Show of hands: who has stood in their kitchen, too tired to go grocery shopping and determined to make a meal out of whatever you can find? This is an all too common occurrence which fits nicely into the theory that "Necessity is the mother of invention," especially when you're hungry. What about when you need to get some cleaning done? Can you forage through your kitchen cabinets to come up with effective cleaning supplies? Turns out you can. Not only are these common kitchen ingredients great for cleaning, they're also all eco-friendly. See if you can put these items to work on your house-cleaning day.
Pucker Up With Lemon
Not only is this citrus variety terrific in iced tea, it's a handy dandy cleaner when it comes to dissolving the dreaded soap scum. It can also bring the shine back to brass and cooper. Lemon is a natural bleach, which makes it just right for lifting stains from both fabric and dirty dishes. The best way to use a lemon as a cleaner is to cut it in half, sprinkle a little baking soda on for abrasion and voila, you've got a natural cleaning sponge. When you're done with the lemon toss it down the garbage disposal for a fresh boost of lemony zest in your drain.
Vastly Vivacious Vinegar
This is the granddaddy of all kitchen ingredient cleaners. In fact, you might find vinegar in a lot of your store bought supplies. For the perfect cleaning solution, mix equal parts vinegar with water into a spray bottle and start spritzing! Take note that vinegar disinfects while it cleans. Don't let the vinegary smell dissuade you. It should evaporate when it dries. Word of caution: vinegar and marble surfaces don't get along. You're better off keeping them apart. On the other hand, your vinegar spray will make quick work of cleaning up the bathroom, tub, sink, windows and kitchen counters. You can even use vinegar as a fabric softener, which is perfect for sensitive skin.
Scrub Away With Baking Soda
On the list of kitchen ingredients that pack a punch as cleaners, baking soda is right up there with vinegar. For stubborn stains, nothing beats a little elbow grease and the abrasive power of baking soda. That makes it a go-to ingredient for cleaning stovetops, ovens and other grimy surfaces in your home. Baking soda is also a powerful deodorizer. We all know about putting an open box in the fridge and then pouring it down the drain after a couple of months. However, you can sprinkle baking soda in a smelly trash can or even smellier pair of sneakers to neutralize the odors.
Olive Oil Goes Beyond the Salad
The next time you toss a salad, leave a little olive oil for cleaning. Olive oil is just what the chef ordered for scrubbing gunk out of cast iron pans. To get that job done, toss in a little salt and scrub under hot water. If you have scratches on a leather sofa or chair try rubbing a little olive oil over the area in a circular motion. Additionally, olive oil works on stainless steel like a charm.
The Sweet Smell of Vanilla Extract
Nothing beats that fresh baked cookie smell. You can reproduce that freshness with some vanilla extract soaked cotton balls. Place them around your house and breathe in the goodness. This makes for the perfect final accent for your cleaning day.
What kitchen ingredients have you found a new purpose for? Share those recipes!