Chemical Free Cleaning

Kitchen Cleaning

The kitchen is quite likely the most used & abused room in the house (well other than maybe the bathroom)…never a shortage of things to clean, anway!

I am a reformed $400 a year paper towel consumer with a bulk of the use occurring in the kitchen.  Yes, more than one roll per day!!  I am proud to say I have not purchased a single paper towel in over 3 years!  Quite a relief for my family’s budget & the environment!!  Below is a list of the Norwex products I use to clean my kitchen:

  • Kitchen Cloth (antibacterial) & an “Ernie” (aka window cloth)(antibacterial)
  • White Mesh Dish Cloth
  • Cleaning Paste
  • Descaler (only if hard water spots are an issue)
  • Oven & Grill Cleaner & Sprinett (safe for self cleaning ovens)
  • Enviro Towel (micro suede)(antibacterial) OR Kitchen Tea Towel (antibacterial)
  • Body Cloths (optional)(antibacterial)
  • Large or Small Superior Mop (optional) with Ceramic Tile Pad (optional)
  • Rubber Brush (optional if scrubbing floors on hands & knees)
  • Blue Diamond (optional) for ceramic tile or vinyl floors & a good quality Grout & Floor Brush (Optional).  Quality brushes are available from a janitorial supply store as Norwex does not currently have one for purchase.

 

For Thorough & Efficient Kitchen Cleaning:

  • Wipe any & ALL kitchen surfaces (including but not limited to:  counter tops, tables, chairs, walls, floors, patio doors, windows, appliances (inside & out), sinks, faucets, etc.) with a wet “Bert” (aka Enviro Cloth) or a wet Kitchen Cloth (do not use this cloth for washing dishes, it is a surface wiper only, use white mesh dish cloth for dishes).  For surface wiping I prefer the Kitchen Cloth as it is smaller than “Bert” but works exactly the same.  This is a tool of preference.  Polish with “Ernie” (aka Window Cloth) as needed.

 

  • Cleaning Paste is a great all-natural, all-purpose cleaner for the kitchen.  Should not be used on natural stone or brushed metal surfaces (includes stainless steel appliance faces but CAN be used in a stainless steel sink).  I love it for my sink, glass top stove top (good on any type of stove top), control panel of stove, walls around stove, oven door glass (not for use on other interior oven surfaces), cupboard faces, microwave (inside, outside & underneath), greasy vents  (lift vents off to thoroughly clean) fridge, dishwasher, etc.  To use:  simply apply Cleaning Paste with a wet “Bert” or a wet White Mesh Dish Cloth if more scrubbing power is needed.  Rinse with water, wipe with a damp “Bert” & polish with a dry “Ernie” as needed.

 

  • Apply Descaler to surfaces with water spots (do not use on natural stone or brushed metal surfaces).  I use this primarily on my ice cube & water dispenser & drip tray on my refrigerator door.  I occasionally use it on my chrome faucets as well.  I love this product but do not use it very often as hard water is not much of an issue in my home.

 

  • Oven & Grill Cleaner is another product that I don’t use often but love when I do.  It is an enzyme product (no harsh chemicals) designed to clean ALL oven interiors, oven wracks, drip pans, gas stove grates, & BBQ grill grates.  To use:  Preheat oven (or grill) to lowest setting (either Warm or 170 degrees).  Place any items that you would like to clean inside the oven to warm.  Once heated, turn oven off.  Spray oven interior & any other items to be cleaned with the Oven & Grill cleaner.  Let stand 10 minutes.  Scrub with a wet Spirinett (this is like an SOS pad only no chemicals, doesn’t rapidly disintegrate, & does not rust).  Wipe clean with a wet “Bert”, polish with “Ernie” as needed.  PLEASE NOTE:  Spirinetts can scratch some surfaces.  Test a small area if scratching is a concern.  Also, spirinetts can be run through the dishwasher (top rack) to clean thoroughly as they are not antibacterial.

 

  • I keep an Envirotowel hanging on my oven door for drying hands.  It feels very soft.  It is a micro suede material.  It has the silver embedded in it so in antibacterial.  I also dry dishes with it.  It makes me laugh to even type these words.  You see, prior to using Norwex drying hands & drying dishes with the same towel in our home was a cardinal sin!!  One towel for hands & dishes, what’s not to love?

 

  • I also keep a Body Cloth (antibacterial) hanging on a hook in the kitchen to wipe my 3 boys’ hands & faces.  To use efficiently (one cloth for multiple children):   fold wet Body Cloth into 4 squares leaving 8 clean surfaces.   To use:  wipe one kid’s face, flip, wipe another face, flip, wipe the other face, flip & then repeat process on 3 sets of hands.  Rinse & hang to dry between uses.  I launder this cloth once a week.  One cloth, 3 clean boys.  Again, what’s not to love?

