How to Clean With Household Items

April 19, 2018 | Food Lion
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Skip those fancy store bought cleaners next time you find yourself in need. Chances are you have what you need to clean and polish your grimy goods and they're all right under your roof! For those looking to take a more natural approach to cleaning, we've rolled up our sleeves and taken a look at three household items that having amazing restorative powers! As with most DIY projects, remember that it may take some tinkering to find the mix that works best for your needs.  So, when it comes time to break out the mops, sponges and cleaning chemicals for your next big clean, reach for something different and try these three household items…you'll be glad you did!

How to Clean with Lemons

Lemons are fantastic in a big glass of ice water or sweet tea, but did you know they make great cleaning agents? The high levels of citric acid in these radiant fruits put them at the top of the list as far as natural cleaners go. Cleaning with lemons is really a win-win when you think about it. You're reviving grimy items to their original sheen and making them smell lemony fresh in the process!

1. Clean the microwave. No scrubbing required. Place a cup ¾ full of water with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice in the microwave along with the lemon rinds. Heat in the microwave until it boils. If you really want to be extreme, let the mixture sit in the microwave for about 10 minutes before opening the door. All the moisture in the microwave will really loosen up the grime. Then just wipe with a clean cloth and dry.

2. Remove stains from butcher block countertops and cutting boards, and also help kills germs. Sprinkle salt over the stain, you want it as fully covered as possible. Cut a lemon in half, squeeze it directly over the salt and stain and start scrubbin' like you would with a sponge (pulp side down) and let sit until the stain fades. For better results, this can be left overnight, then rinsed well and dried.

3. Clean stained plastic containers. Leftovers are a fantastic next-day lunch, but the stain in your plastic container from your spaghetti is not so fantastic. Rub a lemon on the inside of the container or soak in lemon juice for a tough stain. This will help remove stains and smells from your reusable plastic containers.

4. Polish spotty silverware. Those pesky knives and forks love accumulating rust spots if you aren’t careful.  With a little lemon juice and sponge to clean your silverware, you can have spotless knives again.

5. Clean stained grout. Lemon juice is excellent for removing stains from grout. Apply lemon juice to stained area, and scrub with an old toothbrush. Let sit for about 10-15 minutes and then rinse with warm water. Repeat if necessary.

Pro tip: have a strainer on hand if you are using freshly squeezed juice as you might not want the pulp for some of these cleaning tricks.

How to Clean with Dryer Sheets

Do you smell that? Is someone doing laundry? Nope. It's just another household item that has a few tricks up its sleeve! Dryer sheets are actually an awesome, quick fix for a few different messes around the house. Tired of your shoes smelling after a long day? A dryer sheet can fix that. Need a way to get the gunk off the bottom of the pot you used to make dinner? You guessed it; a dryer sheet would love to help out!

1. Clean hard water stains. If your chrome bathroom and kitchen fixtures have hard water stains, try scrubbing the surface with a dryer sheet.

2. Scrub dirty pots. Clean stubborn messes off dirty pots and pans by placing a dryer sheet on the bottom and letting it soak in water overnight. The next morning, the pot will be easier to clean.

3. Freshen Shoes. Nobody likes stinky shoes! Freshen up those gym shoes by throwing a dryer sheet or two in each after your done using them for the day. The next time you go to wear them, they'll smell fresh as a daisy…or fresher shoes, you get the idea.

4. Clean glass. Smudged mirror or dirty eyeglasses? Take a dryer sheet to them like you would a microfiber cloth! Just make sure it's not plastic.

5. Iron cleaner. Your trusty iron is bound to get a little dirty and you wouldn't want to risk ruining your clothes! Turn your iron on low and "iron" the dryer sheet until the bottom of the iron is clean.


How to Clean with Salt

Sodium. Na. That thing that makes your fries taste so good. Salt. Probably not the first thing you think of when natural, household cleaning products are brought up. However, salt can do more than liven up your fried potatoes. The coarseness of salt can do wonders when trying to clean things like your coffee pot or fridge. While it's fighting to polish up whatever you choose to clean, it's simultaneously deodorizing it! If you are mixing salt with a liquid (water, vegetable oil, soap, etc.) keep in mind that the more liquid you add the less effective the mixture will become.

1. Remove water rings. Erase white circles on wooden furniture that come from a vase or anything wet. Apply a layer of oil and salt to the stain, massage it in, let sit for an hour, and then remove it.

2. Clean a glass coffee pot. Every diner waitress’ favorite tip: add salt and ice cubes to a coffee pot, swirl around vigorously, and rinse. The salt scours the bottom, and the ice helps to agitate it more for a better scrub.

3. Clean refrigerators. A mix of salt and soda water can be used to wipe out and deodorize the inside of your refrigerator, a nice way to keep chemical-y cleaners away from your food. Have you ever stopped to look messy a fridge can actually be? Go ahead and mix up some salt and soda water and wipe down the inside of the fridge. It'll be clean like the day you brought it home and it'll do away with some smells too! 

4. Control weeds Weeds do not like salt. They like pepper, but definitely not salt. Sprinkle some in cracks and crevices weeds normally grow.  

5. Deter Ants. Keep ants away by sprinkling it in your house’s entrance, around the windows, and underneath doors.

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