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Kitchen Cleaners

Main Core Tie

Food And Nutrition
Strand 1 Standard 2


Utah LessonPlans


Types of Cleaners. The Known. The Unknown



Background for Teachers

There are many substances used for cleaning. Each serves a specific purpose(s), some of which we may not have considered.
There are many things that need to be cleaned in the foods lab. Choosing the proper substance reduces cost, time, and environmental waste.

There are many ways to clean. Listed below are just a few shortcuts.

  1. Problem: Smelly microwave oven
    Solution: Mix 1 tbsp. Vinegar with 12 cups water. Put in a squirt bottle. Use and wipe out the microwave after each use.

  2. Problem: Rusty pans
    Solution: Put vinegar in the bottom of the pan. Leave for 5-10 minutes. Rinse.

  3. Problem: Stained aprons
    Solution: Bleach and then dye. The teacher may want to use a variety of colors to distinguish units.

  4. Problem: Stained counter tops, dishes, utensils, etc.
    Solution: Try cleaning with cleanser. If unsuccessful, pour on straight Clorox and let it stand for 10-15 minutes. Wipe off with water and let dry. Caution: be careful not to bleach clothing.

  5. Problem: Refrigerator/freezer odors
    Solution: clean with Clorox water and then keep an open box of baking soda inside, especially when leaving the lab for the summer.

  6. Problem: Grease
    Solution: Ammonia works best on grease but it will need to be watered down so that it doesn't eat any chrome finish.

  7. Problem: Grease caked/baked on pots and pan bottoms
    Solution: Spray on an oven cleaner and let stand. Wash or wipe away the stain.

  8. Problem: Stained dish towels
    Solution: Bleach -- use separate towels/rags to do dirty jobs especially when cleaning.

  9. Problem: Gummy scrub pads
    Solution: Wash in soap and bleach with dish towels. Throw them away if they are too dirty.

  10. Problem: Mold
    Solution: Keep things as dry as possible. Tilex will clean but Clorox kills.

  11. Problem: Hard water stains/spots
    Solution: Lime Away works great. To prevent stains, wipe down sinks and faucets after each lab use.

  12. Problem: Many cleaners work well but are not safe for the environment.
    Solution: Use cleaners that do not harm the environment.

NOTE: See PRESENTATION OUTLINE: The family's responsibility toward reducing environmental pollution (pdf).

Instructional Procedures



  1. Choose a couple of items from THE DOZEN THAT DO DIRT IN or items of your own to demonstrate to the students. Explain that money, time and the environment can and should be considered when choosing a cleaning agent.
  2. Separate the class into group of 2-3. Give each group a CLEANING PRODUCT ANALYSIS worksheet paper. Have problem items i.e. mold, hard water, food stains, rust, grease, etc. set up in units or on tables. Have enough for each group. Duplication of problem items will only enhance the results. Put all cleaning supplies, expected and unexpected (see THE DOZEN THAT DO DIRT IN for a list of possibilities) on a supply table. Have students come to the table in small groups and select two cleaning agents that they feel will solve their cleaning problems. Emphasize reading labels, and no mixing agents except with water.

After students have tested their products have them share their findings with the class through a debriefing, commercial, poster, etc. format. The teacher uses this time to emphasize and explain appropriate cleaning agents.

Created: 06/20/1997
Updated: 02/05/2018