 

  • For any hard surface flooring (hardwood, laminate, tile, vinyl, cork, bamboo, etc.) I generally recommend the Small or Large Superior Mop System.  The Ceramic Tile Mop Pad is a nice addition for washing vinyl or tile floors.  The yellow pad is the dry mop pad & is designed to pick up loose dirt & debris.  A floor should ALWAYS be dry mopped before it is wet mop so we do NOT end up with streaking.  The dry mop pad uses static electric charge to lift dirt & debris from floors so requires no cleaning agents.  Since the microfiber wraps around the edges of the pad it does a nice job of getting dirt & debris from the edges & corners.  I recommend the Rubber Brush to clean the dry mop pad.  The blue pad is the wet mop pad.  It is used to wet mop floors.  It has the silver embedded in it, so is antibacterial.  The Ceramic Tile mop pad can be used in place of the blue wet mop pad, if preferred.  It is not necessary to saturate your wet mop pad.  It is the microfiber doing the work, not the water.  A general rule of thumb:  If you floor stays wet longer than 30 seconds, your mop pad is too wet…streaks will result.  Both dry & wet mop pads should be laundered, as needed, following the laundering instructions for all microfiber products.

 

  • I must confess that I am a hands & knees floor scrubber when it comes to my kitchen floor.  My floor is an off white, non-skid ceramic tile floor with light tan grout.  I use the Large Superior Dry Mop multiple times a day sometimes for picking up dirt & debris.  I also use the Ceramic Tile Mop pad when I need to wet mop my floor in a hurry & I am generally happy with the results!!!  When I scrub on my hands & knees I use a shot of Blue Diamond (1-2 oz.) in a bucket of water (about 6-8 cups of water).  I have a good quality set of stainless steel floor brushes & grout brushes that I picked up from a janitorial supply store.  PLEASE NOTE:  This is a highly abrasive set of brushes & should NEVER be used on any surface without thoroughly testing for scratching.  Other softer, less abrasive brushes are available and should be decided upon based on your flooring type.  Every floor is different so would advise extreme caution in selecting the right brushes with a professional.  To use:  I dip my brushes in the bucket of Blue Diamond & water & scrub both grout and floor with my brushes.  I remove the dirty water with a wet “Bert” then allow floor to air dry.  Please note:  I used the Blue Diamond full strength the first time I cleaned my floor as it was 14 years old, was in terrible condition, my grout was black in the high traffic areas & a lot of dirt had settled into the non-skid “grooves” in the tiles leaving them looking filthy even after I mopped the floor.  It looked repulsive.  Honestly, I was ready to rip the floor up if this effort did not pan out so I really didn’t have much to lose but a little time, energy, & some new product.  LOOK OUT!!

 

  • I am thrilled to report that my kitchen floor has been restored to look like new!!!  I absolutely love it!!  My tiles are completely clean & my grout is tan once again.  I love the durability of the ceramic tile floor & no longer hate the light color.  I have decided that the hands-and-knees-scrubbing is totally worth it in my kitchen!!  I hope to try to post a photo of the floor before too long.  It is much more impressive to see it rather than to just read about it.  Thanks for your patience with this!!!  I am still learning to post information.

Meet “Bert” & “Ernie” (aka the Norwex Basic Package)

This is where it all began.  These two cloths are an inseparable team.  A person can clean their entire house with these two guys, if necessary, however, additional tools make cleaning even simpler.  As you explore my site further you will see specific household chores and the products I tend to favor to successfully accomplish my cleaning tasks.  For now, let’s take a look at the basic team.

“Bert” (also known as the enviro cloth, comes in four colors:  blue, red, green & yellow)(has silver embedded in the microfiber so is antibacterial):

Use dry for dusting.  Do NOT use furniture polish or any other cleaning agent on the cloth.   The product employs static electricity to remove dust & dirt, preventing dirt from resettling back onto surfaces.  Dust is held inside the cloth rather than being smeared or sent airborne. Lint & pet hair can be removed from furniture & clothing as well when used dry.  Shake or use Rubber Brush to remove visible dust, as needed & keep cleaning.

Use damp for both general cleaning & cleaning heavily soiled areas.  Cleans everything using ONLY WATER (no chemicals)Use on all surfaces that need to be cleaned (indoors or out) which would normally be cleaned with soap &/or cleaning solvents.  The damp cloth removes dirt, water, grease & ALL unsanitary residues, leaving a micro-organism-free surface. It is not necessary to saturate the cloth as the microfiber is doing the work, not the water.  Use on walls, windows, mirrors, screens, floors, vehicles, electronic devices, toys, tools, kitchen & bathroom areas (appliances, taps, sinks, tubs, counters, toilets…), & wood work.  It is also a great stain remover on carpets, upholstery & clothing (just spray the area with water & scrub with the “Bert” to remove the stain).  For more stubborn fabric stains, repeat daily over a week’s time.

