills or splatters wait for the morning. However, acidic substances (such as tomatoes or citruses) and oils are actually known for staining, etching, and ruining natural stain countertops. Even if the culprit is skim milk it is best to always to clean any spill immediately. When Benjamin Franklin said, "Do not put off until tomorrow what you can do today," he was talking about those spills too. 4. DO clean natural stones with mild soap and/or alcohol, DO NOT use vinegar! Vinegar is hands down one of our favorite natural cleaners in the home. From toilet bowls to your kitchen floors, vinegar efficiently kills germs, mold, and bacteria without any of the harsh chemicals. It can also efficiently cut grease on surfaces, remove odors from fabrics, and eliminate hard mineral deposits. It is like the miracle cleaner for the home. Except when it comes to natural stone. Since vinegar is highly acidic, it can etch the surface and dull the sealants of natural stones such as marble, limestone, and granite. It is best to use a clean microfiber cloth with hot water and mild soap to clean and daily sanitize your surfaces. For a stronger disinfectant, spray a 50:50 solution of water and 91% isopropyl alcohol and rinse with water after 3-5 minutes. You can also use stone-specific cleaners such as DuPont™ Granite & Marble Countertop Cleaner. 5. DO sanitize your sink daily, DON'T assume running water is enough. Surprising new data has proved the kitchen sink is actually dirtier than the household toilet. So basically quickly rinsing and reusing a utensil you had just set down in the sink is the equivalent of brushing your teeth right after your toothbrush has fallen in the toilet. Okay no one needed that disgusting reminder but it does put things into perpsective. Flushing the toilet doesn't make the germs go away and neither does running water in the sink. Apartment Therapy has a great guide to using baking soda and vinegar to efficiently disinfect your sink from E.coli and other bacteria (plus you can use that old toilet toothbrush!).

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