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12 Ways to Use Temperature Instead of Chemicals to Clean

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12 Ways to Use Temperature Instead of Chemicals to Clean

Steve Graham,

Do you really need a pantry full of cleaning chemicals? Or can ice, boiling water, baking soda and vinegar clean most everything?

We put a few temperature-based house cleaning methods to the test, and found most of them work. Some of these cleaning solutions are widespread urban legends. Others are from an exhaustive list of alternative cleaning methods provided by the Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County, Illinois. The agency acknowledges it simply compiled the list without testing any of the methods. That’s where we come in. Here is our verdict on eight boiling and freezing cleaners, with four extra tips thrown in for good measure.

1. Boil away microwave splatter

Verdict: Success

To clean off microwave grime, we tried boiling four tablespoons of lemon juice in a cup of water for about five minutes. We used a wide bowl to allow lots of steam to condense on the microwave. After carefully taking out the bowl, we easily wiped out splattered stains that typically require some elbow grease, a scrubbing sponge and all-purpose cleaner.

On a related note, we recommend sterilizing wet kitchen sponges regularly in the microwave. We don’t have the scientific equipment to verify the findings, but researchers at the University of Florida found that two minutes in the microwave can kill most bacteria and viruses on sponges. However, for safety, be sure the sponge is very wet and contains no metal. Also, take care when removing the hot sponge after sterilizing.

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Read more: Conservation, Crafts & Design, Food, Green Home Decor, Green Kitchen Tips, Health & Safety, Home, Household Hints, Materials & Architecture, Non-Toxic Cleaning, , ,

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9:29AM PST on Jan 29, 2014

Again, excellent information! Thanks!

3:42AM PDT on Sep 10, 2013

In that way, it's more likely to be a win-win situation, for the human and the environment

6:54AM PST on Feb 18, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

3:05PM PST on Jan 14, 2013

Janice R. - it kills the ants too!!
they can be a nuisance, but they are part of the eco-system - maybe we should be looking at ways to live with the animals that we get in the way of, rather than kill the ones that get in our way - and many who don't get in our way at all.

2:54PM PDT on Jun 4, 2012

I'm blessed I have a clothesline to hang my clothes . The sun really brightens them. Only use dryer when I have to!

10:13AM PDT on Mar 28, 2012


10:29AM PDT on Sep 28, 2011


3:38PM PDT on Jul 16, 2011

Thank you for the interesting article

10:56PM PDT on Jul 6, 2011


5:49PM PDT on Jul 5, 2011

This past weekend I watched someone successfully remove small red wine stains (little spots, not a large area) by pouring boiling water through the fabric. We had a white cotton t-shirt that was pre-soaked in plain cold water, boiled a pan of water, held out the area with the stain and poured boiling water through the spots. They vanished. I was astounded. Not anxious to try it again, but I wouldn't hesitate to.

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