5 foods that clean better than cleaning products


Struggling to get that sparkly clean finish from the everyday cleaning sprays in your cupboard? Sometimes regular cleaning products just don’t cut it, through the grease, the grime or the clutter. But maybe some of the foods on your shopping list could do the job better.


We all know how strong Coca-Cola is, whether it’s the branding, the flavours or that special recipe that hasn’t changed for over a century. But the strength of its chemical make-up mean it’s not only a refreshing drink, but a powerful household cleaner too. The drinks company itself haven’t endorsed the use of Cola for anything else but drinking, however, it is recognised that the acid present in it’s drinks and other high acidity juices could possess similar powers to household cleaners. So here’s how to clean with Cola:

  • Remove rust – that’s right strip rust from your tools or nuts, bolts and screws. Soak your tools in a bowl of Coca-Cola and leave overnight, then scrub with a wire brush or scouring pad, then rinse with warm water and wipe away what’s left with a dry cloth.
  • Clean your toilet bowl – Run out of bleach? Grab a bottle of coke and squeeze around the entire inside of the bowl. Leave to work its magic for a few hours and before flushing use a brush to rid of any stains then pull the chain. It may seem a waste to literally pour Cola down the toilet, but when you see the results, you’ll be buying a lot more coke than bleach. It may clean stains well, but it won’t disinfect, so you should still use a disinfectant at least once a week.
  • Refresh your clothes from grease stains – due to the phosphoric acid present in the soft drink, grease is removed with ease. Here comes another brain boggler, so pour a whole can of coke in with your stained washing with a normal scoop of detergent, then let it run. For stubborn stains pour cola directly onto the affected area and soak for up to half an hour before putting it in your washing machine.
  • Get gleaming saucepans – Continuing the grease-removing powers of Cola, you can also get rid of the baked-on grease from your pans by simmering a can’s worth of coke on low for 30 minutes to an hour. While the carbonated soft drink bubbles away, stuff like burnt-on rice, pasta or sauce will wash away.
  • Wash your wind shield – Never pay for a car wash again. If insects are bugging your bumper then slowly pour coke over the affected areas, let it sit for 5 minutes then wipe away with a cloth. Don’t let this soak on your car’s paint work for too long otherwise it may damage it.

Tomato Ketchup

Ketchup is a condiment that can accompany any meal, from steak and chips to chicken and salad. And it turns out the super sauce is not just a great comfort food, but perhaps a clever cleaning agent as well.

  • Shine your silver – One of the main ingredients of ketchup is vinegar, with 4% acetic acid content meaning it makes a great silverware shiner. Instead of messing around with home-made shining solutions, squeeze a blob on your favourite cutlery and coat the whole surface area. Leave to soak for 10 minutes for less tarnished pieces and longer for heavily tarnished silver. Then rinse off and buff with a polishing rag for spoons like mirrors. This works for most metals from copper to stainless-steel. So try it on your pans and ornaments too.
  • Mini-vacuum bottle top – Attach the white top of the ketchup bottle to your vacuum cleaner to reach the cracks in your keyboard and any narrow and isolated surfaces. The nozzle makes a brilliant micro hoover.


  • Scrub bathroom tiles – Apples have been touted for their ability to clean your teeth due to the mild acidity and their fibre-rich flesh. Teeth are made of enamel or calcium phosphate, a mineral. Therefore, apples could be used to clean your bathroom tiles which are also made of various rock minerals. Try cutting an apple into slices, removing the seeds and leave the skin on, then blend to a mushy mixture. Take the puree and use a wet cloth to smear over the tiles. Leave for 5 minutes, then wash off and wipe away any excess apple with a towel.

Slice of bread

  • Perfecting paintings – if you have some precious oil paintings hanging on your walls then you may find they gather quite a bit of dust. A great way to get rid of the grime is to dab a fresh slice of white bread lightly over the surface.
  • Picking up glass – smashed glass can be a nightmare to clean up, but after sweeping up most of the mess with a dustpan and brush, use a slice of bread to pick-up the remaining shards of glass and throw away. It saves your fingertips and your time.

Peanut Butter

  • Restore scratched wood – rub a tablespoon of peanut butter spread on the affected area of wood and leave to work its magic for half an hour. Then simply wipe clean and wax the surface afterwards and the scratch will be gone.
  • Clean your furniture – okay so this does not apply to fabric sofas, but it works on vinyl or leather. Simply mix a little essential oil with a spoon of the spread to make a nice smelling cleaning agent. Then use circular motions to massage the peanut butter into the dirty or stained areas, then wipe away with a cloth.

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