Our family is growing in many ways... Growing in numbers, knowledge, parenting skills, growing in love, in our faith, growing our culinary skills (if you can call it that), growing without gluten (some of us), growing green...........

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Green Cleaning: Microwave and Garbage Disposal

We use green cleaners for just about everything in our house. Actually, I can't think of a cleaner we use that isn't "green," but by now we make most of those cleaners. I have a tab along the top of the blog that includes all of our green cleaning recipes, but I haven't really posted about them much. So, I thought I would do that, going through each one here and there, giving some tips on how we make and use them.

Since I just used this one the other day, I thought I would start with it... Green cleaner for your microwave and garbage disposal. Now, using a garbage disposal is not so green in the first place. It uses a lot of energy, for one thing. We don't use ours much, but inevitably things get dropped down there or plates with a tiny bit of food get rinsed off in the sink with the disposal instead of the other side, etc. Regardless, it needs to be cleaned from time to time! Some would also say that using a microwave may not be the greenest or safest thing. We make a lot of food in large batches so we'll have leftovers, among other things. So, our microwave does get used often, and therefore needs to be cleaned often.

The good thing is, cleaning these two items in a green way is beyond easy! And it helps to do them at the same time because they involve the same items.

Let's start with the microwave!
First, take the peels from an orange (or other citrus fruit...grapefruit, limes, lemons, etc.). 
Put them in a deep microwave safe bowl.

Pour water over the peels. Do not fill up the bowl. Just cover the peels. You won't want this to boil over (hence the deep bowl - you might want to go even deeper than mine).

Pop it in the microwave. Heat for a few minutes or so to get the water boiling. 

What you're going for is steam. Boiling water will steam up the microwave, 
loosening any food/residue. The citrus will make it smell great!

 Once it's done, take out the dish and quickly wipe down the inside of the microwave. Everything should wipe right off at this point! Stand back and enjoy your clean microwave!

Next, move on to the garbage disposal...
Dump out the hot water (let it cool first, if you want). 
Drop in some ice with the peels.

Dump the ice and peels down the disposal. Turn it on. (You may want to loosely cover the drain with your hand or a cloth, in case some of the ice chips want to pop up out of there!) I also turn the water on low. Let this run until it's all broken up. Run more water until the disposal is clear. The citrus peels deodorize the disposal and have a natural acid cleaning power. The ice will help cool and harden grease so it comes clean.

We don't eat a ton of oranges around here consistently, so when we do, I take the peels and toss them in a bag in the freezer. Whenever I need to use some for cleaning the microwave and disposal, I take a few peels out and use those. You could use them frozen to clean just the disposal, probably not needing more ice. I still add some if there aren't a lot of peels (and especially if I clean the microwave first, since that thaws the peels).

And there you go! That was easy, right?! Everything's clean, smelling good, and you used something you would typically just throw away. That's pretty hard to beat!


Tyler Perkins said...

That's one of the most refreshing ways to clean garbage for a lemon lover like me. I've tried orange peels before, but I like the scent of lemon better. Sometimes, I use lemon juice (or other fruit juices) as an alternative if I don't have fruits at home. Have you tried that?

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