If you are attempting to clean up stubborn grease, you may think that you have no choice but to use harsh chemicals. However, it is very possible to remove heavy grease with products you likely already have at home, such as vinegar. It's a good idea to remove grease as quickly as possible in your kitchen, as it can be a fire hazard if left behind on or near stoves, toaster ovens and microwaves.
Why Use Natural Products?
There are a number of commercial grease cleaners available for cutting through grease and restoring your kitchen to its former glory. While many of these may work very well, you'll need to carefully read product labels. There are some chemicals that are dangerous if ingested, so if you use them to remove grease, you will need to clean again once they're used to remove all traces of the chemical. This can be a bit of extra work that you perhaps would rather avoid.
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In addition, most people have white vinegar in their kitchens already, making it a quick and easy choice for cleaning up grease. You'll also benefit from a lower-cost clean since vinegar is fairly inexpensive, especially when compared to commercial grease cleaners. Never mix vinegar with commercial chemicals.
According to Bon Appetit, vinegar is made of acetic acid, which gives it the unique ability to cut through grease powerfully and quickly. It's a great choice for an effective heavy grease remover.
Cleaning With Vinegar
To begin cleaning grease with vinegar, don rubber gloves. If you have dry skin or any cuts on your hands, working with vinegar can sting. In addition, it will make your hands smell of vinegar for a prolonged period after use. Gloves will help you to avoid either of these issues.
Next, soak a dishcloth or rag in white vinegar. Rub the greasy area with the cloth and apply a bit of pressure. The cloth should begin to pick up the grease. As you accumulate grease on the cloth (it won't dissolve), you may need to fold the cloth over to allow a cleaner surface area to come into contact with the spot you're cleaning.
If you're dealing with a significant mess from grease, you can also lay a cloth coated in vinegar over the grease for 15 minutes. This lets the vinegar soak in and soften the grease. Alternatively, you might choose to use steel wool, or an equivalent rough kitchen implement, or sponge to help soften the grease.
Repeating the Process
Vinegar cuts grease fairly quickly, but you may need to rinse out your rag several times to remove the grease, apply more vinegar and repeat the process if the grease you need to remove is very heavy.
If you find that you can't get the grease off the cloth simply by rinsing it under water, it might be best to switch out the cloth partway through the process. The grease will come off much more easily if you are using a clean cloth. If it still contains a good deal of grease, it will slide against the existing grease and won't clean very well.
If you are still faced with a greasy mess, you can also use some baking soda to make a paste for scrubbing. Apply this paste with a soft cloth and gently scrub the area until it has come clean.