Remember to fold the cloth in half twice to have the shape of a square; this gives you 8 flat surfaces to clean with. Use, flip over & continue to do this until all surfaces are used. Rinse the cloth in warm water as necessary & continue cleaning.

“Ernie”(also known as the window cloth, is always purple) (has silver embedded in the microfiber so is antibacterial):

“Ernie” is designed to be used dry (like a paper towel) to dry & polish surfaces that have been cleaned with “Bert” leaving a beautiful lint-free, streak-free shine.  Use on windows, mirrors, crystal, glass, brushed & stainless steel, chrome, polished or brushed metals, knick-knacks, & other shiny surfaces.  NOTE: if streaks appear the cloth is either too wet or the cloth is dirty. First, try to let cloth dry for a while before using again.  If you still get streaking it is time to launder your cloth.

Please note:   “Bert” & “Ernie” (the enviro & polishing cloth) are an inseparable team.  “Bert” needs “Ernie” to remove water streaks and leave a sparkling surface behind after he has finished cleaning a surface.

TIP:  I hang my “Bert/Ernie” pairs on command hooks for easy access & air drying.

In my home I have a blue “Bert/Ernie” pair hanging near my kitchen sink, used specifically for kitchen cleaning tasks, a pink “Bert/Ernie” pair hanging on the back of my bathroom door for quick bathroom cleaning, a green “Bert/Ernie” pair in my linen closet for general household cleaning, and a yellow” Bert” (known in my household as the dirty bird) hanging near the service door of our garage.  This is the guy who gets the call when the dirty jobs happen in my family (vomit in the van, stools tracked across carpet, bird poop on the slide…you get the picture).  Dirty bird gets boiled after his call to action as I know what he has been up to.  FYI:  I have a special pan to boil dirty bird in as I have issues eating soup from the pan that boils my puke rags…this is entirely up to you.

 

Why Norwex microfiber?

How is Norwex’s microfiber different than the “stuff” readily available in stores (industry standard microfiber)?

  1. Industry standard microfiber is 1/6th of a human hair.  Norwex microfiber is more than 1/200th of a human hair.  It removes dirt, debris & living elements from the surfaces that we clean, leaving you with a cleaner clean.  Industry standard microfiber cannot come close to the removal rates of Norwex.
  2. Norwex microfiber is denser per square inch than industry standard microfiber.  It grabs and holds on to more dirt, debris & living elements.  “Cleaning grime” is not then transferred from surface to surface as they are with lower grade microfiber products, paper towels, rags, or standard mop heads.
  3. Norwex embeds silver into the core of their microfiber strand.  Silver is a natural antimicrobial which allows your cleaning tools to self-sanitize rather than grow & reproduce.  Microfiber does NOT self-clean.  I wish I could tell you it did, but it doesn’t.  Products must be laundered to maintain good cleaning performance.  See basic care instructions for more details.

Conventional Cleaning vs. Microfiber Cleaning

What is conventional cleaning?:

Conventional cleaning is what we do, it’s what we know, it’s how we were raised.  Think for a minute about how you clean pretty much any surface in your home (countertops, windows, floors, toilet bowl, etc.).  We do it all the same:   apply cleaning solution to the surface then wipe, wipe, wipe, wipe.

Problems with conventional cleaning:

  • Chemicals are applied to every surface in our home.  Our skin, our largest organ, comes in contact with them & they leach into our bodies all day long.
  • Cleaning tools (paper towels, rags, mop heads) are made from cotton or polyester fibers that are large & round.  They are not effective in removing dirt, debris or living elements from the surfaces we “clean”.  What they do really well is spread those elements into a thin even layer that temporarily looks better, of course smells like chemicals, so smells “clean”, but NOT clean.
  • Once the soapy solvent in our household cleaner is spread into a thin even layer, it dries quickly.  It is sticky & attracts dirt, debris & living elements like a magnet right back to the surface we just “cleaned” so the results we achieve are short-lived.  Who hasn’t washed a window only to wake to streaks when the morning sun passes through pane the next day?  It’s maddening.  It’s NOT clean!!

So how is microfiber cleaning different?

The Norwex system is a microfiber cleaning system.  Microfiber is simply a cotton or polyester strand that is split length-wise making a much finer fibered material or “microfiber” strand that is woven into cleaning tools (cloths, dust mitts, mop heads, etc.).  The microfibers work like tiny fingers to grab onto dirt, debris, & living elements, removing them from the surface leaving you a sanitized surface using the product either dry or with just water…no household chemicals needed.  No cleaning residuals left behind.  The surface is simply clean USING JUST WATER & A MICROFIBER TOOL!