Cleaning with Foods


By: Catherine Jheon


Baking Soda:

Makes a great deodorizer. Place an open box in the refrigerator and freezer to absorb odors. Baking soda causes dirt and grease to dissolve in water, so it is very effective in cleaning kitchen counter tops, refrigerators, and stove tops. When sprinkled on a sponge or dishrag, baking soda forms a mild, abrasive scouring powder.


Club Soda:

Good for removing stains. The bubbling effect in club soda lifts stains much like bubbling detergent. Use it to remove coffee stains from mugs, clothing stains or stains for silver. You can also use it to clean counter tops and fixtures


Cream of Tartar:

Combine this with vinegar to make it a powerful cleaning agent. Use the mixture to clean encrusted pots, pans and stove tops.


Corn Starch:

Sop up grease and oil, cover the stain with cornstarch, let it sit for 15 to 30 minutes then vacuum.


Lemon Juice:

         Dissolve soap scum and hard water deposits, to clean and shine brass and copper and as a natural bleach

         Cut a lemon in half and sprinkle baking soda on the cut section to scrub dishes, surfaces, and stains.

         Mix 1 cup of olive oil with ½ cup lemon juice to make a furniture polish for your hardwood furniture.

         Whiten your clothes by adding lemon juice to your wash water

         Use it in diluted hot water to clean greasy wooden surfaces

         To clean brass or silver, mix lemon juice and baking soda or cream of tartar into a paste, rub in with a soft cloth. Rinse with water and dry

         Clean plastic containers stained with tomato sauce by rubbing the discolored plastic container with lemon juice and then let them sit in the sun for a day. The sun and lemon juice will bleach the plastic back to its original colour.



Not only does salt enhance the flavor in food, it’s also good for stains caused by red wine, tomato sauces and even blood. For wine stains, cover with salt to absorb the excess wine and then rinse with cold water. For non-washable, scrape up the salt and vacuum the spot. For blood stains, soak the stained cloth item in cold saltwater, then wash in warm, soapy water and boil after the wash. This method works on cotton, linen or other natural fibers that can take high heat. Remove white rings left on tables from wet or hot dishes or glasses by rubbing a tin paste of salad oil and salt on the spot with your fingers. Let it stand an hour or two, then wipe it clean. Take a big handful of salt, preferably course, and sprinkle of your wooden chopping board. Scrub the board with the cut side of lemon half. The abrasive salt will scour the wood, and the lemon dissolves grease. You can also substitute white vinegar for lemon.


Vegetable Oil:

Use a damp cloth to wipe away dirt then apply a small drop of vegetable oil to a soft cloth and rub the surface to remove scuff marks on your shoes


White Vinegar:

         Safe to use on most surfaces and has the added bonus of being cheap

         Mix equal parts water to vinegar in a spray bottle and you have a solution that will clean most areas of your home.

         Not only does it clean, it also disinfects, deodorizes and bleaches.

         Mix one part white vinegar with one part water for a homemade bleach solution that will fade stains like wine, coffee and tomato sauce. Use an eyedropper or a Q-tip to make sure the bleach goes only on the stain. Remove mineral deposits from coffee makers with white vinegar.

         Fill the water reservoir with cup or more of white distilled vinegar and run it through a whole cycle. Run it once or twice more with plain water to rinse clean.

         Remove stains from coffee and teacups by scrubbing them gently with equal parts of salt (or baking soda) and white distilled vinegar. Rinse clean.

         For stained and smelly plastic food containers wipe them with a cloth dampened with white distilled vinegar.


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