Let’s face it, sometimes we find ourselves running out of the essentials; soap, the good bleach, a fully-formed and fresh duster (without the obligatory stains and threadbare holes: is it just me?!) and polish etc; leaving us with the option of either heading down to the local shop, or simply ‘making do.’ Well, the good news is that we may have exactly what we need hiding at the bottom of our salad trays, fruit bowls and the cupboard next to the fridge. Check out these seven super, grime-busting foods that just might save you when the bottles are bare:
It’s well known that the acidity in lemons can provide antibacterial and antiseptic properties; all the while smelling both fresh and delicious. Lemons also have a natural bleaching agent that makes them great for removing stains, and capable of cleaning away even the toughest germs; especially on countertops or in sinks, tubs and toilets. Plus, lemon juice has been known to help remove stains caused by tea, mustard, coffee and even grass. For full effect, let some lemon juice sit on a stain for a few minutes – after a while (but not too long) you should be able to buff it out.
Orange Pith and Banana Peel
An orange can work a lot like a lemon, as they belong to the same family – and it is particularly effective in eliminating odour. For sweaty gym bags and training shoes, simply place an orange peel sprinkled with a little baking soda inside each item. The peel will then absorb any odour and will leave both smelling like a citrus dream. Or, to remove strong smells from the fridge, simply dab a little juice on a cotton ball or sponge and leave it to bask in the fridge for several hours. The subsequent result will be a citrus-infused aroma that is released to be enjoyed each and every time you open the door!
Orange pith is also great for working on water stains and polishing wood. Simply rub a piece vigorously on a designated surface and watch as the shine comes through! Alternatively, you can use banana peel to keep your silverware shiny. Some of your favourite serving pieces may be made from silver and, every once in a while, you will need to remove any tarnish build-up. All you need to do is rub the peel over the object as necessary and follow up with a soft cloth. The same can be said for using bananas to buff leather; due to the potassium from the banana being absorbed and slowly plumping up imperfections.
Grapefruits contain natural chemicals call furocoumarins, which attack bacteria and act as disinfectants. Recognized for their cleaning power and fresh smell, grapefruits can be used to clean anything from a greasy oven and dirt-encrusted tray to your bathtub. In fact, many commercial cleaning products contain grapefruit extra for this exact reason. Simply cut a grapefruit in half and sprinkle with salt, before attacking the oven grease you just can’t shift. If you’re attempting the bath tub, remember to wet the surface first and rinse thoroughly afterward: the salt will work to exfoliate and remove surface limescale, whilst the citric acid in the grapefruit will help to break it down.
Could the humble onion be the answer to all your grill cleaning needs? Yes! It is said that rubbing a hot grill with an onion will loosen up any grit and grime baked on to your barbeque, without the need to go at it with a scouring pad and brush. Why heat the grill first? Heating the grill will ensure that any remaining pieces of food will be easy to scrape away once you begin. To prepare the onion, cut it in half and stab the top with a fork. Then, with the flat side facing down, begin to firmly rub the grill grate to encourage any trace of dirt to fall away.
It may sound hard to believe, but battling the issue of rust may just be the job for the most diverse of vegetables: the potato! The oxalic acid each potato contains benefits best from a baking soda boost, so make sure to combine the two for effective results. Together, the duo will make an unstoppable rust-busting team! All you need to do is cut a potato in half and dip the side without peel into soda – then, firmly begin scrubbing away at any area affected by deep-rooted rust. The overall result should be an invigorated gleam.
Using ketchup to ‘clean’ is perhaps one of the strangest hacks, but one that has been proven to be effective – particularly if you have copper pots! Thanks to the acid that ketchup contains, you should be able to dissolve tarnish by massaging a splodge of it into a copper base. In the event of stubborn spots that just won’t budge, add a little salt as you go. However, it is important to note that whilst ketchup is known to bring up shine – it won’t banish dirt and grime. You may need to craft a multi-step process combining soap and water too, saving your condiment for an added boost.
Make the most of those tannins and use black tea bags to bring out the rich tones hidden in your wooden surfaces! Steep three or four bags in boiling water (or make use of the ones you cast aside after making tea) and allow them to cool. Before you begin rubbing an area down, be sure to give it a good clean and afterward, allow it to air dry for an unbeatable shine. This technique will work on anything from a wooden floor to furniture in need of a treat. What’s more, if lemon or orange isn’t your thing, why not use a hint of green tea to liven up your fridge? Simply place a few loose tea-leaves inside, nestled away or tucked in a corner – not only is it pure and natural, but it will banish pungent smells too.