While there’s no such thing as a “Toxin-Friendly Zone” in your house, the kitchen might be the least deserving of the title. This potential germ haven not only sees plenty of pet and kid traffic but also houses the food they eat. Eliminating harmful substances in the kitchen can go a long way towards maintaining a healthy home.
Clean up your products. Many of the cleaning products lining store shelves are jam-packed with dangerous chemicals, which doesn’t bode well for your family’s health and safety. In fact, dish soap is the leading cause of home poisonings for children under the age of six! Swap out toxic cleaners for those made from natural ingredients (we like Seventh Generation products). If you’re a DIYer at heart, you can even make your own eco-friendly cleaning products!
Mind your veggie drawer. The most germ-infested place in your kitchen could easily slip the most discerning of detoxers’ minds. When you open your refrigerator, look down: the veggie drawer is a popular hangout for microorganisms like E. coli, Salmonella, Listeria, mold and yeast. Check out our tips for keeping your veggie drawer germ-free and make great strides towards kitchen purity.
Take out the trash regularly. This may seem a little intense, but emptying your trash daily (or immediately after disposing of easily spoiled foods like meat and dairy) is a great way to keep your kitchen germ-free. For further toxin protection and feng shui points, opt for a trashcan with a lid. Tip: To prevent a smelly trash situation, place a cotton ball soaked in an essential oil like eucalyptus or orange at the bottom of the can. (You can also sprinkle baking soda down there.)
Wash your cutting board. If you haven’t washed your cutting board in awhile, you’re probably enjoying a splash of bacteria in your salads. It’s important to clean and disinfect your cutting board after every use – even after those veggies – to avoid contaminating your food. This is especially important if your cutting board is wooden, because teeny tiny grooves in the board are one of bacteria’s favorite hangouts. For detailed cutting board-cleaning instructions, read: Care for Your Cutting Board.
Choose safe pots and pans. Not having to deal with stuck scrambled eggs is nice, but it can come at a pretty hefty price. Some non-stick cookware contains perfluorochemicals (PFCs), which have been linked to a number of health issues such as liver damage. When pots are new, it’s unlikely they’ll expose you to these chemicals. However, as they wear down and get scratched the chemical starts to be released in larger quantities. Avoid the issue entirely by choosing safe pots and pans and stocking up on olive oil.
Clear the air. A stinky kitchen is decidedly not fresh feeling. To finish up your kitchen detox, spruce up the smell! If you have a window, open it regularly to let air circulate. If you need a stronger fix, simmer the zest of a lemon in water with a teaspoon of cinnamon on the kitchen stove. It’ll turn things around in no time!