My Natural Kitchen Cleaning Checklist

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Wellness Mama » Blog » Natural Home » My Natural Kitchen Cleaning Checklist

Of all the rooms in my house, the kitchen has to be cleaned the most often. It’s often difficult to clean because of the variety of surfaces and appliances, yet the most important to clean well because these surfaces come into contact with our food (and vice versa).

It is also a place where harmful chemical products often lurk, in an area of the house where using non-toxic products perhaps matters most. I’ll share my best tips for cleaning the kitchen naturally, and please share yours in the comments!


At my house, our cabinets get food, fingerprints, and artistic doodles from my aspiring Picassos. This can be a pain to clean! I no longer use microfiber, but a clean rag and diluted all-purpose cleaner (either homemade or from Branch Basics) does the job well.

Quick Tip: Cut up old t-shirts and towels rather than buying rags or sponges.

Counters and Table

I use the same all-purpose cleaner on my table and countertops for simplicity. (I minimized my cleaning cabinet to one or two cleaners and will never go back!) I’ve used it on granite and formica and it doesn’t leave residue.

I would not recommend specific granite cleaning sprays, as these are some of the worst offenders in the chemical department.

Do not use vinegar/lemon or anything acidic on granite as this can erode the finish and wear down the stone. You can also use a homemade alcohol-based granite cleaner for tough messes and great shine, but I wouldn’t use it every day.


The type of cleaning will vary depending on the type of floor, but any floor can be cleaned naturally.

  • For laminate, ceramic, etc., a mixture of 1 cup vinegar in a gallon of water on a wet mop will clean really well.
  • You can use your all-purpose cleaner to pre-treat any tough stains.
  • For tile and grout, I sprinkle with baking soda and then spray with hydrogen peroxide and leave for a few minutes before scrubbing and then wiping off. This is the only way I’ve found to keep grout white.
  • There are also other options for carpet and hardwood.


For natural dish soap, I’ve used a variety of products over the years. My homemade dish soap is a very simple DIY recipe using Sal Suds as the base, but these days we usually use a few drops of… you guessed it… Branch Basics concentrate!

I’m in the process of testing automatic dishwasher detergents as my favorite brand isn’t in production anymore, but Ecover is a solid natural choice that works great for us. You can also make your own dishwasher detergent from scratch!

Quick Tip: To clean the dishwasher itself, I put a bowl or two on the top shelf of the dishwasher right side up and fill it with undiluted white vinegar. Then just run the dishwasher as usual (no other dishes in it). This removes soap scum and makes the dishwasher run more efficiently.

This is on my once-a-month to-do list, along with deep cleaning the washing machine.

Oven Cleaning

I have a self-cleaning oven but don’t like to use that feature, unless it is an especially cold day in winter, because it heats the house up a lot. The easiest way I’ve found besides using the self-clean is to spray water over the bottom of the oven and dump on a lot of baking soda (about 1/4-1/2 inch I think) and then spray with more water to make a paste. Then, I leave it overnight.

In the morning, I scrape out all the baking soda mixture (which is brown by this point) and then use a wire brush to scrub any tough spots. After all the baking soda has been wiped off, a vinegar and water rinse will leave a spot-free shine.

Garbage Disposal

I use my garbage disposal a lot and sometimes it gets that not-so-lovely odor. To combat this, there are a couple of options:

  • Cut a lemon in half, shove in garbage disposal, and grind (with hot water running) for 10 seconds.
  • Freeze lemon and orange peels in ice cube trays with vinegar or water and throw these in and grind for 10 seconds.
  • Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda in the drain and follow with 1 cup of distilled white vinegar. Let sit for 10 minutes before running the water and the disposal.
  • If you want a storebought product, Biokleen makes a great enzyme-based drain cleaner.

Cast Iron

This won’t be in everyone’s kitchen, but we use cast iron a lot. I try not to use soap on cast iron since it ruins the seasoning that takes so long to accomplish. Instead, I use a steel scouring pad and some regular salt, and scrub. This usually gets them clean without any trouble!

Paper Products

We’ve finally transitioned to paper-free in our kitchen, and I won’t ever go back! We actually bought several hundred cloth napkins for our wedding years ago, and we still use those, though if I ever replace them, I’ll replace them with a darker color to hide the stains they have now. A couple of dozen cloth napkins will last a family between washes and will save a lot of money and waste in the long run.

We also use extra dish towels instead of paper towels and just replace them every six months to a year, which is still cheaper than buying paper towels.

Produce Washing

The way I wash produce largely depends on where it came from and what it is. We buy (or grow) organic produce for the biggest offenders, but most conventional fruits and vegetables will do if we wash them properly.

  • For stuff from our garden, it gets a light wash in water before use. I know exactly where it came from so no need for worry!
  • For store-bought produce with tough skin, I soak in vinegar for about 10 minutes, and then lightly scrub with my hands after I’ve dipped them in baking soda. I do this before placing them in the fridge so that the chemicals don’t transfer to the fridge and so the kids can get their own fruits and veggies for snacks.
  • I’ve also tried hydrogen peroxide and water spray on softer skin fruits and veggies like peaches or grapes or berries.

Here’s my full post on how I wash my fruits and veggies.

Under My Sink

Like I said, I keep it simple with kitchen cleaning these days! Although this list seems short, I’ve yet to find a mess I can’t tackle with this regimen!

Under my sink, you’ll find:

On a related note, I keep everything under my sink in a boot tray that typically goes by the backdoor so that I can remove them all at once to clean under the sink.

Kitchen Cleaning Checklist

Bottom line, let’s take the chemicals to a hazardous waste disposal place and stop using them!

I’ve found this checklist from Real Simple helpful to clean the kitchen from the top down. You can also download my personal organizing printable that has my chore lists, room-by-room checklists, and daily to-do lists to help make the process easier.

If you want an even deeper look into my cleaning cabinet and the baby steps I took toward a natural home over the years, I write all about it in my The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox Book.

What is your best kitchen cleaning tip? Do you have any suggestions for natural kitchen cleaning that I missed? Share below!


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Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


52 responses to “My Natural Kitchen Cleaning Checklist”

  1. jean ong Avatar

    I’m not very confident in the kitchen so all my fruits and vegetables gets soaked in salt and water. As in everything. I figure, salt kills all bacteria. But I honestly don’t feel too confident about it so I usually peel the veggies and just throw away the peels.

  2. Lorri Andrews Avatar
    Lorri Andrews

    I use sea salt (2 tbsp?) and lemon juice (1/2 cup?) in enough water to cover to wash my 100% organic produce that I buy from the natural and organic food stores. Let it soak for about 10 minutes. You never know who handled it before you and what products they used on their hands. I then wrap the produce in dedicated towels and enclose in Green Bags for storage either on the counter or fridge, depending. Never had produce go bad. I replace the towels if they get clammy.
    If you buy conventional meat, you can boil it for a couple of minutes on the stove, throw out the water and resulting scum and then prepare the meat as you would normally. That reduces, but not eliminates, a lot of the toxins. I personally only buy organic, grass fed, free range meat.
    Each to their own and you must do what works for you, for your own reasons and choices.

  3. Rena Avatar

    I also use vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, lemons, baking soda, but I also use norwex products. Pricey to begin with but lasts a long time so it save money in the long run. I usually just use water with my norwex rags.

  4. Diane Avatar

    I have been using bamboo paper towels for the last few months and they are amazing! I use and wash, use and wash, use and wash. After about 40-50 uses, I may throw one away. The way I’m going, my first roll could last about 2 years.

  5. silker Avatar

    I have two kittens 🙂 any cleaning advice when they ‘forget’ to use the litter box? Thank you for your content 🙂

  6. Mary Avatar

    I’m looking for a recipe for homemade dishwaser detergent. I’ve heard that epsom salts w/essential oils substitutes well for dishwasher detergent. Have you ever tried something like this? If not, what is the next best thing?

  7. Kait Avatar

    What kind of dishwasher do you have?! We have issues with ours growing mold so we are in the market for a new one. Thank you!

  8. Kristina S. Avatar
    Kristina S.

    Hi Katie, can you please share how you clean your actual sink? I’ve heard so many options and would love to hear yours.

  9. Mike Avatar

    Bronner’s soap and any dishwashing soap made from it leaves a waxy residue what is washed and over a few days a super disgusting waxy buildup in your sink Yes you can wash out the sink and rinse the dishes with vinegar when you’re done, but is the extra work really worth it when you can buy a store bought almost all natural dish washing soap instead?

    Even my hand and body soap made from Bronners has a waxy feel (and don’t, I mean DON”T, use Bronners to clean furnature or floors unless you want a streaky mess).

    I’m going to give soapwart a try as my base soaping agent instead of Bronners. If it fails, then I’ll go back to store bought, because homemade with a poor product like Bronner’s just isn’t worth it.

  10. Jeannette Reckless Avatar
    Jeannette Reckless

    How to clean plastic chopping boards, some used for meat others for cheese? I work in a Deli. Thanks for your help

  11. Heidi Avatar

    Do you have any tips for cleaning stainless steel appliances? Mine are constantly covered in finger prints. I’m about to test out a microfibre cloth on them & hoping that helps.

  12. Lin Avatar

    I had a white linoleum floor! Uggghh! I like to have my floors spotless, but could never get it clean. It was certainly not what I would have put in a kitchen….but I didnt build the house so I dealt with it) Anyway, I used everything to try to make it look clean. I even got down on my hands and knees to try and clean it with cleaners such as Commet ( a no-no it leaves huge white spots) Windex spray, will only asphyxiate yourself lol… Fantastic Spray…all didn’t work.
    Finally I found that this works pretty well. It strips the floor clean of the shine, but at least the floor is clean and you can put the shine back on with Mop and Glo. I preferred just a clean floor.
    In a bucket,fill 3/4 fill of hot water, not scalding. Use 3/4 cup white vinegar and about half a teaspoon of Dawn dishwashing liquid. (Make sure not to use too much soap because you have to go back and rinse it. Less is better. You don’t want to slip and fall if the floor is wet.)
    It actually worked for me and my floor looked so Amazing! After a few times it looks even better. Hope this works for you!

  13. Mathilde Avatar

    Need some help with cleaning my kitchen floor and I tried the scrubbing powder even bought branch basic with oxygen boost,bleach,hydrogen peroxide and borax.The floor is linoleum and a very light color and we had carpet on it what caused yellow stains.Any ideas what else i could try

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